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Last Updated: August 22nd, 2012

Top-down shooters, also known as "bullet hell" games, are fairly common on mobile platforms. But rarely have we seen one with the complexity and artistry of this one. AstroWings3: Icarus is the latest in a series that started on iOS, and the first to make the warp jump to Android. Don't let that dissuade you, though - it's well worth your attention if you're a fan of the genre. Customizable weapons and screen-filling attacks are par for the course, and the loose connection to Greco-Roman mythology gives the game a nice presentation. You'll need a pretty powerful device - my Galaxy Nexus shudders when there are too many enemies at once.

aw3-1 aw3-2 aw3-3 aw3-4

So what's the downside? Unfortunately, it's the monetization path that developer M2M decided to take. The game is free, but you'll be bombarded with ads as well as bullets, even in the most stressful of gameplay. Normally an ad-supported game doesn't bother us... but you'll also have to cough up some in-app payments to get access to two out of three of the available ships, and both the Medium and Hard difficulties.

Power-ups can be obtained with points earned in-game, but the best ones are so expensive that you're almost forced to buy extra points with real money. Ads plus in-game purchases equals double-dipping on gamers, and make AstroWings3: Icarus hard to recommend. The "formal version" (which we assume means ad-free) is available on Samsung Apps.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Jeremy Cope

    Nope....would rather pay for a game.

    • Jens Knutson

      Amen. I'm OK with in-app purchases, too, when they're done in a way that respects the user, but ideally there should always be a way to 'pay away' the ads, permanently.

    • http://twitter.com/tweet077 RonaldoVerta

      I love when people say that, just to say it when in fact they don't buy anything.

      • iap suck

        i don't buy in-app-purchases. not a single one.
        i did buy quite a few games, include some priced over $10 tho.
        just no iap. i don't agree with iap therefore i wont support it no matter what.

      • Jeremy Cope

        Actually I buy a few games/apps a week so shut it Douchebag

    • http://androidforums.com/members/spartoi.html Spartoi

      Agreed. I think In-App-Purchases are the worst. i would rather pay $15 for a game then have to pay $1-3 every 2 weeks.

  • RenatoFontesTapia

    The fuck... it asks for messages permission...
    fuck this game

  • http://twitter.com/tweet077 RonaldoVerta

    Damn I am so sick of your anti-IAP bullshit. That's not a bad thing if the developer wants to monetize the app. IAP allow them to do that. IAP are here to stay, get over it! Who hired this new guy anyway?

    • Jeremiah Rice

      If you'll read the article, I said that a combination of ads and in-app purchases is too much monetization, especially when it's so intrusive. For a game that handles in-app purchases in a tasteful and respectful way, check out Megatroid, posted earlier today.

      Oh, and the guy who hired me is named Artem. He owns the joint.

  • fixxmyhead

    looks cool and wanted to try it but im guessing it wont work on rooted phones based on the market comments.

    • duplissi

      worked on my galaxy nexus with a rooted aosp jelly bean rom.

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