The world of side scrolling shooting games is filled to the brim with all kinds of variations on the subject. The most popular type is definitely the 2D side scroller. While fun, this type of game can get quite repetitive, usually with a simple attack animation, same enemies rehashed over and over again, and no real difficulty.

Adding more “depth” (pun intended) to the genre is Frankie Pain by SkillPod Media. This side scrolling shooting game features great 3D backgrounds and characters, and a load of fun that can be had. Featuring an antihero in the person of Frankie Pain, the game finds you in a space ship like environment, fighting off sentries, aliens, and advancing through 14 very well designed levels.
As you advance from deck to deck, you face more and more enemies, that tend to dislike you and express this disliking through numerous bullets that are fired in your general direction. Thankfully, you can dodge, take cover behind objects like crates, and return fire in kind. The game’s controls are a bit rough on beginners, however there are two settings, and you can choose the one that fits you best. One of the settings tends to have the movement buttons (including ducking and jumping) clumped up together pretty tightly, which can mean a lot of accidents where you move instead of jumping or crouching, or the other way around.
Shooting is pretty straightforward, with a simple shooting joystick style controller on the right side of the screen.

The game itself is free, and while you aren’t forced to buy any of the IAP (Weapons), that means you will have to run through the entire game with the basic 2 weapons, which can prove particularly difficult especially during boss fights. Essentially the choice is whether you want to struggle with the game a bit or run through it easier.
The looks of the game are very good. Obviously a lot of effort went into the 3D backgrounds and characters, and it paid off. While the graphics aren’t the best in the AppStore, for what would normally be a 2D side scrolling shooter, they’re a refreshing sight.

The sounds, music and voice over are good, adding to the atmosphere while not distracting you from the action.
Over all, Frankie Pain is definitely worth a download, and if you’re in the mood to try out different guns and see how your experience differs, you can enjoy the IAP offered by the game.