Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Fine control is essential in Steamscope. This game asks players to navigate through miles of complex tubes, tunnels, hallways, and pipes by tilting their device or using a virtual thumbstick. Both methods of control have their benefits. The tilt controls are very responsive and quick, and the thumbstick controls offer more fine control. Unfortunately, each also its unique drawbacks, the tilt controls being unwieldily and the thumbstick controls being sluggish. There just doesn't seem to be an attainable balance between responsiveness and fine control that would make this game truly enjoyable.
Steamscope has a great steam punk vibe and the 3D environments are quite beautiful. While playing this game, even on a small screen, the player can really become immersed in the atmosphere. There are varied level designs and lots of different obstacles, textures, moving mechanical traps, and other visual flourishes that make Steamscope a stunning piece to look at. Still, the levels are very long and even the most beautiful visual elements become a bit stale after too long in the same level.
Control issues aside, the gameplay in Steamscope is captivating when it works well. The level designs are unique and there are even some boss battles that take the player out of the avoid and dodge mechanics that make up most of the game. As mentioned above, the levels are long and dodging obstacles can get tedious, so every diversion from these mechanics is a welcome change of pace.
Players will have to decide which control scheme works best for them, but there is a very real possibility that neither will suit them perfectly. However, Steamscope is a gorgeous game with plenty of eye candy to enjoy, even if players spend most of their time bumping into walls and steam spewing pipes.