Gimme a high five if you were amongst the early birds who picked this killer game up at a low US$0.99 in its early few weeks of release! Created by MoreGames Entertainment and published by Chillingo, iDracula is an intense twin-dial shoot ’em up game for the iPhone/iPod Touch platform. And boy, intense only begins to describe this awesome game.
Prior to its recent update (and subsequent increase in price to US$2.99 – a price tag I still think is worthwhile), iDracula was somewhat limited by its twin game modes – Survival and Rush. In Rush, you’ll find yourself constantly smacking down swarm after swarm of increasingly dense werewolves with your Gattling Gun. In Survival, you wade through a myriad of monsters while picking up perks, new weapons and ammo. The only gratification I ever took away was besting my previous high score.
This sole gratification lives on in the updated iDracula, albeit with greater variety and mayhem. To add to the increased gore, the developers have thrown in 2 new weapons – the Flamethrower and the Chainsaw (only accessible in Rush). You now also get 2 additional game modes – Wave Attack (earn gold for monsters killed, buy new equipment at end of each increasingly difficult wave of monsters) and Super Survival (just like Survival, except that you get a range of power-ups on top of your perks to boost game fun). Rush receives an upgrade, allowing you your choice of either the Gattling Gun, Flamethrower or the Chainsaw as your best buddy for the next few minutes of screen mashing.
Terrain also takes on an increasing role in ultimate survival in iDracula. Each of the 3 arenas – Grave Park, Frozen Earth and Castle Hall – offers varying nooks and crannies to survive (and ultimately die) in. Frozen Earth’s my all-time favourite for now – for reasons that will become clear later.
My strategy for some of the perks:
- Score Master – for obvious reasons, grab this as early on as you can to exponentially increase your final score.
- Telekinesis – automatically draws items dropped by slain monsters to you, allowing you to effectively camp at one spot while blazing away; good for mid- to end-game strategies.
- Crossbow Master – 3 bolts for the price of 1, such value-for-money can’t be beat, especially early on as a spread attack, when all you have is a shotgun (pathetic firepower) or grenade launcher (too short a range). Works great in taking down Dracula himself, while picking off his minions at the same time; If you have problems aiming at Mr. D with one bolt, this might be a good solution. However, this is totally useless in the late-game as you won’t have time to change weapons to the Crossbow to take down Dracula and change back to your most powerful weapon without dying first.
- Extra Health – 30% more, so you stay standing longer – every additional second you get to kill monsters counts!
- Panic / Reloader + Bloodlust – helps you to reload faster when your health is low, or simply reload quickly. I personally prefer Panic over Reloader in the early game, as Reloader can be a huge drain on ammo if you take it too early on in the game. Combined with Bloodlust, you have one mean machine that puts out massive damage in the least possible time.
- Bonus Finder + Deep Pockets – this combination is good for mid-game selection, the former to build up your ammo base, while the latter raises your max ammo per type (especially good for Gattling Gun, Flamethrower).
- Uranium Bullets – mediocre late-game selection to increase your damage rating
- Immortality – excellent end-game choice as you suffer no damage for 20 seconds more before dying; nothing like going out in a blaze of glory as the monsters get too dense for you to even screen-mash.
- Power Striker + Sniper – good when combined with the already-long range of Gattling Gun, as you would have more time to swivel your weapon round and round.
- New Weapon – never bother to choose this; if you have to resort to this as a result of poor luck in monster drops, you’re better off restarting the game.
- Fieldrunner – I typically don’t choose this, as I’d be playing on a map that allows me to ‘camp’. This might work well for arenas such as Grave Park and parts of Castle Hall – I’ll need to experiment more to find out.
Of all the weapons sans any perks, I think Rocket Launcher is the worst, while Flamethrower is the best, followed closely by Gattling Gun. Crossbows become useless for killing Dracula once you’re past mid-game, so don’t count on them too much.
What’s your high score? 🙂