Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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Every once and a while a game comes along that brings strategy and action elements together in a new and unique way. Vermes on Mars takes elements of real-time strategy, tower defense, and action games and combines them into a clever and entertaining game.
In Vermes on Mars, players take control of four individual tanks that act as a cohesive unit. Using these four tanks, players must rid the planet Mars of the worm-like Vermes who are plaguing human efforts to mine the rich resources under the planet's surface. The game is split into dozens of levels and in each level the players must move their tanks around the environment in search of worms hidden randomly throughout the terrain. When a tank gets close to a worm the worm will burst out of the ground and attack the tanks. The player can then turn the tank's weapons on the worm to destroy it. There are various types of worms with different abilities and players must be on their toes for every surprise attack.
When worms are destroyed, they leave behind precious elements that can be used to upgrade each tank's weapons and strength. Players must protect their upgrades, though, because when a tank is destroyed in a level, it is replaced by a new tank without the upgrades and must be upgraded again. Players must move their tanks cautiously and upgrade them strategically in order to get past the game's challenging levels.
s controls can be a bit complex. To move the tanks players can tap anywhere on the screen to have their tanks move and group together at that point, or they can draw a line on which the tanks will automatically space themselves. In order to fire weapons, the player must first tap the side of the screen to switch from movement commands to weapon commands, then the player holds down their finger to direct the fire of the weapons. Once the enemies have been dispatched and the player is ready to move again, they need to tap on the side of the screen again to switch from weapons mode back to movement mode. This process can be cumbersome but it also required players to be a bit more cautious and strategic about their gameplay.
Vermes on Mars looks great and plays well. It is a challenging game, but the difficulty is well balanced and players shouldn't find themselves getting stuck for too long on any one level. The controls are unique and they can be unwieldy at times, but it works with the gameplay. This game provides a great balance between strategy and action and fans of either should take notice.