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For: iPhone

Bug battle

Product: Silverfish | Publisher: Chaotic Box | Format: iPhone | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Silverfish iPhone, thumbnail 1
Silverfish is a trap. A big tempt-them-in-then-swoop-to-wipe-them-out Stalingrad-style trap.

In most cases, a comparison between an iPhone game and one of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare would be inapt, but there are undeniable similarities with that famous Soviet victory and this game's war on pond life.

Luring in your foe before striking back – knowing full well the risks such a strategy entails – is what Silverfish is all about.

Friends close, enemies closer

It's risky because the silverfish that you control with swipes of a finger is entirely weaponless.

As such, destroying the array of bugs that surround you comes down to guiding them towards power pods that explode on contact. The resulting shockwave takes out any bugs in the immediate area, with the protons they leave behind adding to your score.

Silverfish is a shooter without guns. You'd think such a setup would leave you totally vulnerable, but here navigation is your weapon. In the same way as you might guide a spaceship around  leagues of alien attacks in a shoot-'em-up, managing to keep the enemy in close contact without actually touching them is a stiff challenge.

Turn by turn

It's never easy, or even remotely comfortable, but that's the point. You're constantly at the edge of your seat.

The length of your play time will also depend on which of the three modes you're playing. Most straightforward of the three is Reaper. Here, the bugs strictly mimic your movements, following you as if magnetised.

This can initially seem intimidating, but in fact it's the easiest mode: the closer the enemy is, the more are taken out with each power pod.

It also comes with little bursts of freedom to ensure the pressure doesn't cause your head to burst. Every pod that explodes charges your POW meter, which when full enables you to turn the tables for a brief few seconds: any contact with the bugs wipes them from the screen.

Fish for all

In contrast, Scavenger mode superficially appears an easier setup, with enemy bugs patrolling the screen seemingly unaware of your presence. Yet this makes taking them out far harder.

Finally, Onslaught is a nightmare mode of sorts. Not only is there a far wider array of bugs – each type with its own distinct behaviour – but you're given a finite number of lives. Once you're hit four times, it's Game Over.

A game in any of the three modes won't last longer than a few seconds. If intense can't-even-afford-to-blink style play is not to your liking, then prepare for Silverfish to be an especially short experience.

If you're the kind who likes to take Red Bull intravenously, then Silverfish is the perfect playground to get those fingers twitching.
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 19 November 2010
Like a shoot-'em-up sans bullets, Silverfish offers challenging gameplay that revolves around keeping your enemies close at hand without being taken out in the process
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