Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini 2
Replay Value Rating:
Experiment time: what do you get when you bake your spaghetti western with a futuristic storyline and scripted wit?
Space Marshals. In theory.
The gameplay is set in the space-traveling future. It starts out with a bang; almost literally. As the opening sequence shows, there's a huge Space Marshal transport ship populated by prisoners, and it's promptly attacked and damaged by a crew of baddies looking to do a jailbreak.
The player takes on the persona of Burt, a space marshal who is punitively subjected to a cryogenic reprimand. He's awakened by the ship's UI (along with two other punished marshals who become part of the ragtag crew) and reinstated to his position. His mission? To get to the planet the bandits escaped to, and resolve the situation. With wild, wild west prejudice.
And off we go.
The main mission is split into several smaller ones, with the underlying goal guiding the player with regards to the action. The starting sequence serves as a quick tutorial and allows the player to learn the basics of movement, which is performed via dragging. The shooting mechanism is also on display, and also involves dragging. Crouching/stealth movements are also taught, and the AI serves as a cheeky suggestion service.
The game is presented in glorious top-down fashion, and the abbreviated 3D graphics and futuristic scenes do an excellent job of framing the experience. The developer incorporates several arcade elements like checkpoints, boosts, performance-based rewards, interchangeable gear, and weapons; the interactions are a bit on the humorous side; and there are also several additional tweaks like the occasional need to solve procedural puzzles and having the presence of mind to figure out if stealth is preferable to going in guns blazing in any given scenario - being careless generally leads to being killed and an incomplete mission. There are also achievements to garner, which makes for an additional incentive to play.
When it comes to adventure careers, Space Marshals just about hits on the Big Three: looks, story, and logic. It's a full meal that manages not to overwork the jaws, and it just screams "PLAY ME!"
You might wanna listen, partner.