Chaos Domain is a Run and Gun platformer highly influenced by games from 8-bit and 16-bit era, including Contra/Probotector series, as well as titles like Abuse and Doom Troopers.
Chaos Domain is a sidescroller shooter platformer inspired by classic arcade “Run n Gun” games such as Contra. You take control of a soldier that looks like the egiptian god Anubis, who must blast everything in a space ship.
You have a virtual D-Pad to run, and a Fire button to shoot (hence Run N Gun), there’s another button to jumop, and another one to activate items, such as a shield that let’s you take one hit, or a speed booster that makes you 30% faster. You can aim diagonally while running, or shoot up while standing, and when you jump, you can also shoot down.
The are 10 Missions divided in 3 levels each, and your objective is just to go from Point A to Point B. You always start on the left side, and must go all the way to the right until you find the exit of the stage. Sometimes you have to take elevators or jump on platforms to go up or down. Some platforms allow you to pass throught them, you can go down just by pressing down+jump, and bullets also pass through them, but there are hard platforms that block your bullets, and you can’t traverse.
You start out with a regular gun that fires a bullet every couple of seconds. In the levels you may find a powerful rocket launcher, a shotgun that fires in 3 directions, a laser that overheats if you keep pressing the fire button, and a very fast machinegun. When you beat a stage, you’re given Credits depending on your score. You get points by collecting Anubis crosses and defeating enemies, and at the end you get bonus points according to your time and how many times you died.
You start out with 3 lifes, and you die with only one hit. You can find more lives in a stage, but you can only have 3 max. You don’t collect power ups, but you can buy items in the game’s store, and you can upgrade your weapons, making the shotgun shoot more bullets, your regular gun faster, or make the rocket launcher faster and giving it longer range.
In the 3rd stage of every mission, there will be a boss fight, which has a life bar and usually takes lots of damage before you destroy it. All you have to do is to beat every stage until you get to the Final Boss. Defeat it and you’re done with the game.
Chaos Domain features 3D graphics powered by the Unreal Engine. While the models aren’t very smooth looking, and you can make out the polygon edges, it looks pretty good for a mobile game; but the animation is a little choppy, and when you aim diagonally, there aren’t any in-between frames, it just appear in that position. That may look OK in old 2D games, but here it looks weird.
Thanks to the game’s engine, you can see many light sources and how all the objects are affected to cast shadows, and how elements in the background have shiny spots where there are lights, fire or explosions.
When you shoot an enemy, it’ll explode in a gore fashion way, kind of like a Mortal Kombat fatality. Sometimes if you kill them with a rocket launcher, or you make a fuel barrel explode, they’ll go flying to the screen or falldown through the platform your on. It gives a little variety to all the deaths you’ll see.
Anubis has a trail of light on its suit, and you can see how it moves according to your actions. When you activate the shield, you can see the energy force surrounding you, and it changes according to its upgrade level, being a round yellow ball at first, and becoming a blue sphere with the first upgrade. As you advance in the game, you’ll see much more types of enemies, and there are some that have a teleport ability, and it looks quite nice when they distort time and space, making the place where they’ll appear all wavy, like an object in a glass of water.
Overall, it may not have the most impressive visuals for a mobile game, but its quality is very eye catchy for a game you can play on your iPad.
Production Quality 82%
Chaos Domain aims to be a modern day Contra game, and while the graphics could be better, and the gameplay faster and more polished, the level design, number of stages to play, ranking system, weapons and items to use make for a nice experience for Run N Gun fans.
In the audio department, the music is nice, hard rock tunes with a sci-fi feel that fits the game; but it lacks sound effects and voices. You can hear enemies grunt when dying, but not all of them have a SFX when they shoot, and this specially seems weird with bosses, some of them don’t make any noise when firing their weapons.
Given the amount of levels to play in different enviroments, the number of weapons and items, and the overall gameplay experience, Chaos Domain is a nice choise for fans of sidescroller shooters, but may not be of the liking of more casual players.
There’s the option to change the movement cross and buttons for left handed or right handed players, which don’t see very often, and it’s always a welcomed addition.
Value for your Money 93%
Chaos Domain is free on the Apple App Store. You’ll see an ad from time to time, but that’s to be expected; and the PC version of this game goes for $9.99, so being able to play it at no cost is a pretty good deal.
Chaos Domain is only recommended for those that want an old school Contra like experience. If you enjoy retro style Run n Gun arcade titles, check it out; it may need some improvements here and there, but this is a genre that’s not seen too often nowadays, and you can play it for free on the go. Just keep in mind that this game is NES Hard, so you’re gonna try to beat the same level again and again.
30 Levels in 10 different enviroments, with 10 boss fights
Many upgradable weapons and items to use
Old school Run N Gun challenging action
The animation looks choppy and the runnung physics seem slippery
Needs improvement in menus presentation and lacks sound effects