Review: System Flaw Recruit (DSiWare)

Seriously flawed

Essentially a first-person Space Invaders, System Flaw Recruit uses the DSi’s external camera in a crude form of augmented reality. The bottom screen displays a radar showing enemies in your proximity, and the top screen lets you line up the targets with your reticule. When the alien craft get within a certain range they attack, with a damage indicator showing you which way to turn to return fire. If it sounds simplistic, that’s because it is.

Easing you into the game with a three-level Training mode, you learn the basics of shooting aliens and power-ups before moving onto Competition, a two-minute survival mode that scores you on your performance. That’s it: there’s no lengthier single-player mode, no challenges and overall very little content.

With too few power-ups and no discernible difference in the enemy craft, gameplay is essentially you spinning around in real life to line up your camera with the image on screen. The software seems to have difficulty offering the necessary precision when playing against a constant-coloured backdrop however, making nailing the aliens a frustratingly inexact science: too often you’ll have to wave your DSi around like a loon in order to reach certain enemies.

Understandably, the graphics are mostly dependent on the surfaces you point your DSi at, but the enemy sprites are brightly drawn, scale nicely and stand out well from your backdrop. The audio side amounts to a few sound effects, with the humming that indicates your DSi is detecting movement being both useful and irritating at the same time.

Conclusion

Sadly, System Flaw Recruit is too simplistic and too content-light to be worth a recommendation. Even if the camera detection worked flawlessly – which, sadly, it doesn’t seem to – this might be worth a play if it offered more than just three training levels and a score attack mode. As it stands, there’s no real incentive to buy this as its central gimmick wears off too quickly and all that’s left is you, spinning around endlessly, zapping imaginary aliens.