The Colorful Chaos of Super Crossfire Turns the Tables on Invaders From Space

Last October I was excited to announce that former Xbox Live Indie Games developer Radiangames was getting into iOS gaming business with the frantic 2D shooter Super Crossfire. Then my iPad screen cracked. And my iPhone got dropped out of a speeding car.

Someone did not want me playing this game.

So I spent a few months focusing on Android games, every now and then peeking jealously at the Gaming App of the Day posts from my iPhone-wielding compatriots, making a list of games I planned on playing once I was geared up once more. Super Crossfire was at the top of that list.

Yesterday the new iPad 2 my wife (more or less) bought for me arrived. I was up until 1AM playing Super Crossfire. What a lovely welcome back gift I gave myself.

If you've been following Kotaku for the past couple of years it's quite obvious that I have a thing for Radiangames, aka indie developer Luke Schneider. There's nothing sinister behind this affection. Schneider just has a knack for creating games that combine simple-yet-elegant mechanics with bright colors and lovely sounds. He makes games that evoke the magic I felt when I walked into an arcade as a young boy. I could sit and stare at them for hours before finally slipping my quarter into the slot and getting my ass handed back to me in a neatly folded package.

As an example of this I give you Super Crossfire, the game this article is all about. You've got a ship that travels the bottom of the screen, endlessly firing at waves of enemy fighters intent on doing you harm. To destroy them you simply move back and forth, spraying them with pretty purple space bullets. Bright explosions fill the screen.

Things getting too frantic on the bottom of the screen? Press a button and you warp to the top, taking a chunk out of the enemy's backside. Some enemies will turn to face you. Some can only be hit from behind. Others use the occasion of you warping to reconfigure themselves on the screen. Warping isn't just a gimmick here; it's a necessity. Even collecting power-ups requires the player warp across their path.

It's ridiculously easy to get caught up in the action, swept up in the progression. Every five levels or so you're given a chance to spend some points upgrading your ship before leaping back into the fray, with options to spend Victory Points to unlock more points and special bonuses. You can even spend real money for Victory Points, but that would be silly. Make your own way through the game's 150+ levels. Then up the difficulty and do it all over again.

So yes, I am a bit of a Radiangames fanboy, eagerly awaiting the next big release for PC and Mac while spending large chunks of time devouring its solitary iPad offering. Why do I enjoy them so much? If this post hasn't explained that for you, grab Super Crossfire and find out for yourself.

Super Crossfire ($.99) [iTunes]

Super Crossfire HD ($2.99) [iTunes]