Battlestation: First Contact Review

Battlestation: First Contact Review

Nov 19, 2014

Battlestation: First Contact Is an interesting mix of RTS and tower defence.

As commander of a large space station the player simply needs to survive by any means possible while wiping out the enemy. Gun turrets can be built in a number of slots on the station. These range from fast firing anti fighter lasers to slower heavy missile launchers for pounding the snot out of big ships. Having a good balance of weapons to combat different threats is as important here as it is in any tower defence.

Screenshot_2014-11-14-08-15-18As well as towers however the player can also construct Hangars. Once built these spit out fighter in a steady steam, providing mobile defence that can be sent to attack the enemy or cover the station as necessary. Fighter squadrons can be individually ordered about and while they cannot be moved directly, the player always feels like they have firm control over their pilots.

A shuttle bay can also be built that allows marines to be sent in troop carriers to opposing enemy ships to take them over and steal them from the enemy. Lastly, Earth can be contacted for reinforcements to bring in the big guns. This doesn’t come cheap however.

Screenshot_2014-11-14-08-37-08Of course all this fancy gear costs credits which are gained by destroying enemies and tapping on salvage. Marines and pilots are also a finite resource, so flippantly throwing away fighters or troops in futile combat will swiftly lead to disaster.

Battlestation: First Contact offers quite a few tactical options. Everything the player builds or uses can be customized like any good RTS. Turrents can have their targeting priority changed, while fighters can be more or less aggressive or dock with the station for upgrades. Shields can also be tweaked to either have more capacity or recharge faster. All of this makes a big difference depending on the situation.

Battlestation is a rougetype. This means when the player dies that saved game is deleted and they must start all over again from wave 1. It is very easy to lose it all very fast in Battlestation: First Contact if a tactical blunder is made. This makes the game tense but it is very aggravating being blown up after twenty minutes of gameplay. This is not helped by the repeated dialogue each game. Battlestation barely has a story to speak of and it is irritating to click though dry dialogue.

Battlestation: First Contact looks nice and minimalist. Its bright, simple graphics give it an inviting TRON like look with chaotic battles that are fun to watch. The sound is well done as well. A pumping techno track accompanies the action. The “pew pew pew” of combat gets the job done in a retro way, but a few more sounds would have been nice.

Battlestation: First Contact offers its first episode for free while additional episodes cost $3.50. If you’re good enough to reach the end of the first episode the later ones will likely be a good buy.

Battlestation: First Contact is a slick well-made game with a great meshing of styles its exciting tactical combat and fresh graphics make it a winner, even if it can be just a little too brutal sometimes.

Ace Tales Review

Ace Tales Review

May 22, 2014

Ace Tales is a doggie trip shaped in a 2D endless flier.

Traveling is the name of the game in this one, and travel is not the easiest endeavor either. The plane moves in typical fashion from left to right, and there are several obstacles that appear. To avoid these obstacles (and/or to pick up the the valuable goodies that appear in the flying area), the control mechanism is important. It can be configured in several ways, but the default gestures to make the craft rise or lose altitude work fine.

The action builds up very quickly, with a the playing screen getting more packed with objects as progress is made; the first few “feet” mostly do with biscuits and diamonds that can be collected for use later. Soon, there are ace1birds that need to be overtaken carefully, because crashing into them ends the run. This is so for other dangers, like dropping objects and hot air balloons and do on.

In between all these are aforementioned diamonds and cool power-ups that might be unlocked… cool stuff like slow down effects, a sidekick, smart bombs and more. These are usually encased in a bubble that floats in the air. Weaving up and down and through to collect or avoid stuff is quite enjoyable.

There are other elements that appear, like the need to fly low to collect gas so that one doesn’t run out of fuel. The game also incorporates quests, and the ability to donate doggie biscuits. the in-app store allows one to use jewels to increase the duration of bonuses and to buy additional craft. Of course, more diamonds can be procured with real cash if one wants to, but I was able to enjoy the game without it.

I did not like the energy requirement, but this fuss is somewhat tempered by the fact that more play time can be purchased with extra jewels, which provides an incentive for playing well.

All in all, it’s a game built for enjoyment, and it mostly delivers. Even better, it is a game with a conscience, as the developer use tokens to effect donations to underprivileged kids and dogs.

Does it get better than that?