I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

iShoot == Scorched Earth

The hit new iPhone game, iShoot, is great. But it is not a clone of Tank Wars or Worms, as many review sites are saying.

It’s very clearly a good port of my favorite old DOS game: Scorched Earth.

I care so much because this is an excellent game, and I have a bit of a history with it: I’ve spoken to the (very nice) author before and I’ve tried to port it to every platform I’ve ever coded graphics for (including C and C++ using OpenGL, DirectDraw, Direct3D, SDL, DHTML, and the iPhone before the SDK using Javascript and a <canvas> tag) and given up every time, because making a tech demo with animation and ballistics and falling terrain and 3D tank models loaded from .obj files is a lot of work but nowhere near the amount of work required to make it into a full game.

Tiff even made me a Scorched Earth pillow in college, having never seen the game but finding screenshots online, because she knew I liked it and was working on a remake. (I ended up using that sample code and basic playable demo to land my first real job.)

iShoot isn’t a complete port: it’s missing shields, guidance, fall damage, and many of the obscure weapons (notably napalm, which is primarily useful against shields, so I guess it’s OK to leave out if shields aren’t included). But it’s very well done, and I definitely would have spent more than $3 on it.