This embiggened version of the iPhone shooter is mostly a good fit – a virtual D-pad is used via the left thumb, aiming and firing with the right – but some novelty touchscreen controls (two-fingered grenade throwing, three-fingered door unlocking) are needlessly fiddly.
Here are some of the ways NOVA HD handles touchscreen interaction:
Brilliant, this. In the absence of a button for cycling through available weapons, you flip the icon of your equipped gun (in the upper right of the screen) to scroll through your arsenal. Simple!
Tap the grenade icon just below your weapon icon to fling a grenade. A two-fingered command is also available – while more accurate, it’s needlessly complicated in the heat of battle.
Some doors demand manual interaction, such as placing your fingers on glowing blob-locks and turning clockwise. It’s neat the first time you do it…
Hold your iPad by the sides and your left-hand's thumb rests naturally over this, making movement simple. Given that your thumb will slip up the screen, you do need to ‘re-center’ yourself a lot, but other than this, movement in NOVA is a dream.
Press the red reticle on the right side (nicely placed under your thumb) to fire. Aiming and firing is a cinch, but aiming, firing and moving is a little trickier, because you’ll be firing constantly if there’s an enemy on the screen.
Your lightning/enemy-freezing ability is mapped to the button just below the aiming reticle on the left. We tended not to use it much because of the demands that moving and shooting put on the player when used together.
To jump, move your thumb from the aiming box to the little disc below it and to the right. If you don’t have yourself aimed correctly first, you won’t jump where you want to go.