App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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I rather like real time strategy games. I grew up playing Starcraft and Command & Conquer, as did most gamers my age. It's a genre I haven't touched often in the intervening years, but it's still a genre I think about fondly. However, Pyramus severely hamstrings itself with a few questionable interface and general design choices early on, and it only gets more troublesome as the difficulty ramps up.
It seems like humanity just can't explore the universe without running in to hostile aliens along the way. Such is the case with Pyramus, only this time the aliens are after some newly discovered technology that the humans were silly enough to stumble upon. Aliens don't like to share. Players will have to issue orders to a number of different vessels with a number of different specialties in order to make it through each scenario. Of course the aliens have similar ships, so figuring out how best to deal with them might take a bit of experimentation. Shuffling ships around is done via tapping to select, move, activate special abilities, and so on while swiping and pinching the screen will move the view and adjust the zoom respectively.
Pyramus is a good-looking RTS with a healthy assortment of ships to play around with. There's no base building to speak of, so players will have to make due with what's available and learn to use it effectively, but that's kind of the whole point. Each level presents a different sort of puzzle that needs to be pieced together by way of ship movements and tactics. It would make for an incredibly neat experience if it weren't hampered by a couple significant, and irritating, gameplay quirks.
I should be having fun with Pyramus, and I want to, but it's just too frustrating. When ships are close together it can be incredibly difficult to select one in particular, and even when they're apart the selection won't always register. Issuing attack orders is also clumsy due to, again, ship clustering and selection taps not registering all the time. It wouldn't be so bad except that, unlike most other RTS games, these ships have a tendency to forget what they were doing. I can tell them to attack an enemy and they'll fly towards it an open fire, or park them in a specific spot and use them as makeshift turrets, but as soon as they encounter the enemy they stop moving and once they've drifted out of range they'll just sit there and do absolutely nothing.
Pyramus is a promising RTS but it contains a few missteps that manage to significantly derail the gameplay. If I didn't constantly have to fight against my own units to get anything accomplished I'd even call it fun. However I do, so it's not. At least, not for me.