Archive for the ‘Real-Time’ Category

The Settlers

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

For fans of the early original PC titles and newcomers alike, this is a really solid economic game, with a small dash of RTS. The resources to manage are listed across the top of the screen. These resources must be harvested, processed, and put to use, which is a pretty arduous process. One that you will either warm to or dislike, right off the bat. Everything has a prerequisite and the tech tree can be a bit daunting, but if you are up for learning the game, it’s worth the time and money. Be aware, though, that there are 4 races/campaigns, but no freeplay mode.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Command & Conquer Red Alert

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Let’s get this out of the way right now; there is no multiplayer…yet…it’s promised for an update. It’s also somewhat lacking in content so far; 4 simple tutorial type maps for each side and 2 skirmish maps. This is probably due to the fact that they support in-app purchasing, from day one, and want to milk it as much as possible. Many of the apps that use this content delivery method are free or at least cheap, so 10 bucks may feel a bit steep. Particularly when they have a 6-map pack available at launch for $1. So is it $10 for the “full” game or is it $11?

For those of you still reading, here’s the scoop. Other than two those issues, which to me are major, it’s a really solid effort that feels like a known franchise game should. It uses 3D assets, has full voice acting and music, a good tech tree, the controls are decent, and in most cases the UI is good. Selecting units can be troublesome, but luckily, they’ve added tabs along the side for unit groups; drag-select a group of units, tap the tab, and then whenever you tap that tab, the unit group is selected. They have a simple tech tree display with three entries visible and they rest accessed by swipe-scrolling. This UI is collapsible down to nothing, as is the mini-map, which is really nice. The pathfinding is sometimes sketchy, but it’s as good as any other RTS on the platform, from what I can tell. The missions are not as diverse as they could be, but again, I guess we’re supposed to buy new content. I’ve also experienced a very annoying and very repeatable crash bug that keeps resetting my progress. This review seems negative, but I do like the game, it’s just not as stellar as it was hyped up to be, for me at least. I do recommend it for RTS fans and my rating will most likely go up when the bugs are fixed and multiplayer is released.

Update: Local Wifi and Bluetooth has been added. My rating still stands, however, as I was hoping for online multiplayer.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Robocalypse

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

This is a very polished, hero-based RTS game with simple gameplay, great graphics, and loads of character. It uses simple technology tree, which is appropriate for the platform. The controls are not perfect, especially with the flag-based single unit control, but once you get troops grouped with a hero, it becomes less of a problem. It does have a multiplayer component, although I have yet to try it. There may be deeper RTS games on the platform, but so far I think this is the all around best of breed.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Warpack Grunts

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Warpack Grunts

This game has been on the hype train for a few months and it was finally released. Fans of Cannon Fodder, will recognize this as a spiritual successor. Having played Cannon Fodder a great deal, this doesn’t fell nearly as good to me, but it has the same cute little, Alvin and the Chipmunks sounding army men with heavy weapons. You control a squad of four little tykes as they wend their way through a variety of levels and environments, blasting the living crap out of other cute little army men. You have default rifles, fired by furious taps, and any number of secondary weapons picked up along the way, which can be fired when your squad is stationary. You control the movement of the squad by pressing and holding a location, which causes problems as it often obscures your view of the battle. You can find binoculars (shown above) to scope out the level, in advance, and sniper rifle that works in a similar fashion. It all sounds great, but in practice, the controls can be cumbersome. The menus system is ridiculous and confusing; you can continue a campaign mode, but you select on a per-mission basis, but you have no idea from the UI, what mission you were last on. It’s not even clear, after cycling through the options, which is the first or final mission. I somehow managed to screw up and have to restart my entire mission again, at one point. It’s cute and funny, but it needs some work, IMO.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ icon
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Rise of Lost Empires

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Rise of Lost Empires

This is a very focused, hero-based RTS (think Warcraft 3), with crisp graphics and simple strategy. You are provided a few initial goals in each mission, but more pop up along the way. It has a small to medium size troop count and you use the “un-pinch” motion to drag select them, or touch on a leader portrait to select a whole troop. The graphics are great, the gameplay is interesting and not too difficult. It has two different campaigns, each with 10 levels and the content is really polished.

Rating: ★★★★☆ icon
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Kaloki Adventure

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Kaloki Adventures

A port of the excellent XBox Live title that plays quite well, other than some minor control issues. If you want to set up a lemonade stand in space, here’s your chance. There are all sorts of decisions one has to make when one manages a space station; how to control inflation, which upgrades to buy, when to buy said upgrades, and how to best serve the needs of a very diverse customer base. This game is hilarious and fun.

Rating: ★★★½☆ icon
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