Where do all those twin-stick shooters go? What fate awaits each but a tiny niche of players and, eventually, oblivion? So it is, you feel, with Solomon's Boneyard - and what a tragedy. Though recent iOS titles offer more precise controls and shinier visuals, I've yet to play one that tops this for sheer craft and a brilliant twist to the usual.
There's a reason behind its portmanteau design, one that mixes RPG elements into an endless survival shooter - Solomon's Boneyard is a spinoff. Back in April 2010, the game Solomon's Keep was released on iOS - a top-down RPG with many of the exact mechanics found in Solomon's Boneyard, which was released later that year. Boneyard junks the RPG trappings but retains the ingeniously worked-out levelling system at its core, then builds the waves around this.
There are initially four characters and one map in Solomon's Boneyard, though you can unlock more of both - just one strand of the game is collecting gold on each playthrough, and saving up for perks and unlocks. Mobile games have been getting brilliant at this recently, with Jetpack Joyride perhaps the best example, and Solomon's Boneyard is a less refined but no less compulsive taskmaster. And on that note, it's currently free - there are two possible in-app purchases, but they're hidden away and neither is crucial.