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You’re at work. You’re bored. Time for a mental health break, and you you’ve got a Jones to revel in your inner shooter. Time to get down and dirty with iSniper 3D, a first-person shooter for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, Apple’s triple-threat platform that is increasingly competitive vis a vis the Wii, Playstation, and XBox 360.

iSniper 3D is squarely in the genre created by Id Software’s Doom and it’s brethren. The surprising thing (to me, anyway) is how realistic the 3D experience is on the iPhone. There’s a whole lotta computin’ goin’ on in the background, and you’d never know it to look at the game – gameplay is smooth and responsive. You play a sniper, guided (sort of) by an unseen commander. Your mission is simple – shoot anything that moves and shoots back. That sounds easier than it proves to be, since there are a LOT of guys shooting at you. Each room is, shall we say, a “target-rich” environment. In the first room, your targets are obligingly static. Move to a new position, and the targets shoot back a bit more aggressively. Move again, and the targets start moving. In the next room, they move a lot more aggressively – coming at you closer and closer.

When you shoot a target, aim for the head, for each of these bad guys are bodyarmored-up. It takes but one headshot to take out a target. Limbshots and torsoshots take two or more shots. And you don’t have a lot of time to dawdle.

As it turns out, the free version is fairly robust, including a challenge mode where you go up against squirrels, in a timed scenario. In a word, the challenge mode is…um…challenging. The upgrade to paid version includes more – more weapons, more levels, and multiple modes.

Fun? You bet. Realistic representation of the “sniper experience”? I sincerely doubt it. Unless by “realistic” you mean “Rambo-esque.” Is it worth the price? Yep – if you’re into 3D shooters. If you’re not, hey – it’s free, and you can try before you shell out for the 99 cent upgrade. And you go from “taking a mental health break” to “spending so much time sniping that you risk getting yourself canned.” Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Title: iSniper 3D

Rating: * * * *  (out of five)

Price: Free (paid version available for 99 cents with extra features)

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.

Summary: If you’re into Doom, Wolfenstein, et all, but wanna play as a sniper, you’ll be right at home here.


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