The update to Vector Star Brawl was accepted today. It corrects some problems with GameCenter achievements and adds an important feature, especially if your iOS device is older: an option to lower the screen resolution.
Now there’s a button on the main screen to toggle between 4 settings: Full resolution (the maximum supported by your device, so retina for devices that support it), 1/2 resolution (half vertical x half horizontal), 1/3 and 1/4.
I decided to make this change after playing the game on an iPad3 and realizing it can’t run the game smoothly enough with full retina resolution.
People with an iPad2 shouldn’t have to use this option, although the game is a bit more fluid in some situations at 1/2, especially when lots of enemies are on the screen. Also people with devices older than the iPhone4S might want to give it a try.
Of course, the lower the resolution is, the bigger the pixels are. It’s actually funny to see the game running at 1/4 and no antialias. It makes it look a lot more retro… but it’s harder to distinguish the ships when the screen zooms out. Even then it is playable…
A more reasonable setting like 1/2 with antialias on is not that bad and the smoother movement makes up for it.
Anyway, I think it’s really cool that you can dynamically change resolution like this on the fly. If this works for bitmap graphics it can be a fast way of getting a retro look that’s consistent across all the objects in the screen and where you’re actually simulating a low res screen… but from what I’ve seen, the system doesn’t apply antialias when reducing the resolution of a bitmap image so it may not look very nice at all… it may be worth experimenting with..,