iSniper World (iOS) review

iSniper World is an iOS game from Triniti Interactive. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store, and carries additional in-app purchases. It’s currently showing up in the New & Noteworthy section of the App Store.

iSniper World is a simplistic first-person shooter game with, as the name suggests, a focus on picking people off from a long distance away. The game places the player in the role of a skilled sniper sitting atop a building opposite a compound filled with generic “terrorists,” and must simply pick off as many as possible before a timer expires. Shooting targets in the head kills them instantly and rewards the player with a two-second time bonus; each successful successive kill without missing a shot — regardless of how many shots it took to actually take the target down — adds to a combo meter, which provides the player with a score bonus at the conclusion of the mission.

Controlling iSniper World is very simple. The target area is initially viewed from far out so the player is able to survey the entire battlefield. Upon spotting a target, a simple tap on the screen zooms in and looks through the sniper scope. The player may fine-tune their aim by either dragging on the screen or tilting the device depending on their preferences, and a shot fired by tapping the fire button in the corner of the screen. The scope may also be zoomed in and out with an on-screen control, but in practice this is largely unnecessary.

Between each attempt, the player earns experience points and soft currency. Earning enough experience points to level up rewards the player with hard currency, a permanent bonus to their score in future missions and sometimes unlocks new content. Until level 3, it is not at all obvious what the soft currency is for, though hard currency may be immediately used to purchase additional “lives,” required each time the player wants to make a new attempt to set a high score. After level 3, the player is presented with a “shop” before each attempt, which allows both soft and hard currency to be expended on various powerups that make the game easier. Initially, only a single powerup that makes markers appear over enemies is available, but every two levels after that a new powerup unlocks and is available for purchase.

The game is built primarily for social play because aside from the experience level system, there is no real sense of “progression” through a campaign — players simply take on the same mission over and over again in an attempt to beat their score. Facebook connectivity allows players to compete against one another in a weekly tournament and also to exchange lives with one another. Players may also make “brag” posts on their Timeline when they attain a high score, though oddly these posts don’t actually mention the player’s score anywhere at all and instead make some rather bold (and difficult to verify) claims about the number of active users the game has. The focus on social play also means that the game requires an Internet connection to play, which may frustrate some users who want to play in areas with patchy connectivity, such as on public transport.

iSniper World is a competent shooter, but there’s not enough to it, meaning most players will probably get rather bored of playing the same level over and over before long. The game needs more variety — more levels, more than two different enemy models, more things to unlock. At present, it’s a fun little game for a few minutes, but there’s little incentive for players to stick with it in the long term. Consequently, it’s difficult to recommend it wholeheartedly right now; perhaps this is a title that will improve as time goes on.

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Fun for a few minutes; rather dull thereafter. Needs some significant content updates to stay relevant.