Intentionally awful graphics and controls that would be right at home on a sticky arcade trackball aren't an automatic formula for success, but it works for Ziggurat, a single-screen shooter that seems like it was a holdover from the early 1980s with graphics from the early 90s.

In a concept that might make the makers of Asteroids roll their eyes, you play as a trigger-happy hero who stands atop a mountain as aliens bombard him from all directions. Instead of behaving the way you do in most mobile shooters and tapping what you want to shoot, you need to employ a bit more skill, sliding your finger on the bottom of the screen to adjust your aim. One hit and you're dead.

What might have seemed like a gimmick to artificially make the game tougher instead comes across as a way to force you to hone and develop a delicate and precise touch. If you can excel at Ziggurat, you've no doubt got the skills to shave yourself with a straight razor.

Another star is the soundtrack, which reminded me of Jackal and Contra, is worth popping in some earbuds rather than turning down the volume. We could have done without the social media integration, which nags you to post your pathetic scores to Facebook or Twitter after each humiliating round.

Ziggurat is probably too simplistic to maintain our interest over the long run, but manages zippy, slap-happy fun in small chunks. For now it's at the top of the heap of quick-hitting games to whip out during downtime.

RATING: 8/10

Ziggurat ($0.99), available on iOS platforms, was published by Action Button. We played the game for two hours on an iPod Touch.