Scrabble is perhaps the most iconic crossword board game in history and it has spawned countless clones but for many, the original will always be the best. It’s surprising that Scrabble has taken so long to release a smartphone/tablet edition with online multiplayer, it’s been almost 3 years since Words With Friends did so and it’s almost overshadowed the Scrabble brand entirely in that time. While you have been able to play Scrabble on your iPad from day one, its only with the latest update that both online play and Game Center have been added.
The first noticeable change after the update are the graphics, it’s now displayed with HD and the design has been given a facelift, it all looks crisp and clear but the change isn’t drastic. If you find it a little too much you can change it back to a more nostalgic look in the options, I found however that I liked the new look. All the menus have been streamlined to better suit the touch screen interface and the board now rotates so you can play in portrait mode.
The music is quite relaxing, almost classical, it helps you to relax and concentrate and it really contributes to the mood of the game. Sound effects are designed to resemble the real sounds of the board games, the little things like the clacking as you rearrange the tiles on your rack, or place them on the board, it wouldn’t surprise me if these were recorded sounds from a boxed version.
There is a built in dictionary, if you have a word but need to check he spelling just type it into the search and it will tell you if the word is accepted. Opening the dictionary tab also gives you a full list of valid 2 letter words, if nothing else, you need to know these, they greatly increase your scoring potential. After you’ve played you can hit the Teacher button which will show you how you could have used your tiles better, this is by no means a cheat as it can only be accessed after you’ve played but it does however give you an opportunity to increase your vocabulary.
You can connect with both your Facebook account and with the Origin network, but surprisingly, not with your Game Center friends which I felt was an opportunity wasted, it seems a little pointless to have GC integration but not use any of its benefits. If you’re having trouble finding opponents you can also match up with a random opponent, and it matches you up based on your ELO rating, you start out with a rating of 1200 and a win will increase it, losing decrease, how much depends on your ELO rating and your opponents, it’s not perfect but it does increase the chance of you matching up with a player of comparable skill. Unfortunately, you can only play 1-1, it would be nice to set up a 3 or 4 player game with your friends. While waiting for your turn you can still play a game against the computer, here you can play 2-4 players and even adjust the difficulty of each AI opponent individually. Playing against the computer though will not affect your ELO rating. For competitive enthusiasts, you can have up to 50 games going at time.
There are a few bugs and glitches but that’s to be expected at this stage of development, the occasional force close and trouble updating games, iv found that games don’t always update automatically either. I expect these will be sorted out quite quickly in future updates, and hopefully some other things like better use of Game Center and hopefully (fingers crossed) 3 and 4 player games. Otherwise, this is an impressive app, with some really good ideas.
Is Scrabble good enough to reclaim its popularity? I believe so but it may be some time before it gains a big enough following to tackle Words With Friends for the top spot and it still needs a little love from the developers but it does have some great advantages over other crossword board games and it looks great. It would also be nice to have a few achievements, but as is, still worth 4 stars and I hope some great updates come soon.
If you played the original Tiny Troopers then Special Ops will already be familiar to you, on the surface, it’s the same game, the same controls and the same tiny troopers. Why change a winning formula? Tiny Troopers 2 takes all the things that were great about the original and expands on them, making an already great game into something really special.
For those that never played the original Tiny Troopers, gameplay is incredibly simple, all actions are initiated with a tap, tap where you want your troops to move, tap where you want them to shoot… that’s it. Using a grenade or rocket launcher is as simple as dragging it to wherever you need it to explode and for long walks you can just hold down in the direction you want to go. This title was designed with simplicity in mind, it’s not perfect but it suits the tablet interface to a tee, occasionally you’ll find yourself shooting a civilian when you want to walk but any problems are minor as this makes for a very relaxed and effective control method.
