Death Ray Manta for iPad and iPhone review: retro arcade action that really makes you feel good

Don't try to understand it. Don't even think about it. You'll only give yourself a headache. Death Ray Manta, aka DRM, is an arcade shoot 'em up in the vein of Geometry Wars (or Asteroids, after drinking an awful lot of Red Bull), but where so many of those try to do the reflex-battering 'bullet hell' thing, this one is all about sensory overload. It's reasonably challenging, and if you, as the titular Death Ray-firing Manta, take even one hit from your retro-like enemies it's all the way back to the title screen, but it's more interested in making you feel glorious than masochism. As you dart around the screen, a left-hand finger controlling movement and a right-hand finger shooting, you'll be bombarded by nonsense messages and over the top platitudes.

When you die, as you almost certainly will, you'll be complimented. So you'll start over again, hoping to making it to a higher and more challenging level than last time. It's an age-old formula for sure, but presented with aplomb and great cheer, not to mention a gloriously silly soundtrack which sounds like incidental music from Flashdance.

Download Death Ray Manta for the iPad and iPhone from the App Store

OUR VERDICT

It's a relief to see it so self-contained, too - a fast, frantic purely singleplayer game of skill, free from leaderboard posturing or cynical microtransactions. Lovely stuff.

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