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iPhone  header logo

Eliminate: Gun Range

For: iPhone

Aiming for big things

Product: Eliminate: Gun Range | Publisher: ngmoco | Format: iPhone | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
Eliminate: Gun Range iPhone, thumbnail 1
Because Eliminate: Gun Range is a game designed to showcase a technology, it's worth taking a moment to explain the technology it's showcasing.

So the iPhone 4 contains a gyroscope. Thank god for that.

If there's one thing iPhone gaming has been crying out for, it's definitely a gyroscope. For want of a gyroscope, iPhone gaming has begun to stagnate, and now that the iPhone 4 contains a gyroscope we can finally move on to the next exciting stage in the evolution of iPhone gaming.

What's a gyroscope?

The full answer is complicated, but it basically means that the actual movement of your iPhone 4 can be used as a game input. 

For example, imagine a game like Labyrinth, in which you tilt your iPhone to steer a ball through a wooden maze, and then imagine being able to jerk your iPhone upwards to jump the ball over obstacles. Got it? Good.

If you've used a Wiimote with and without MotionPlus, you know what the difference feels like.

Up like a shot

Ngmoco has been quick off the mark in producing an iPhone 4 game that shows what the gyroscope can do.

Eliminate: Gun Range
, a spin-off of the freemium shooter Eliminate Pro, comes with a forbidding and exhaustive notice at the top of its App Store description: '//Requires iPhone 4 with gyroscope and Retina display//'.

And it's easy to see why. The graphics are crisp and detailed, and the gyroscope controls are impressively precise if you're graduating from an iPhone 3GS or lower. The extra dimension of movement is also evident, though not always to the game's advantage. More on that later.

Eliminate: Gun Range is a shooting gallery game in which you work your way through 12 levels destroying wooden targets with 12 different guns.

You start with the M60 and unlock other firearms with the credits you earn on the shooting range: the Famas for 700c, the AK47 for 3000c, etc. The more targets you hit, the more credits you earn. To unlock every gun and complete every level requires Lethal Weapon levels of accuracy.

Each gun has its own profile of attributes, including Damage, Rate of Fire, Reload, Accuracy, and Magazine (how many bullets you can have loaded into a single clip), and these attributes affect your strategy. The M4 has better accuracy than the M60, for instance, but it runs out of bullets more quickly, punctuating the action with costly spells of inactivity as you reload.

Empty clip

And that's about it. Eliminate: Gun Range has a structure of sorts in that you have to earn credits on the shooting range to buy more guns, but since buying more guns simply means going back to the shooting range, it all feels a bit circular.

This is due in part to the lack of variety. Yes, there are 12 stages, but there are only three shooting galleries, repeated four times with different targets to take out.

And the targets themselves don't do much to liven things up. A staple feature of any shooting gallery game is the presence of objects to avoid shooting as well as objects to shoot. In Eliminate: Gun Range all of the targets are fair game, and aside from some disappearing from the screen more quickly or taking a few more bullets to destroy, they're all the same.

Of course, this being an ngmoco game, there's Plus+ integration, which may liven things up for you if you're a competitive or social sort.

Show of power

Eliminate: Gun Range is a slim offering in terms of content and gameplay, which suggests that it's as much a tech demo as a game. The 59p price tag demonstrates that ngmoco knows this too.

Judged on these terms, it's fine. The gyroscope control is appreciably more accurate than accelerometer control, the graphics are appreciably sharper than the graphics in 3GS games, and the guns feel and sound appreciably different from one another.

For a while, taking out the targets is fun, and it's fun because the controls are good and the game is technically solid.

The only minor issue you may have with the gyroscope control is that the game tracks your position in the world as well as the position of your hands, with the result that if you move your body whilst playing (because you're sitting on a swivel chair, say) you can end up having to twist in your seat to keep the action on the screen.

Ngmoco has provided a 'center g-scope' button to reset your view, and if you're fidgety you may need to make frequent use of it.

But this minor inconvenience is the price of progress, and it's a price worth paying. More than anything, this quirk demonstrates just how significant the gyroscope is going to be in future games that deploy it more creatively.

But that's the future. For now, if you want to see what your iPhone 4 can do and you're willing to pay 59p for an impressive but short-lived demonstration, Eliminate: Gun Range won't disappoint.
Eliminate: Gun Range
Reviewer photo
Rob Hearn | 2 July 2010
Eliminate: Gun Range is too repetitive to be a classic, but it's a solid and playable demonstration of what the iPhone 4 can do
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