So what has changed? Nothing major, but the campaign has a little more structure and depth being divided into four operations, each consisting of seven missions, the menus are easier to navigate and look much better. In Tiny Troopers, raising the difficulty meant getting more Command Points (CP), that’s changed here, points are the same across all difficulties but completing a mission on a higher difficulty will earn you bullets which are needed to unlock a zombie survival stage, there’s a different one in each operation and these stages are great for earning CP without putting your crack troops in danger, just like the first game, troops earn rank for surviving missions and gain strength as they do. Maintaining a kill streak will increase your multiplier meter, doubling or even quadrupling CP earned in stage.
You can spend your CP on upgrades for your troops, the upgrade options have been improved greatly giving you multiple ranks to achieve in each field like damage, accuracy, armour or range of fire. To boost these attributes further, you can now also purchase new uniforms as well, some give you extra CP bonuses on mission completion while others boost HP or increase stealth. If you don’t have the CP, you can also purchase upgrades and costumes with medals found in missions, usually out of your way. If you don’t feel like earning things the hard way you can purchase both medals and CP via IAP but you should be able to unlock and upgrade everything without spending with a little extra work. Having trouble with a mission? You can also use your CP to purchase airdrops which can contain health packs or weapons. If you’re still having trouble, you can also purchase reinforcement troops for a single mission, these cost a lot of CP though so at first you’ll need to be sparing when it comes to enlistment but they’ll come in handy when trying a level on hard.
Little has changed graphically, but things are a little bit clearer, crisp, there are more environments and the colours seem a little sharper, and the game screen has been rearranged, all the same stuff is there but it feels much less cluttered. Stages are larger and more complex and directional indicators have been added so you know which way your objectives are without needing to check the map constantly.
The music takes a subtle tone through most of the game but picks up in volume and intensity when the enemy is engaged and fades back again when the action stops and that really helps build some tension and atmosphere and shows that the developers have put some real effort into the title. The sound effects are more in the spirit of humour than realism but this doesn’t detract from the game, it suits the cute image that the characters portray.
I highly recommend Tiny Troopers 2, it’s fun to play and the short missions make it perfect for on-the-go gaming but still fun for extended play sessions as well. Chillingo hasn’t gone over the top with this sequel, it’s essentially the same gameplay in a better looking package. I think most people will be happy with this title and its simple and relaxed gameplay mechanics.
Tiny Troopers 2; Special Ops Achievements
As a gamer I have always been wary of titles linked to blockbuster movies, developers are on very tight deadline and game content suffers, often movie related titles can feel a bit like an unfinished project with clunky controls, buggy code or a lack of depth. So how does Iron Man 3 stack up?
The easiest way to describe Iron Man 3 is to label it an endless runner, and that would be mostly accurate but it feels like more. You take the role of Tony Stark aka Iron Man, after an encounter has rendered his latest and greatest armour a temporary wreck forcing him to utilise older equipment while he tracks down those responsible for the trouble. You start out with the Mark III armour, Stark’s most basic of backup armours and set out to find out who attacked you and why.
Game controls were a little overwhelming at first, by default, the bottom third of the screen is just for movement and the top section is for weapons, tapping or swiping there makes Iron Man direct a beam of energy there. For movement, Iron Man follows your finger exactly but if you need to dodge something quickly you can execute a barrel roll across the screen by tapping quickly on either side of the movement area. Alternatively, you can change to tilt controls in the main menu, this makes the barrel roll harder to execute but I found it a preferable configuration allowing for finer control in some areas and making extended battles a little less complicated. Once I got into the game a little however, I gradually got used to the control and it wasn’t quite as complicated as it first appeared.
For an iOS title, the graphics are quite impressive, there is a little bit of pop-up, but long range visibility is quite substantial. Stark’s suits are all unique in appearance and backgrounds are in high detail, even though the actual stage design is a little repetitive the random obstacles and enemies break it up well. It the little things that stand out the most though, for instance, diving down from high latitude to level off above water will kick up. Fine water spray obscuring your vision momentarily and leaving a few water drops to linger on the screen is a nice touch. There are a few minor issues with obstacles taking up more room than they should and the occasional delayed collision but otherwise developers have really put in a good show here.
