Developer: isotope 244
Price: $6.99
Version Reviewed: 1.01
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

For a long time in the early life of the app store, Real Time Strategy games just didn’t seem to exist. Fans had a few options but none of them were ever considered that good. The touch screen interfaces seemed almost perfect for the genre yet no game could seem to get it right. We’ve come a long way since those days and Machines at War 3 is an example of how to make touch screen controls work for an RTS game.

photo 1Having command of a slightly futuristic army, players must navigate squads and troops through a finely paced campaign. Opening with a simple recon mission and scaling from there the best part of MaW3 is the pace and direction of the campaign. Each mission has a unique objective and units are introduced at a near perfect pace. RTS veterans will have fun early on aiming for perfect missions and posting their times and scores to Game Center, while novice players will enjoy the simple way the game eases them into it’s mechanics. Each mission gets progressively harder, and the difficulty curve is noticeable but never too overwhelming.

Though the layout of the campaign is great, the same can not be said for the interface. The mini-map takes up quite a large amount of space and, while detailed and well done, some more options for sizing and display would go a long way. And while far from terrible, some hiccups will arise when trying to select units. Eventually these issue become less of a problem as familiarity with the game increases, but deselecting units accidentally early on will likely be a common occurrence.

photo 4Overall Machines at War 3 is a far above average game. While the interface can lead to some annoyance for those who haven’t spent much time with the game the overall structure and playability makes it great for new and old RTS players alike. It may not be for everyone, but it’s easily one of the smoothest playing RTS experiences that can be had on the iPhone


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