Build 0.5 is out! Enemies, explosions and winning

I am pleased to announce that Zirthian Build 0.5 is being released through the Apple Store Test Flight to a small group testers. There is still some room left - sign up here if you'd like!

This pre-alpha test features the core game functionality and mostly temporary graphics. What I am trying to find out is whether the basic controls and game mechanics are "fun" and how easy / hard it is for people to complete a level.

You win the game by surviving until the end of the level. You collect Zs, the in-game currency, for shooting down enemies. The Build features the following:
  • Two types of enemy with different behaviours - one enemy hovers over the same spot while another launches directly at you.
  • Two types of weapon: Use lasers for rapid fire and gamma ray to turn everything in your path to dust
  • The player has shields that disappear by taking damage. Having no shields means instant death upon the next hit.
  • A defensive Renew Shields ability that gives you more shields
  • A double missile power-up: Pick it up to become even more dangerous!
  • Explosions: Watch enemy ships blow up and their pilots fall frantically to their death
  • A procedurally - generated world: Terrain, enemies, power-ups - nothing stays the same as you replay a level
  • Checkpoint system: Once you clear a check point, you can choose to re-spawn from it after you die
  • A setting for easy and hard difficulty
  • Cool arcade-style sounds

Here is what the control and the interface look like:

  1. To control your spaceship's vertical movement, place your thumb anywhere on the screen and move it up and down. To speed up / slow down, move your thumb to the right / left.
  2. Level progress and amount of Zs collected
  3. Shoot enemies by tapping the Fire Button
  4. When enemies hit you, or when you hit the terrain your shields decrease. When your shields are at 0, the next hit will kill you!
  5. Renew 1 point of shields with the Shield Renew ability. Press the blue to use it. This ability recharges over time.
  6. Use gamma ray to annihilate everything in your path. Hold down the Fire Button for about a second and then release it to fire the gamma ray. The gamma ray recharges over time.