The soundtrack has a rock feel to it, on close inspection it’s incredibly simple and repetitive but the in game sound effects actually drown it out most of the time, despite that, I thought the sound effects could have been louder but otherwise they are a great array of booms, beams and splashes, the explosions are well done however the sounds of the fighter jets swooping in didn’t sit well with me, but to be honest, I’m just nitpicking there, the whole package together sounds fantastic.
You collect currency in game in the form of Vibranium, which you can use to upgrade your existing armour and unlock more advanced suits, naturally, you can speed up this process by buying premium currency, you don’t need to but you may find progression very slow without it. Armours steadily get more expensive and require a lot of grinding to raise the necessary funds, in fact this is my biggest complaint, Vibranium appears very sparsely however you can earn extra through the mini missions, usually simple tasks like collecting certain items or travelling set distances, occasionally these missions can earn you premium currency as well. There’s also the daily mission which requires you to fly a set distance and then face off in a boss battle, featuring villains from the movie, completing these not only gives you premium currency but also makes new locations available as the story unfolds.
I actually found Iron Man 3 slightly addictive, there’s something very satisfying about buying a new armour after saving up for it for so long. The whole package is quite enjoyable but it would be nice if you could earn money faster. I was impressed when each new armour was not only different aesthetically but also had some slight handling differences from suit to suit. I’m going with four stars, I was pleasantly surprised with this title and I think it does the franchise justice.
Iron Man 3 Achievements
If you are not a fan of tower defence, it can be difficult to find a strategy title on the App Store. RAD Soldiers is a turn based strategy title with gameplay very similar to tactical RPG’s, but simplified for a better PvP experience, your only goal, kill the other guy, or die trying.
Gameplay is very smooth, when its your turn, select a unit and then either move or attack. Each soldier has different skills and is proficient in a specific weapons use. Any action uses up your soldiers energy, movement costs can vary depending on their armour weight and strong weapons cost more energy to use than weaker ones. The weapons also have different ranges and varied optimal ranges meaning some consideration needs to be used when selecting your team. Each soldier also has a special attack unique to them which complements their class, snipers for example, may have a piercing shot which allows a shot to go through multiple targets or the soldier who could have a grenade or remote mine. Using the special abilities wisely can turn the tide of battle considerably so you also need to be aware of the team your opponent has as well and place your team accordingly.
There are 2 ways to win a match in RAD Soldiers, the first is the easiest… just eliminate the other team, the second is a little harder. Each level has a target area for you to capture and hold, you win when you hold it alone for 5 turns, the downside being that in the target area there is little to no cover leaving your team open to greater damage, the plus side to this mechanic is that games are short and sweet, most are finished in 8-10 moves as both players need to maintain a presence in the same area or forfeit the match.
When you begin, you have only a 2 man squad, you need to earn some bucks to build up your squad and equip them. You can jump straight into the online matches if you want to but it’s probably a good idea to have a look at the challenge stages first, there’s not many and there are some really tough ones but its a good way to build up a little cash before taking on other players. The online play is remarkably easy, you can play against your Facebook friends but unfortunately, none of my friends play RAD Soldiers, however you can also play against a random Game Centre opponent and match ups are always quick and balanced, the brilliance with this title being you can face an experienced player with better gear but still be on equal ground, the reason for this being each person has a limited number of squad points. Each soldier uses squad points to join the team, giving them a stronger weapon increases the squad points they use so stronger weapons equals a smaller team, and that makes this title all about the strategy.
