Sewer Wars (out now, $0.99) is yet another sidescrolling platformer that pits players in the shoes of Joe Gillis, an employee of LA’s Sewer Maintenance System. Your task is to kill all of the rats in the sewer pipes in Las Vegas, and then travel to other cities such as Barcelona, New York, and Rio de Janerio. It might not make much sense for an LA employee to travel halfway across the world just to clean out a few rats, but that’s what the whole game is like — kind of fun, but with a few confusing elements.
You control Joe by tapping the left side of the screen to jump and the right side to shoot whilst he auto-runs through the sewers. While he jumps in mid-air, you can tap another button on the left-hand side of the screen to shoot downwards. This button should be on the right side next to the regular shoot button because movement and action should be two separate controls, so the controls are very clumsy and could be fixed fairly easily by the developer.
Like any platformer, Sewer Wars has power-ups and upgrades to make the gameplay more varied. If you can take any guess as to what the power-ups could be, I bet an ostrich wouldn’t cross your mind. Joe can ride an ostrich, a panther, or a ‘beast’ in the sewers as he kills all the rats. These don’t appear to be thought through but rather just included for the sake of having something fun and out of the ordinary. There are other normal upgrades that make a much more sense — turbo jetpacks, a bomb attack, a health pack, and more. All in all though, the upgrades and power-ups add much-needed variety to the game.
The graphics are bright, colourful, and appropriate for such a game. They aren’t mind-blowing 3D but rather simplistic 2D graphics that do the job well. Each of the seven levels changes the scenario so you have something new to look at, but it’s too bad that there are only 7 levels.
iFanzine Verdict: Sewer Wars is an altogether strange but nice arcade game. The graphics pop and add variety to the game, as do the weird power-ups and upgrades, but the controls and strong competition in the sidescrolling section of the App Store make it difficult to recommend.