Price: Free (in-app purchases)
Version Reviewed: 1.0.57
Device Reviewed On: iPad mini (non Retina)
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Game Controls Rating:
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Cast out of Olympus for committing treason, Mars, the God of War, has mercilessly enslaved an army of Martians with one end goal in mind: the invasion of planet Earth. As waves upon waves of enslaved Martians are beamed down to our tiny planet, Jupiter enlists the services of the almighty Romans to fend off the extraterrestrial intruders. But be warned: the God of War is no stranger to conflict, and will not make this task an easy one.
Romans From Mars starts out straight-away by offering players the option to connect either their Facebook or Twitter account. Doing either of these "social unlocks” will see them gain 500 gold coins, which can be used later to further strengthen defense against the hoards of Martians hellbent on destroying their castle.
Using their trusty crossbow and privileged castle-top vantage point, players will fire at each Martian that dares to set foot on Roman soil. Targeting Martians is as simple as tapping on them - although because of the crossbow it's a good idea to also take into account the effect gravity will likely have on arrows. So it's best to tap just a little off each target to ensure a greater chance at hitting it.
For each martian they successfully kill the player will gain “mana” (blue stones), which can then be used to unleash mighty hell on those who approach. Once players have collected enough kills, and subsequently enough “mana,” the progress bar at the top left under the health gauge will begin to flash blue. This means they can now use an elemental attack. Given as a gift from Jupiter, to use this powerful weapon one must swipe diagonally from the left-most corner of the castle. The attack, if successfully executed, will fire a wave of crystal magic that will temporarily trap any Martians who dare to get in its path.
As players manage to fight their way through the numerous waves of Martians and complete each level, they are rewarded with gold coins. Although initially a free download, Romans From Mars does offer players the ability to extend gameplay by purchased enhanced weapons and topping-up on mana. These elements can be bought from the Armory using either the gold coins collected thus far, or by completing certain in-app offers.
Overall, Romans From Mars is a fun defense title boasting a strong visual style. The game's controls have been well thought out to keep the player engaged through both gesture-based and physics-influenced battles. Sadly, however, I found the game just a little too repetitive - which resulted in the replay value receiving just half marks.