There aren’t many levels but these are very well planned out areas offering a variety of cover options from a variety of materials, some cover items give you complete protection from one direction while standing near a fence will only protect you from a little damage. RAD Soldiers looks really good, the stages are crisp 3D models and you can check out the whole battlefield with full 360 degree rotation, units all look great and sport any changes you make to them and they’re all very clear on the battle field. The menus have been well crafted, they are easy to use and understand, but bright and exiting. Sound effects are well crafted, realistic gun shots and explosions and the music is clever blend of battle sounds and sirens overlaid with a subtle score, truthfully though, I didn’t notice it until I forced myself to hear it, it’s just enough to fill the silence but subtle enough to not be a pain.
there aren’t many stages but these are large and complex areas, still, a few more would have been nice, there are new stages added from time to time but its a long time between updates. You can buy more challenge levels and new maps but I found these a little overpriced, there’s not a great deal of content for the price. There is however a wide range of characters and weapons to buy, each with their pros and cons, but it will take a while to build up the cash for these, you’ll need to invest some time to afford them, even if you focus on just a few squad members. On the plus side though, it’s a well made app, no problems or glitches as yet and the amazing PvP more than makes up for any shortfalls in content.
Aside from the lack of stages and the overpriced premium content, RAD Soldiers is a fantastic edition to any gamers library, it looks and sounds great and the online play is unrivalled. Developers have managed to make something simple to play yet with amazing depth in strategy, a veritable gem, 4 stars, any strategy fan would be happy with this title.
RAD Soldiers Achievements
Sonic the Hedgehog made his first appearance in 1991 when he replaced Alex the Kid as the face of Sega. Since then, countless titles have featured him across many genres, from platform to racing to RPG, he’s proven to be a versatile character. In Sonic Dash, Sonic makes his debut in the endless runner genre which could be almost the perfect platform.
‘Could be’ because there is a lot of room for improvement here, but there is also a great deal of potential. Lets start with the gameplay, everything is controlled with a swipe or tap, and it sounds really simple, the track has 3 lanes and you can change lanes to dodge obstacles by swiping left or right, jumping is a simple upward swipe and if you swipe down, Sonic goes into a spin enabling him to duck under obstacles and this also doubles as an attack. The controls are simple but when the obstacles begin to get more complicated, it’s also very restrictive, I would have preferred tilt steering, this would give you the freedom to concentrate better on your jumps and spins and would reduce the amount of swipes you need to take at the screen, in some sections it’s like having a sword fight with an octopus.
Sonic Dash really looks the part, a lot of attention has been paid to the appearance, characters are well fleshed out and track is smooth with good visibility of distant objects. The backdrops are pristine, serene waterscapes with islands in the far distance, even the reflections look great. At the moment, there are only two track designs, both inspired by levels in the the original Sonic adventures, hopefully there will be more soon. You can also unlock extra characters to play as though this is really only an aesthetic change, there’s no difference in performance from character to character.
The sounds effects are very similar to the original platformers where Sonic gained his popularity, the electric whine as you go into a turbo spin really brings back memories. The music is quite unremarkable but in this instance, that’s not so bad as you barely register it so even after long play sessions, it never gets too old.
There’s no underlying story here which is a bit of a shame because Sonic has more than his share of villains to add some motivation or urgency, I think some battle scenes could be incorporated to break up the grind of the endless run. The only real goal is to get a high score and save up your gold rings to upgrade your power ups. There is a daily challenge where you need to collect four puzzle pieces and you’re rewarded with revive tokens, boosts, rings and even premium currency. After five consecutive days, the prizes become random but more generous and you can even win a playable character this way.
At first you won’t be able to achieve scores of any real substance, but by doing the missions you can increase your score multiplier. Some are as easy as collecting a handful of rings but others require you to perform specific actions under the right conditions and can be extremely challenging. As long as your boost metre is full, your multiplier is doubled, you’ll sometimes want to use your dash to get out of trouble but this means resetting your dash metre and halving your incoming points for a time, it’s a good trade off and it appeals to your sense of greed. Through Game Center, you can compare your scores with your friends and there are also achievements to earn for those obsessed with trophies and points.
