Developer: Reactive Studios
Price: Freemium
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Games like Codename Cygnus, which create a unique sensory experience for the user, reinforce why iOS is a serious gaming platform in its own right. With some of the finest voice-over actors in the business – including Rob Wiethoff (Red Dead Redemption), Logan Cunningham (Bastion) and Chris Ciulla (Fallout: New Vegas) – lending their talents to this tale of espionage and action, Codename Cygnus has an air of authenticity and quality that is uncommon in iOS-exclusive games.

Gameplay consists of making multiple-choice decisions, either by voice command or by tapping the screen. The characters react to those decisions accordingly, thereby altering how an action set piece or negotiation plays out. It adds an RPG element to the game and provides cause for multiple playthroughs. For the most engrossing experience, I found that a combination of vocal input, a pair of headphones, and a dark room worked extremely well (there isn’t much to look at by way of visuals anyway, to be honest); the various sounds of the world rotating around my head a full 360 degrees.

20130902-222319.jpg20130902-222342.jpgSometimes the whole thing has a tendency to become overly camp and tongue-in-cheek thanks to the cheesy one-liners and characteristic jazz tunes, but it keeps Codename Cygnus feeling lighthearted and fun, recalling those serial radio dramas of the past. There is also the price to contend with, however, with each mission costing $1.99 (the Prologue is free), or a one-off price of $7.99 for the whole episode, which is just the first in an upcoming series.

For anyone who has always wanted to step into the (probably gadget-filled) shoes of a suave secret agent, Codename Cygnus is the best way to do so. It delivers a classy, immersive experience that will have players waiting impatiently for the next chapter in this espionage epic.


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