Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya? If so, then try your luck with the game Death Call, created by Betz Software, which is available for download via your iOS device. Death Call is a free-to-play, first-person shooter that has both a single-player story campaign mode, as well as a competitive multiplayer mode. If you happen to be looking for something new for your iOS device, this may be your game.

The campaign mode stars Jedediah Wolfe as he attempts to track down an evil arms dealer known as Saul Romone. Tracking down Saul will not be an easy task, as gamers will have to shoot their way through Saul’s gang of henchmen. For each gang member killed, Jedediah will earn monetary rewards, used for the purchase of more advanced weaponry. Though the story is rather simplistic, it is just enough to keep your attention as you shoot your way through hordes of bad guys.

There is a wide variety of characters for you to battle against. While the rendering of each bad guy is minimal, the sprites still look good during fast-paced scenes. The other graphics in this game are also nothing to write home about, but considering the type of game, they do the job nicely.

There are a few puzzle levels that add some needed variety in the game. Helping Jedediah decode the individual puzzles and secret messages will help reveal the mystery surrounding the whereabouts of Saul.  The puzzle levels of Death Call help change up what could have easily been stagnant and repetitive game play. On top of that, these puzzles add a good amount of difficulty to the game, which only helps to make it better. Ultimately, the combination of shooting and puzzle solving has made this one of the most fun campaign modes for any game on an iOS device.

Surprisingly, the multiplayer mode turned out to be a great addition to the game. Aside from the fact that multiplayer makes most games better, this specific mode adds a lot of depth to the game. Even after the campaign has been completed, the multiplayer level provides plenty of extra gameplay and challenge. There is a simple matchmaking system that allows you to find random challengers, or even invite your friends to the game. Once the challenger has been selected, the level loads up, and it becomes a free-for-all. The objective is the same as the campaign, and it focuses on who can kill more bad guys. Though this is a simple concept, it was very nicely executed and provides a feature that many mobile games lack.

The controls for Death Call are easy to grasp for those unfamiliar with the first-person shooter genre. The lower left-hand of the screen acts as the D-pad, which aims your gun. Simply press or hold the circle on the lower right-hand of the screen to fire. Holding the circle decreases your precision, but allows you to shoot faster. Unfortunately, reloading the gun is the most awkward control mechanic: you have to shake the device to reload your guns. Though you can appreciate the desire of the developers to use all the functions of the iPad, this reload mechanic ultimately falls flat. Finally, if Jedediah’s health is getting too low, press the shield button over the D-pad to get a quick breather. Overall, the controls of the game are simple and work well.

Death Call is an excellent game, but there are a few minor problems. A stronger character design would have made this game better. Fortunately, it doesn’t get in the way of the game, though it could use improving. Additionally, the campaign mode does feature a narrated story board, but since there are no animations, it gets boring. It would be great to see some animations to bring the gamer into the atmosphere of the game that much more. Finally, the reload mechanic is awkward, and if they could either implement an auto-reload feature or map reloading to a button, it would make combat much easier.

Overall, the positives far outweigh what few negatives there are. The ability to earn additional weapons from strong gameplay is a lot of fun, and it provides and incentive to kill quickly and efficiently. The simplistic controls allow this game to be played and enjoyed by casual and hardcore gaming audiences alike. With two robust modes of gameplay to choose from, gamers will have plenty of things to do, and when you consider the price tag (FREE), it is a great deal.

The team at Betz Software has a gem of a game. Their success at first-person shooters should have you keeping an eye out for any future gaming releases. Death Call is worth 8 out 10 dead hombres.

[xrr rating=8/10]

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