Sonic should be the perfect character to enter the endless runner genre but in Sonic Dash, I feel the developers have fallen a little short. A basic story would give a little more playability, perhaps a daily boss battle or race. The controls are simple but restrictive but the aesthetics are top notch, both the visuals and sound do the Sonic franchise some justice but it would be nice to have a few more track designs. It would also be good if the different characters had different abilities in game but fans of the series will still want to unlock their favourite characters, perhaps additional characters like Shadow will be available in future. As a runner, it’s not the best I’ve played but the potential is there and all in all, it’s still enjoyable to play. 3 Stars, but a few minor tweaks could easily make this a 5 star title.
Sonic Dash Achievements
The Final Fantasy series is one of the longest running game franchises and also, unsurprisingly, one of the most popular. Final Fantasy IV was always one of my personal favorites with one of the best stories of the series. It’s been re-released a number of times starting life on the Super Nintendo, later to be released on Playstation and then given graphical makeover for the Nintendo DS and now, brought back again for iOS with new visual enhancements and for the first time, voice acting.
Final Fantasy addicts like myself will already be familiar with the gameplay, it’s a tried and tested formula that has stood the test of time and been the template for countless RPG’s since, for those unfamiliar, it’s a story driven RPG adventure with a turn-based battle system. When it’s your turn, select an action and then wait for your next turn… simple, battles occur randomly as you walk around in dungeons or on the world map broken up by the occasional boss fight at key story locations. There’s also an auto attack mode to save time in random battles, however you will need to take direct control in harder fights and as the story progresses you encounter more powerful enemies but your party gains in strength as well and gain new abilities as they do.
The controls took me a while to get a hold of, not because they’re difficult, just because I have never played Final Fantasy on a touch screen before, I had to learn to control things all over again. Movement is straight forward, using a virtual joystick, it’s not ideal but it gets the job done and it’s not fixed in place so you can use any point on the screen. The menu can be a little tricky to get used to but if you’ve played any Final Fantasy game before, you should have no trouble finding what you need.
This version of Final Fantasy IV has had a huge graphical upgrade, everything from the world map to the characters has been reworked. If you’ve ever seen the original game, it’s almost unrecognizable, Square Enix have done an amazing job bringing this title into the modern era without changing the core of the game, perhaps my favorite addition are the short video story sequences which are able to convey emotions like the original title never could. Major events are voice acted, and acted well, you can tell they’ve really put some time and effort in here to get it right. All the sound effects and music are taken directly from the original title, for old gamers, this is a nice nostalgic touch but it may be a little dated for new gamers.
This is a pretty costly app and that could deter many from purchasing however it’s a one time cost, there are no in app purchases and this is the full game so there are no additional contents. As far as content goes, there’s at least 40 hours of solid gameplay, making this great value for money. I haven’t encountered any bugs but this game is a battery killer, you’ll chew some serious juice, I ran my battery flat a few times, but was relieved to discover that by tapping continue at the main menu, you can start off where you left off, so no progress was lost.
It’s nice to see an old classic get a makeover like this, the visuals alone make it feel like a new game and most importantly, the core gameplay has not been altered. I have played Final Fantasy IV on three different platforms but I still had a great time playing again and reliving the story, the characters are all well written and easy to identify with and the plot is one of the best in the series. This is easily worth 5 stars but I think it’s a little on the pricey side. Very highly recommended.
Final Fantasy IV Achievements
Squids has been described as a hybrid of Angry Birds and Final Fantasy Tactics and I can’t think of a better comparison, it seamlessly blends physics based gameplay with a tactical RPG structure and is delivered with a strong storyline that compliments the comic of the same name, also available on the app store.
Gameplay couldn’t be simpler, moving your team around involves slingshotting them around with stretch and release gesture similar to Angry Birds, attacking is the same, simply aim your squid at the enemy and release and special attacks are activated just by tapping the target. Each Squid has unique stats and levels are attained by purchasing with pearls, found both in game and at the end of levels by earning stars. There are 4 classes of squid, each with its own special attack and specific strengths. Playing through the story, you unlock additional characters which eventually gives you the chance to create a unique team to your style of play. Additionally, you can give your squids stat boosts by giving them hats, found throughout the game, this also allows you to customize the look of your team.
