The premise of The Drill Plus, a top down, uh, drill-em-up, is your scrawny hero transforms into a drill in times of need, in this case, an invasion of monsters who look like they came from a Frankenberry commercial. This is like Beck lyrics. Actual words strung together in a grammatically correct fashion that make no sense, but seem to have a cool meaning behind them.
In reality, The Drill Plus – the 99-cent, ad-free version of the ad-supported indie game The Drill, by Spotcat Studios – is not as confusing as that sounds. Rather than give you a space ship blasting away at scrolling waves of enemies, all you have to do is drill through them, racking up points and combos, while the driving rock soundtrack plays.
The accelerometer controls your banking left or right as you mow through draculas, ghosts and frankensteins on your way to the boss battle. Throttle is automatic, although there is a boost button that both enhances your drill and speeds it up. You’ll need boost to get through undrillable objects such as anvils, which are arrayed in an obstacle-course like path.
There’s one other gameplay fundamental: The drill battle. Run into a red opposing drillbit and you’ll be taken to a minigame where you win by repeatedly tapping the screen. Win, and you get an extra life. I’m not sure you can actually lose that showdown, actually, though you will look ridiculous whacking on your screen if you’re out in public.
The Drill Plus has, nominally, a story supporting its story mode, and also a endless-wave mode. It’s Game centre compatible for leaderboard support and the like.
While I can’t say The Drill Plus is a can’t-put-it-down must, it is engaging and I admire both the self-deprecation of the design and its ease of use. Accelerometer games sometimes outsmart themselves by getting too technical with the controls. The Drill Plus doesn’t. If you’d like to see more of what this is about, the lite version is free, has all of the game’s main features, and is ad-supported, though it doesn’t support Game centre.
The Drill Plus [iTunes]