iGamer Reviews: Tower Defense (Lost Earth)

By Com2Us.

For iOS and Android mobile devices.

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Tower Defense is actually the very first iOS title I played on my iPhone, and I feel like I’ve been neglecting it for a way too long. That said, it’s time for it to have its own share of the limelight.

The Story

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To be fair, the Tower Defense genre is not well known for its especially exciting narratives. Actually, it’s not even known for having narratives in the first place. Having said that, Lost Earth goes out of its way to create a cohesive narrative for the gameplay. The general premise is that humanity needs a new place to live, and the colonists managed to pick one of the worst possible places available. Far from Oscar Award winning writing, I can safely say it is better than nothing.

It is a slowly progressing story presented with text-exposition and illustrations, which is just enough detail to add context to the development of the gameplay and, hopefully, keep your interest.

The GamePlay

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Lost Earth has the same basic format of every other Tower Defense title: Create a series of defenses to protect your base from seemingly mindless enemies, while continually upgrading said defenses as the number of mindless enemies increases.

That said, Lost Earth manages to stick to the simple concept, and does it reasonably well. There is a variety of mindless enemies, along with a variety of turrets which have different pros and cons leaving them better suited to eliminating certain types of mindless enemies. You collect resources by eliminating enemies, destroying rock deposits, and constructing generators in select locations. Along with that, the game sets you through a series of missions, placing your base in various environments, making certain towers more useful than others based on the geography.

As neat added features, there are achievements, difficulty settings, and even a fast forward button to make the missions progress faster, and add another layer of difficulty in its own way.

 

The Conclusion

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If you like Tower Defense games, this is a cheap and fun little title that I’m sure you will enjoy. However, don’t hold out for epic storytelling or something to revolutionize the genre. Then again, for only $3, it does a damn good job.

 

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iGamer Reviews: Ace Attorney (Apollo Justice)

By Capcom.

For Nintendo DS.

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The Story

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Apollo Justice takes place seven years after the previous title, Trials and Tribulations, where the previous lead, Phoenix Wright, has been forced to give up being a lawyer, and instead is a pianist that also happens to play poker.

And, before you ask, no, you don’t play spend the game as Phoenix Wright playing the Piano. Rather, you play the new fledgling Defense Attorney, Apollo Justice. How does he have such a bizarre name? Well, apparently he was an orphan, so it’s entirely possible he picked his own name, or the Orphanage only had access to books about Greek mythology and modern philosophy. Nevertheless, he is the new protagonist and has his own share of conspiracies to investigate. In it, Apollo seeks to uncover the case that ruined Phoenix Wright, learn the identity of a panty stealing pervert, and go head to head with a German prosecutor that also happens to be a rockstar on the side.

Suffice to say, Ace Attorney has not forgotten its sense of humor.

The GamePlay

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For more details on the gameplay in the Ace Attorney series, check out this post.

As this is the first Ace Attorney title that was developed for the Nintendo DS, it makes sure to use all features of the device. The dual screens are clearly used to display different information, and both the touch screen and microphone are made part of the Investigation Phase in the game. Along with that, you too can shout “Objection!” and “Hold it!” into the microphone during the Court Phase to make Apollo shout those iconic phrases.

However, the main new feature in the title is in Perception. While we could easily tell in the early Ace Attorney titles when we had witnesses on the ropes, there was no way to actually call them on it. However, in Apollo Justice, you can do just that. Apollo is able to take note of nervous habits or tics that show if a witness is lying. While this is a very entertaining feature, its use is limited to only being in the Court Phase, when it could definitely be used during the Investigation Phase for interrogating others for information. Even then, there are a small number of situations where the nervous habit of the witness is so obscure, I  may never have made it through the sequence without looking up the answer.

Although, to be fair, this is a problem that has persisted throughout the series, and sometimes can be just as much the fault of the player as it is the developer.

Conclusion

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Apollo Justice brings several new concepts to the Ace Attorney table, which is sure to satisfy the fans. And, while I give it my personal recommendation, it lacks any groundbreaking features that would bring new players to the fold.

iGamer Reviews: Epoch

By Uppercut Games.

For iOS and Android OS.

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Epoch is the freshman title by the indie studio Uppercut Games. It markets itself as a “Combat Action Game for Mobile Devices”, which tells you as much about the game as being sold a car that, “Has four wheels and takes you places”.

The Story

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The story presented to us is rather vague, albeit intentionally so. It takes place at the end of a robot-apocalypse, where it seems most (if not all) of human life has been extinguished by their metallic creations.  As such, you play the game-titled robot, “Epoch” who has been reactivated for unclear reasons. His programming has him assigned to find and protect his target, “Princess Amelia”. As her determined location is on the other side of the city, Epoch must traverse through a war-torn city-scape, where the various machines appear to be waging war against themselves.

The GamePlay

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The graphics are above average, albeit not quite the same level as Infinity Blade or Blood Masque. However, it is worth noting that Epoch’s gameplay sets itself apart from the other series entirely, despite all of them being, “Combat Action games for mobile devices”.

Indeed, where the other two games are hack-and-slash fantasy games, Epoch is a sci-fi cover-based shooter. Each mission is a series of encounters. On the iPhone You move Epoch from cover to cover by swiping the touch screen. You tap the screen to break from cover and start firing, and tap the character you want to target, and Epoch will fire accordingly. It has many nice details to add to the layers of the gameplay, with weapons with different types of effects, such as lightning weapons that fire will hop from target to target, while grenade launchers will deal damage regardless of if the enemy is taking cover. Some of the effects can be muddled however; different weapon types also have associated “elements”, which different enemies are weak against. Don’t ask me how “armor piercing” or “explosion” can be elements, they just are. Either way, it makes for an entertaining game experience, and encourages you to alternate your equipment mission to mission.

The Catch

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Like I said previously, I’ve already made my complaints about there being micro-transactions along with the “entrance” fee, and this game is no exception. So, I’ll just say that the game is cheap compared to other big titles, costing a mere three dollars, and has micro-transactions, but are not essential to actually finish the game.

Conclusion

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In the end, Epoch is a fun, cheap, action game for your iOS. While the game may not have as much replay value as it says it does, three dollars is a low entry fee, and micro-transactions are far from necessary parts of the gameplay.

That’s all for now,

Riknas, signing off!

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