Squids is visually outstanding, the characters all have a unique style and attitude and look just as they do in the comic series. The level design and background graphics are very well designed, you really get the feel of being on the ocean floor, barriers and enemies are clear and distinct and theres a good range of environments and enemies. The sound effects are bubbly and lighthearted and the music is a very subtle tune you barely notice but ties in well with the underwater theme.
The campaign has 21 stages to play through but that’s not where it ends, the next chapter in the story is now available and can be purchased from in game. Additional content has also been added, after completing the story campaign, you can play through the bonus levels which offer a variety of subplots, as well as additional characters and equipments to use. You’ll also find a couple of short comic strips to give you a taste of the full length comics, and these are delivered quite well.
This is a universal app and plays just as well on the iPhone as it does on iPad, visual quality and loading times don’t appear to be affected at all and overall app stability is very solid, the entire time I played Squids, I had no force closures, though it did once freeze on the loading screen. I did have a slight issue with a couple of Game Centre Achievements not being awarded but this should be easy for devs to address.
Overall, Squids is an entertaining experience with an engaging story. While its easy to play, it can also be quite challenging in places as well, there’s a good level of content with the option to expand on the story. I’m quite taken with this title, it takes too vastly different genres and combines them with class, well worth a look, I’m giving Squids 5 stars and now, I’m off to download the next chapter.
The Walking Dead: The Game is based on the popular comic book series from Robert Kirkman. It has been adapted as an all digital, multi-platform game for the PC, X360, PS3, Mac and now finally after several months delay, the iOS platform.
The Walking Dead plays out over five sequential episodes. A second season of five episodes was announced as in development by the creator of the game, Telltale Games. Initially, you can purchase the first episode and then each follow-up episode thereafter as you wish, or you can choose to purchase all five episodes as a pack.
The game is a graphical adventure which has a point and click interface. The game is story boarded, with cut scenes playing out, but then you are presented with options at each turn as to how to respond.
The game first opens with you as a man arrested and sitting in the back of a police vehicle. The arresting officer, some older timer, is someone from your local town and is kind of chatty. You gradually learn that you are accused of a heinous crime. As he talks, the English subtitles flow at the bottom of the screen. Some of this talk and the responses back to the officer is pretty colorful, so small kids should avoid this game.
Later on the highway, the police car crashes and the police officer is thrown clear of the vehicle and lays unconscious. The cuffed detainee can now see about breaking himself free from the back of the police car, kick the back window out and escape.
The game plays out like a live action comic where you can choose from a range of choices presented to you and change how the game plot plays out. This is a good thing too as no sooner has the accused man escaped his handcuffs does the downed police officer come back to life as the flesh eating walking dead of the title! This truly freaks out the protagonist and sets him off running!
The game is extremely well put together. The graphics and animation is terrific, and the characters drawn well and believably enough for this type of narrative. The choice of chosen actions can dramatically change the outcome of each stage within an individual episode and lead the game into unexpected directions. A gamer can play again to see how much trouble he or she can get into, which keeps the game interesting. When you get bored, there is a whole new episode to purchase and explore.
In previous incarnations, the Bubble Birds series have been very simple bubble shooter games that looked the part but didn’t quite deliver on gameplay. In Bubble Birds 3, developers have kept the graphical charm of its predecessors but created a more strategic gameplay experience.
Perhaps my biggest criticism of previous games in the Bubble Birds series is the lack of any story or game structure. There is still no story behind the adventure however the levels have now been broken down into segments, each taking place on an island and consisting of 8 levels, this gives you at least some sense of progression. Each new island introduces a new element, either an obstacle or a power-up, or a new bird. the goal of each level is still to reach the top and collect all the keys only now you have to do so with a limited number of birds, very easy at first but gradually increasing in difficulty, some of the later stages will have you tearing your hair out. Bubble Birds 2 was incredibly easy to complete, this version is considerably more challenging. Failing a level will cost you a life and when you run out of lives you have to wait for them to recharge before continuing play. It takes about 20 minutes to accumulate a life and they only recharge up to 5. Harder levels can take multiple attempts taking many hours or even days to break through, the gameplay is very similar to that of Bubble Witch Saga, and this may in fact be where developers drew inspiration.
