From the creators of Harbor Master, Max Adventure [iTunes $0.99] by Imangi Studios for iPhone and iPad features a colander wearing, zap gun shooting, little tyke who likes to kick alien butt and take alien names (most of which are unpronounceable, I am sure). The premise is that this alien horde has taken all of the adults (for what nefarious purpose, we are not told – my bet is on some type of probing), so it’s left to the kids to save the planet. Little Max and his friends will have to make the most of whatever they can find to outlast and outshoot the invaders in both survival and story modes.
It’s only been out for about 3 weeks now, but this game has gotten a lot of praise in the form of a 5 star rating on iTunes with 108 reviews. And with good reason: the gameplay is ultra-smooth using a dual "stick" type control (left for moving Max, right for aiming and firing), the graphics are top notch and the music and sound effects fit right in (orchestral music beds, for the win).
For the story mode, you start out fairly easy to give you a chance to get a feel for the controls. It took me a little bit to make the most of the independent sticks and I spent most of my time running backwards, blasting away at the various alien species. Each level adds more aliens, a tougher goal and of course more power ups to help you reach that goal. At first, it appears you are alone, but you soon run into your friend Lizzie, who usually offers helpful advice, sometimes cajoling you into action while always standing aside to let you do the heavy lifting! By the third level, you are racing to locate six more kids before you fall, no simple task.
For the survivor mode, it’s just you against wave after wave of the alien horde. If you run behind a building, it turns semi-transparent, allowing you to see all of the action. Get at least 50 kills in a round and you’ll earn one of the myriad Game Center achievements that the game offers. Online leaderboards are provided as well, reason enough to engage your Game Center account.
The game is currently 99 cents, but this is rumored to be an introductory price. The latest update allows you to play the game on a TV hooked up with the VGA cable. I just kicked myself for not having one of those cables so I could make this into a truly Max Adventure.