App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Being a rather big fan of Game Stew’s earlier iOS release, Tower of Fortune, I was pretty excited to see that they’d recently released another supposed gem onto the App Store. Of course, that’s not an automatic guarantee. Just because a developer makes one cool game doesn’t mean they’ll be able to do it again. It’s also entirely possible that their new game would simply be more of the same. Cue dramatic pause. Yeah, no, War of Eclipse is great.
The world is pretty much gone at this point. The majority of mankind is toast and the survivors spend most of their time hiding out underground, away from the watchful eyes of the many horrible creatures that have taken over the skies. But now it’s time to fight back. Players are given a choice between a few different airships to upgrade and outfit with special attachments once they begin a new game. Once a decision is made they’re tossed right into the fray and will have to hold their own against a number of rather nasty post-apocalyptic creatures. Gameplay is similar to the developer’s previous title in that it’s all centered around simple one-touch controls, only this time players have to tap to stop a constantly moving indicator in one of two specific zones (the big one for normal and small one for critical) in order to make a successful attack rather than make a spin on a slot machine. The catch is that if they miss, they miss. And missing can leave the airship wiiiiiiide open.
There are a number of little details in War of Eclipse that are just fun. Ships take visible damage during battles and repairing them back at the base (for a price) initiates a little animation in which a bunch of tiny crane arms start reattaching and welding pieces back on. Sometimes enemies will attack the base directly, resulting in flashing red emergency lights, scrambling technicians, and a shaking screen. In addition to the presentation, the accessibility has also seen a fairly significant improvement over the last title. The game can still be tough as nails, don’t get me wrong, but losing a battle doesn’t result in a Game Over.
It can be rather frustrating when enemies decide to attack the base in consecutive waves, barely offering enough time to take stock and equip new gear, let alone start repairs, but thankfully losing only hurts the bank account. A few fights with smaller critters and thinks will even out again. Maybe it’s the sci-fi theme, or the change to something like a golf swing meter, or possibly the lack of excruciating punishment for failure, but I’ve been loving War of Eclipse even more than Game Stew’s last game. Which says a lot. Now come on, let’s take back the skies.