The sound is exactly the same as its predecessor, not such a bad thing really, the background ambience gives you the feel of sitting in a rainforest and can be quite relaxing. The graphics, likewise are much the same as previous games even going so far as to reuse the backgrounds from Bubble Birds 2, in fact, the first 4 islands are reused, but later islands feature brand new backgrounds. Advertising can be a little intrusive, always on screen in a banner either up top or under the play field.
Before starting a level you can buy power-ups to aide you but be warned, they will set you back a bit and they can only be used on the level where they are purchased. Bomb and rainbow birds no longer appear in your basket unless you purchase them at the beginning. Every time I purchased power-ups I never ended up needing them and they just went to waste, it’s a little frustrating that your bonuses can’t be kept for later, especially when they’re bought with premium currency.
A new addition is a Blitz mode, in which you score as much as possible in a limited time, successive matches give you score multipliers and you have no bird limit. The score board is connected to your Facebook account so you can compete against your friends in a weekly tournament, all scores are reset to 0 at the end of each week. This is a good little aside to get a change of pace.
Bubble Birds 2 suffered from some serious bugs and some pretty poor developer support, that is not the case here, there were some minor bugs with the launch product but they were quickly addressed. The last update also included 2 new islands for the adventure mode with the promise of more in future.
Bubble Birds 3 is a vast improvement on previous titles, the new life system helps to pace gameplay and the high difficulty is a refreshing change. I’d like to see some changes to the power-up purchasing but this is a minor complaint, the app is stable and developers are giving this title the attention it deserves. Facebook integration is a good addition, but Game Centre is currently not supported, despite that, it’s a good game to play and should offer a lot of gameplay. Easily worth 4 stars but I do hope that GC is considered in future updates.
With their Modern Combat series, Gameloft tries to outdo the Modern Warfare series of war based first person shooters. Zero Hour has you playing the role of a warrior in various spec ops teams whose goal is to stop simultaneous terrorist plots around the globe.
The game aims to meet the tried and true formula of military FPS action game. Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour comes with 12 missions in all. For a decent shooter, a gamer could complete each mission in about half an hour, which means the game delivers 6-7 of gaming time. For only a few bucks that is pretty good value for money and of course, the missions can be played over to try to improve your final score.
The single player option has enough campaigns to keep things interesting. The gameplay changes location, the missions are all quite different from each other and you even get to play the bad guys against a special forces team. The presentation of each level makes great use of the graphics ability of the iOS devices. Sounds are good quality and voice dialogue is delivered well by the voice actors.
The multi player option is improved over Modern Combat 3 with far more customizations and purchases that can be made. The credit to make such purchases can either be earned or bought with real dollars to weapon up faster. There is an amazing array of weaponry on offer, with weapon upgrades, add ons, ammo packs and one-off special purchases like a drone strike to keep things interesting. The multi player maps are expansive and varied, with the choice whether to run around blasting or sniping from a safe distance.
There are several levels of difficulty to choose between. When set to the toughest level, you will find it hard to survive the assault and complete your mission. The opposition has some mostly decent AI coding, but with occasional idiot moves you expect from a computer opponent.
The environment is well designed and easy to interact with. The Havok engine brings the combative world to life with amazing graphics for a handheld device. The environment is more destructible than with previous editions of the Modern Combat series, which makes it all the more fun to play. Enemies die, collapsing or falling in spectacular fashion. Controls are also customizable to allow gamers to create a set up that suits them best.
MC4 has put the Modern Combat series on or close to the same level as its better known opponent, the Modern Warfare series of titles. Definitely worth giving a shot for just $6.99 if you love military first person shooters. I personally give this game a 5/5.