ZiGGURAT (iOS)

Developer: Action Button Entertainment

Publisher: Freshuu Inc.

Release date: February 17, 2012

Price: $0.99

✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

Score: 10/10

ZiGGURAT has been getting a lot of attention, and it'll continue to do so, for a couple reasons. First, it was created by that guy (Tim Rogers) who runs that site (ActionButton.net) that has those opinions (lots of them). And the second reason? Because it's awesome.

It's very much an iPhone game, which means it's short, it's simple, and it's really only got one trick up its sleeve. But it's the best possible version of an iPhone game: short, but infinitely replayable. Simple to learn, difficult to master. And that one trick is an exceptional one.

In ZiGGURAT, The Last Human (I think that might actually be his name) has one task: make sure humanity doesn't go down without a fight. Armed with only his laser shotgun and balls the size of original Xbox controllers, perched precariously atop his temple in the clouds, his goal is not to survive. It's to take down as many of "those alien freaks who killed everybody else" as he can before they annihilate him—and with him, the last remaining vestige of humanity.

If ZiGGURAT were a book, that's what the synopsis on the jacket would say. It sounds like the plot summary for a much bigger story. Luckily, ZiGGURAT holds to the same narrative school as 2009's hit running game Canabalt. Both express more with atmospheric visuals, singular mechanics and pounding chiptunes than many games can say over entire dialogue-laden cutscenes. The story doesn't need to be any more than that synopsis, and if it were, it would likely be terrible.

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