Developer: Hunted Cow Studios
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5s

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Set in the depths of deep space, on board a futuristic base that is under siege from enemy forces, Arc War is an endless scroller that lives within the confines of its casual genre. As players take full control of their spaceship, they are automatically and gradually thrusted forward through each of the game’s stages as other bigger ships and obstacles are both introduced and lie ahead in front of them.

photo 3With bullets as one’s only initial line of defense, players will aim to control their ship and shoot down those who dare to get in their way. Successful hits are marked by the damaged ship flashing white, and each type of spaceship that cruises across the screen will take a certain number of bullets before it malfunctions. Hovering above the base’s metal-laden platforms, and moving gradually forward, one will soon encounter “bosses” that will take more than just a few bullets to defeat entirely. As one defeats each of the 17 different types of enemy ship, or blows-up a weapons storage container on the base, they will be periodically rewarded more bullets, increased damage, and perhaps even an EMP – mighty handy if used in a boss situation. Collecting ‘shields’ along the way will certainly also help one’s defense against oncoming enemy ships.

Graphically, Arc War is both intricately designed and visually pleasing. That’s mainly down to the fact that it is built on Unity3D. This level of detail is good, but not entirely a surprise when considering that other titles in the endless space shooter genre carry similar visual traits.

photo 1My slight quibble with Arc War lies in its claim of being “infinite.” Arc War does offer an endless shooter experience, as it claims, but reaching the game’s later stages proved more difficult than I’d probably like to admit. Perhaps a slightly tweak to the game’s overall difficulty could help it’s replay value.

Of course the option to replay through the stages is obviously there, which gives Arc War some replay points, and each playthrough of the game’s stages will earn XP, too – so there’s that. Given I reached stage 10 in under half an hour, Arc War is probably one of those games players are going to want to return to when they have those spare few minutes – which may ultimately be reflective of its $0.99 price point.

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