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iPhone game of the day: Archetype

Purchase on iTunes:UK/ US

There's a very simple reason you don't see many first-person shooters on iPhone: it's almost impossible to make one that controls well. Sure, you can draw two analog sticks on the screen and fine-tune them until they actually control well - but where to you put the fire button? Archetype has a unique, yet brilliant solution to this dilemna: auto-fire. Sure, you can tap the screen to fire, buy why take your thumb off the stick? If the enemy is within your crosshairs, the game pulls the trigger for you. This keeps the 5-on-5 multiplayer action fast, frenzied, and remarkably good.

Don't go looking for any sort of single-player storyline. This is team deathmatch all the way, with an almost Quake-like vibe. You can carry two of the six weaponsat a time,including a bitchin' battle axe, as well as either of the two types of grenade, both heaved using an onscreen button that really should be located closer to the thumbstick (so should the melee button, while we're at it). You've got five maps, which seems a little light, but they're big andcomplex - you'll appreciate the radar.

With such an emphasis on online-enabled multiplay, we're a little concerned about a few reports that certain models of iPhone (3G in particular) aren't playing nice with Archetype, but we've had no troubles. Puzzle gamers should run hard in the other direction - this one's for the adrenaline junkies.

Jul 8, 2010