Mini-review: Solar Warfare a rip roaring arcade blaster

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Hang the aerial realism, hang the physics, sometimes all you want in a shooter is to fly around blasting everything in sight. And with bullets, smart missiles, transformer bosses, laser guns to dodge, beautiful textured 3D scenery and a pumping music soundtrack, Solar Warfare has you covered. Initially released for iOS and Android, this arcade classic now comes to Windows Phone.

From the Store description:

This action packed space shooter combines 8 artistically magical 3D worlds, superb controls, challenging enemies, upgradable weapons, and futuristic sound effects to make for a truly immersive gaming experience. Whether playing with natural-feeling tilt and touch controls or console-feeling Moga Controllers, the controls in Solar Warfare do not disappoint!

...Collect coins throughout the game to buy new weapons, upgrade existing weapons, buy stronger shields, buy seeking missiles, and buy revive kits. 

Each of the 5 main guns is upgradable, with upgrade behavior unique to each weapon. Each shield has unique characteristics as well. Try the seeker missiles for some real fire and forget fun. Stock up on revive kits to continue right where your ship died.

Each of the 8 worlds you explore and cleanse of various hostiles with various behaviors is unique, and simply beautiful. Destroy enemy fighters, jets, space craft, tanks, turrets, airplanes, and more. A different boss at the end of each level is sure to satiate your thirst for epic battles.

We're not talking Unity-class graphical perfection, but Solar Warfare is still plenty pretty enough:

Screenshot, Solar Warfare

In a galaxy far, far away.... The usual scrolling sci-fi set-up. Yawn. Wait a minute... "Symbian"? Eh? Some link-up to yesteryear's smartphone OS? Surely not? 

Screenshot, Solar Warfare

The interface is mature and well thought out. Damn physics, just tap to hold position and hover whie you blast away with the other thumb!

Screenshot, Solar Warfare

Yay - smart missiles too, though these have to be earned through collecting coins as you go along - useful for bosses and big installations though!

Screenshot, Solar Warfare

Fly and fire, fly and fire. In this case, the enemy gun installation is on a rising and falling turret that appears from the river surface....

Screenshot, Solar Warfare

The graphics are smooth and beautiful throughout, with only the occasional rendering issue as something gets drawn 'in view'....

Screenshot, Solar Warfare

In terms of flying, don't worry too much. However tight the 'on rails' flying routes seem, touching walls just slows you down a little, likewise skimming or hitting the water, while a limit is placed on altitude. Relax, just weave and bob and fire.... For long stretches, there's a boost button (blue, bottom left) to accelerate time, which is handy.

Screenshot, Solar Warfare

After destroying all enemies on a world/level (all red dots gone in the radar, top right), a 'boss' appears, flinging rockets your way - dodge these and fire like there's no tomorrow. 20 or so hits on the boss later, you may just prevail and you'll be through...

You can try the first world, or buy the full game, here in the Windows Phone Store. It's pure arcade action and great fun.

Comments welcome - it seems some people have had issues with Solar Warfare crashing on later levels, so do please see what you think on your hardware and OS versions.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store