I can’t only play 60-hour RPG epics or warm-fuzzy-inducing visual novels, you know! Sometimes I’ve got to mix things up a little. Xenowerk, a twin-stick shooter for iOS and Android devices, is a great way to do said mixing: it’s a twin-stick shooter with plenty of action to go around. Sure, there’s not so many warm fuzzies, but you can replace them with the heat spewing from your weaponry. Aw yeah.
Xenowerk is fairly standard as twin-stick shooters go: you’re a dude, there’s a bunch of mutants, your job is to gently escort them from this world to the next. Not altogether different from developer Pixelbite’s last game, Space Marshals, really. You’ve got a variety of tools in order to accomplish this noble goal, ranging from assault rifles to grenade launchers and all manner of armament in between, as well as some cooldown-based powers like a freeze ability. Your guns count up to being overheated rather than counting down to being out of ammo, which is cute but works much the same as any other twin-stick shooter.
That’s pretty much it, really! It’s a twin-stick shooter. It’s polished and well-made, sure, but it’s not going to blow your mind with innovation. The closest Xenowerk comes to doing something completely unique is a combo meter that goes up with successive kills. This is the fast track to high scores, which you’ll need along with no-death runs to earn the perfect 3-star rating for each stage.
In any case, the proceedings don’t really need to be unique or special. It’s a shooter. You shoot stuff. The graphics are nice, the sound’s not terrible, the game’s not horribly broken and it’s fun to shoot stuff. Bottom line: Xenowerk is a successful game and worth the couple of bucks it’ll cost you to join the fun.