Red Conquest! conquers RTS genre for the iPhone!
Played on: iPhone 3gs
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Red Conquest is the newest RTS title to come to the iPhone. Playing as Gideon, a character who appears to have little idea of where he is or where he came from. You command the red forces in an attempt to destroy the blue "demons" and bring peace to your mind. This is told by animations in a silhouette style to tell the story before and after each level
Where the story falls short the gameplay delivers. Although the controls are very hard to get used to once you do it opens up many possibilities for controlling your units. There is a zoom button on the top right which works by moving your finger from the corner and up and down. You can drag your finger outwards to provide better control of the zoom function. You can also use the zoom command at any time while controlling your units due to the multi-touch feature of the game which it handles well. In this case you can have a selection circle to select your units and use the zoom-button to control which units you want. You move each unit by pressing the bottom left button and then dragging each unit to where you want to go. The multi-select button one spot from the left allows you to select all your units/select the ones in the center via selection circle/or manually select your units. Also, when selecting all units you can use the filter to filter out units by harvesters, combatants, builders, bases. And after this you can select other things such as different formations. Aside from that, going back to the main menu-third from the left lets you cycle through your units and resources, it makes it handy for knowing where to mine and where your bases are. And last but not least, the option to "Fleet build orders" from here you can quickly converge on a point or planet (blue demon's base), or send a build command to all units.
If this all sounds confusing, it is. And although the game tries to provide a tutorial to play through, 2 of them, they are a bit confusing and hard to know when you've done something well. This is something that hopefully gets addressed in the future as it can be frustrating to many players attempting to play the game. However, given enough time to deal with it, you can figure out many of the commands themselves and in a way its rewarding figuring out the menu's yourself. Aside from that if you click-hover over something, an explanation will come up on the top of the screen to tell you what it does.
The campaign is very short, 5 levels to be exact not counting the tutorial. But there are challenge modes, 16 levels, to make up for the short campaign. In the challenge levels you'll find more objectives usually found in the campaign of other games. Not falling short, the game also provides a multiplayer, local and bluetooth, up to 8 players. In the multiplayer you can have as many AI as you want and play as blue or red, with a wide variety of maps to choose from. Although the lack of global wifi is missed, the developer has stated that he will consider it depending on demand. The whole campaign, challenge levels, and multiplayer against local/bluetooth and AI will most certainly provide a very long amount of gameplay.
If you love RTS games, there's no real reason to pass this up. The beautiful User interface, art, controls, and gameplay make this a no brainer. For newcomers to the genre, although it has a very steep learning curve given enough time to learn the controls it will become enjoyable but dont expect to master this very fast. The amount of depth is both a blessing and a curse to those who are looking for a more in-depth RTS and those barely getting into the genre. However at $3.99 with more episodes to come that will add to gameplay and campaign I have to say that this is a must-get for RTS fans.
Final Score: 4.5 (one of the most beautiful games in the genre with great gameplay. Although a very steep learning curve, the game underneath the frustration is very solid and incredibly fun)
-Fast Load times, puts you in the action as fast as possible
-Auto-save for when receiving a phone call or leaving quickly
-Multiple save slots to try different scenarios
-Beautiful gameplay graphics with very well-thought art.
-Engaging gameplay, although an RTS it keeps you in the action by constantly maneuvering your units, whether its to save a few of your units or overpower an enemy.
-Grading per level provides an incentive to come back and repeat levels to get a better score.
-Controls are spot on for the iPhone. Gives many liberties for controlling units such as different formation, turtling, etc. The ability to select harvesters only-attackers only, etc. helps to the flexibility of the controls.
-16 challenge modes to provide more gameplay after campaign.
-Multiplayer with up to 8 AI to play anytime, anywhere.
-2 DIFFERENT armies, not just different colors (warfare inc. anyone?)
-A wide variety of options such as sound, change colors of your faction, etc.
-Great soundtrack (I played this with earphones even though I usually play without the music, that's how much I liked it)
-Very good price, compared the amount of content and gameplay.
-Short campaign (for now, I understand that there will be at least two more episodes)
-Pathfinding issues: on certain occasions some units have a hard time navigating to a given spot due to them trying to go on a straight line. A better path-finding for this will fix it.
-The cut-scenes are a bit confusing and do not fit the overall game graphics.
-No global multiplayer
-Very Steep learning curve, takes a lot of patience to learn the controls.
-Resources and asteroids could be confused. In the beginning this is an issue, as you get used to the gameplay you'll know what it is ( for those having trouble there's a menu selection third from left. Click it to navigate different things on the map such as different attackers, builders, harvesters, RESOURCES, etc. makes finding resources easier)
-Lack of groups. Control-wise this is about the only thing missing.
Last edited by Zincous; 12-15-2009 at 04:34 AM. Reason: Added iTunes link