By Nate Adcock on Sun, 12/02/2012
This week I played 3 awesomely cool games at the $1.99 level and below...Galactic Phantasy Prelude is a space shooter RPG in the same class of game as Galaxy on Fire 2 (SD version recently went free and hit #1 in nine countries). Atomic Frogs, a physics puzzler that requires deft timing and aim to launch your frogs through the various obstacles. Last is a free to play shooter called Dead Trigger, which brings the joy of shredding Zombies to iPad in exquisitely detailed apocalyptic strokes. So, without further adieu, let the WIPTW game review madness commence!....
If you like space opera, with a lot of backstory, features, multiple avenues of advancement (play it safe, or play a pirate), Galactic Phantasy Prelude might be your game at a mere 99 pennies. Though GFF is not free to play, you can still advance via IAP, which kind of rankles. I wish developers would decide on one model and stick with that. Make the game free with IAP or make the game paid without it. Other than that somewhat annoying aspect, GPP does a great job in almost all areas. You complete game missions and ad-hoc challenges, and in between can either be an honest Joe or Jane and run merchandise between planetary systems, engage in mining (boring), or go to the dark side and steal from other hapless victims (fun).
So far the early combat experience is very predictable, but I admit to not having advanced that far past the first few levels. The graphics just plain pop on this game. Kind of a cross between typical 3D engine and anime-style imagery, the shading and perspectives are outstanding and unique. In-game music is a quaint tinkling for a 3D space shooting game, and better fitted to a platform type (or maybe just redone completely). Your character is a space orphan become stolen ship captain, and his best friend crewmate going on a grand adventure. The story and plot development is mindly interesting.
The crew aspect is cool. Any weapons or equipment you acquire for your ship need crewman to operate and maintain, so you have to recruit them in the various stations you visit. Crew get upgrades in ability as you advance (I assume translates to better battle performance), and lot's of little details like this are nicely peppered throughout, from full customization of weapons and support gear all they way up to developing a full fleet of ships to explore and exploit the galaxy around you. The game played well on both my iPad mini, and my iPod touch 4G.
Atomic Frogs is a somewhat goofy but interesting physics game. The graphics however are smooth, and everything else in the right place for a problem solver. First, the idea behind the game...specially enhanced frogs that have been zapped with radiation and special jumping powers escape their lab in an eternal search for atomic water to jump and frolic in. Your job is to aim them and time their atomic blasting power, which will destroy guard robots and other barriers. The ultimate goal being to roll the frog onto a switch that releases the toxic water the frogs crave.
As you advance through the levels, you have to use different frogs for different aspects of the puzzle. Some melt metal, and some expand and float upward before exploding. On-screen taps activate the special powers. If you like games like Cut the Rope or similar puzzlers, this is the same caliber and style.
Dead Trigger is just good old-fashioned zombie-killling fun! If you read the iTunes reviews, you may note the recent complaints about game progress not saving between versions. The game is free to play, but many of the better weapons may require IAP (or viewing advertisements) to build up enough gold to earn, which is admittedly a downside, and especially so, if your hard won progress get's blown away. Might want to keep that in mind before upgrading.
The game graphics were honestly stunning on my iPad mini, and the point is, well?... Mindless zombie murder on a massive scale! You traverse the various urban settings, shooting crap out of the approaching hoard, while trying to evade their attacks (some of which are surprisingly fast). You find power-ups and bonus items along the way. Effects are as real as any 3-D game I've experienced on iOS, and the game gives plenty of ways to level up without opening up the wallet (try the everyday free gold mission, for example). You can also earn gold by liking the game on Facebook, etc... Have to face the fact that this is the new "free" on the app store, but hey it is an awesome game! Madfinger should address the progress save problem, though (which I have not confirmed).
That's it for this week's edition of WIPTW... You can grab the games at the links above, and don't forget to return to iPhoneLife for more great reviews, news, tips and more! Cheers!