Developer: The Secret Location
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

War is hell. It must be all the more hellish when it’s an endless war. Throw in some Martians and, well, nothing good can come of this. That’s the setting for The Great Martian War. The year is 1913, the enemy is distinctly alien, and the war never ends. Yup, this is an Endless Runner game, albeit one with different scenery than most.

martianwar8Players control Gus Lafonde, a scout and soldier, who must run across the battlefields, dodging barbed wire, ducking under fences, and avoiding some giant martian creatures. This is done through one of two ways. There are tilt controls, and there are (superior) tap controls. Ultimately, it’s pretty simply done with controls no more complex than picking a direction and remembering to duck or leap every once in a while.

The Great Martian War is a fairly typical Endless Runner in that regard, but an encouraging experience system helps to keep one wanting to play. Leveling up unlocks new items that can be used, such as a helmet that protects one from attack or an invincibility shield that works for a brief time. Objectives are also available, rewarding one with more currency, and a warm sense of satisfaction. After a time, these do turn somewhat repetitive though, mostly being about advancement rather than anything too complex.

martianwar4A further trick up The Great Martian War‘s sleeve is its offering of two different types of running. Players can opt to run across a battlefield or run towards themselves, escaping a giant martian. The latter is trickier than the former, mostly because sometimes it’s hard to see what’s coming up, and I didn’t find it as enjoyable, but it does offer objectives of its own and extends the game’s longevity.

Ultimately, The Great Martian War is yet another Endless Runner but its trickle of objectives meant that I found it enjoyable for longer than some others. It’s attractive to look at too, if somewhat bleak, making it slightly more tempting. There’s nothing here for those sick of the genre but for those looking for a change of scenery, it scratches the itch.

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