Developer: Bastei Luebbe GmbH & Co. KG
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

It feels like interactive graphic novels are still finding their place on the App Store. There might be an increasing number around, trying to do something a little different, but all too often they misfire or don’t offer something that makes them stand out from regular graphic novels. Netwars – The Butterfly Attack feels like a step forward in this respect.

netwars4Set in the near future, Netwars – The Butterfly Attack focuses on a team of hackers who conduct a secret cross-border cyber war exercise that escalates to dangerous proportions. It’s a pretty interesting tale, if a little slow to start, and it builds up nicely.

Netwars – The Butterfly Attack provides a mixture of conventional graphic novel based storytelling, plus some interactive elements. These are pretty simple such as one section involving redirecting certain signals, but they make one feel more involved. What works more in terms of being a graphic novel is the ability to move around to an extent. This is done through moving the iOS device so that the app follows such directions. It’s a subtle move, kind of reminiscent of things that the Nintendo 3DS has achieved, but it makes a difference. Tapping on certain areas of scenery also invokes a few extra moments. The visuals are quite attractive throughout a well, capturing a dark and moody feel to the whole tale. Elsewhere, the controls for swiping through the story are pretty simple and intuitive, ensuring Netwars – The Butterfly Attack is an easy to use app.

netwars2Netwars – The Butterfly Attack ties into other forms of media such as a TV documentary and audio book, so it’ll be interesting to see how the story evolves over time. Combined, it’s an interesting use of media and ensures that Netwars – The Butterfly Attack feels weightier than conventional iOS based graphic novels.

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