Version Reviewed: 1.4.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Everybody enjoys a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors now and then. The rules of the game are easy to learn, and the whole thing is simple, harmless fun. But what if the stakes for this popular kids' game were a wee bit higher? Say, oh, life or flaming death? And what if the finger-signs were done away with in favor of lasers, canons, and missiles?
Warspace: Starship Duels by Nanoki Games takes the basics of Rock, Paper, Scissors and makes them its own by weaving spaceships and firefights through the ancient mechanics. The player is pitted against other star-warriors in a battle for supremacy, though it's the type of attack, not the strength, that dictates how much damage is dealt to opponents. Each ship is outfitted with three types of weapons and three types of armor. Each weapon is stopped cold by one shield, and each shield is susceptible to full damage from one weapon. Laser attacks are blocked by shields. Cannon fire is blocked by armor. And Missiles are shot down by point defense systems.
Players begin each round by selecting one weapon, and one type of armor (the first one to input their choices gets a damage bonus). Once the choices are made, the cosmic ballet begins. The players automatically fire on one another, and defend from incoming attacks with their chosen shields. The battle scenes are fully animated, and quite handsome. When the round ends, the players must input their weapon and shield choices again. The first player to sustain total hull damage loses.
Warspace is an easy game to pick up and learn, making it an attractive choice for most audiences. However, serious strategists probably won't enjoy the luck factor involved. As is the case with Rock, Paper, Scissors, luck (and maybe a dash of intuition) is necessary for success, not foresight or intellect. That's not to say strategy has no place in Warspace: Starship Duels. Players can move their ship once per turn, and the ship's placement significantly influences its attack and defense power. But there's no denying that, for the most part, victory or defeat is primarily in the hands of Lady Luck.
But it's clear from the outset that Warspace: Starship Duels is not an overly-complex turn-based strategy game, and that's not a bad thing at all. Digital marketplaces are loaded with myriad choices for fans of mercilessly tough war games. Warspace simply aims to be a strategy game that anyone can pick up, and it succeeds quite well on that level.