Shellrazer (universal) by Slick Entertainment is an entertaining mix between tower defense, shooter, and role-playing game, blending a unique visual style with some very familiar gameplay elements. We’ve all played games of war with upgradable units and bullet-filled levels, but have we done them while on the back of animated turtles? I think not.
In the supernatural steampunk universe of Shellrazer, there are a clan of people called Turtle Wranglers, who – you guessed it – wrangle war turtles and take them on yearly pilgrimages across dangerous lands. As a Klang Clan wrangler, players navigate their war turtle across 50 enemy-packed levels full of evil goblin hordes, archers riding on war sheep, and other hilariously designed enemies, all of whom are packing some serious heat.
The goal of each level is to make it from beginning to end by shooting everything in sight, taking out obstacles and enemies while and collecting money to upgrade different units. Three different units can be stacked on the war turtles back, and comprise of different clan members saved throughout the journey.
These are the standard tower defense units: medics, heavy/light artillerymen, mechanics, etc. – all of whom are upgradable, and can equip the dozens of different ability-enhancing items won in battles and purchased in the shop.
The game’s controls definitely take some getting used to. Players can either use a single-finger touch-and-drag system to control units, or utilize a two-button touch system, where right thumbs aim and left thumbs select the unit to shoot with, or touch the turtle to speed up. The touch-and-drag can be a little too slow when things get hectic, but the two-touch system doesn’t always work for bottom corners of the screen, so my best experience came from mixing and matching the two techniques.
In addition to its robust set of features and action-packed levels, Shellrazer also looks and sounds amazing. The colorful animations are vibrant and Retina-ready, with a fantastic mix of steam punk weapons and intricate cartoon characters inhabiting both sides of the war field. The action mixes quite fluidly with the soundtrack, which is a little brief, but is a wonderfully composed piece of music to complement the crazy action happening on-screen.
While a lot of Shellrazer‘s core gameplay elements are familiar, it’s level construction and art style actually make it one of the more unique titles in recent memory to the hit the App Store. Shellrazer’s great balance of action and strategy make for a memorable iOS experience, a must-buy for fans of either genre.