Developer: Choice of Games LLC
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad mini Retina

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Mecha Ace is an interactive reading experience centered around the interstellar civil war between the ruthless Empire of Earth and its independent space colonies. At the beginning of the book, readers will be asked whether the gender of non-playable characters will be randomized or not. What seems like a futile question actually just serves to show the sheer scope and flexibility of Mecha Ace, as this seemingly minor adjustment can easily effect how readers will react to key relationships within the game.

Readers will soon come to choose minor details such as tactical strategy and custom upgrades, all the way up to character-defining moments such as justifying murder or deciding their initial motivation for joining the fight for Earth. These and other decisions really allows for a deeper connection to the story and its characters.

20140621-011854-4734773.jpg20140624-005401-3241615.jpgAs for the interface, things are kept simple with multiple choice panels at the bottom of certain pages, followed by the ‘next’ button to turn the page. The stats sidebar (accessed by swiping to the right from the left edge of the screen) displays the player’s various skill levels, the condition of their mech, and their psychological profile – ranging from cool-headed diplomat to impulsive warrior. This profile reflects the tricky ethical and tactical decisions made throughout the game, most of which will force players to refer to their own moral code. The menu also functions as a hub for in-depth information on the weapons, mech classes, and history of the conflict, all presented in great detail of course.

Mecha Ace is a well-written adventure that could theoretically justify multiple read-throughs due to the fact that player choices actually have repercussions throughout the universe their character inhabits – whether they’re significant or just minor fluctuations. It’s an action-packed, engaging and fully-realized experience that will hook readers in until it reaches its satisfying conclusion.

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