No matter what your favorite genre or gaming background is, I think you’ll agree with me that on a platform like iOS, an original gameplay idea is a very precious thing. That’s why you must keep an eye out for Omegapixel, soon to be Taco Graveyard’s second voyage into the App Store. This taco-fueled indie studio already proved with Four Hatsthat they like to do things a little out of the ordinary, but Omegapixel has the right stuff to blow their reputation wide open judging from the blast we’ve been having with a preview build. Blending Castle Defense and top-down space action with some new quirks and retro visuals, it feels like one of those obscure gems you might have found in an 80s arcade gallery.
So the gist is, you’ve got this mysterious “Omegapixel” sitting at the center of your touchscreen and a spaceship to defend it from all the threatening junk drifting in. Whatever organization is in charge of protecting the Omegapixel seems fresh out of lasers, so this boils down to ramming your ship through everything with your choice of virtual joystick or tilt. You also have a neat trick at your disposal: with a tap at the bottom-right screen corner you’ll make your ship and the Omegapixel instantly trade places, allowing you to change the object’s position in emergencies. Just be careful you don’t accidentally place it right in front of things you’re supposed to defend it against! The variety of threats grows as you escort the Omegapixel through a story campaign, and they’ll have you squeezing quite a bit of use out of this swap trick as the action gets increasingly frantic.
That’s not to say the Omegapixel is always a hapless object-in-distress. Certain levels turn the premise upside down, pitting the player against asteroids that only the Omegapixel can destroy. These will smash your ship outright if you try ramming them, so the goal is to place the Omegapixel in their path instead and let it vaporize them. The player steadily racks up credits while escorting the Omegapixel through a story campaign, and these can be traded in for ship upgrades between levels. Credits are also raked in through a mission-based arcade mode where progress depends on pulling off achievement-like tricks — a very cool take on a concept that’s been worn right to the nub on this platform.