Tag: Arena shooter »
I freaking love mech games. It’s just a shame that this is a largely ignored genre on the App Store. Or at least it was, until Small Impact Games took it upon themselves to show it some love.
M3CH looks to be the answer to iOS mech combat fans’ prayers. Of course showing a little love yourself on the developer’s Kickstarter page might speed things up a bit. It evokes a similar feeling to other gritty/semi-realistic mech piloting titles and sports some pretty impressive production values. I had to pry myself away to ask M3CH’s animator, James Rowbotham, about Small Impact Games’ baby.
Were there any particularly major influences in the design of M3CH's world? I know it's not exactly the same but I'm getting a pretty strong Steel Battalion vibe from it.
At the time 3D iOS games exploded, we were playing a very mixed bag of games but fortunately they were all with the same genre, Mechs! We just loved the direction the iOS store was heading, it was screaming for a game with user-friendly touch-screen controls but with the in depth details you get in our favourite mech games.
Surprisingly however, Killzone 2 was a big inspiration in terms of AI and cover based action. What some mech games lack is the use of buildings as cover and enemy’s that work together to out flank you, something we saw that had been untapped in the genre (a lot of open spaces/terrain), so we looked at the great AI in Killzone and their behaviour and found a way to work it into our game.
You folks have done a bang-up job with the control scheme. Was it the product of rigorous testing and polishing or did you know right from the start how you wanted to handle it?
The aim with M3CH since the beginning has been to try and create an iOS game that doesn't feel like it’s an iOS game, and more like a console experience. Touchscreen controls are notorious for being hard to use and something that we really wanted to nail. We went through a lot of different iterations to get to where we are now; having both shoot buttons on one side, holding down shoot instead of the auto toggle system, putting the shoot buttons on the thumbsticks and a lot more. We are keeping open minded about it and although we are getting later into development if we have an idea for an even better control set then we will be sure to test it out!
Were there any mech designs you wanted to include that ended up being scrapped?
There are quite a few that didn't make it into the game (we already have 40 different mechs in the game). At the moment we have a mix of legs styles such as reversed legs in the game but [an] animalistic style is something we are keen on in terms of animation and how the mechs behave.
What exactly are your plans for the multiplayer?
We are hitting some technical limitations which means it most likely be 1-on-1 to start with. We would love to get a larger number of players battling at the same time (8v8 is the dream!), especially where the winning players get new weapons unlocked and credits to spend. At the moment its deathmatch style gameplay but we have plans set for objective based multiplayer.
Are you allowed to talk pricing?
It’s still early days but we are hoping for around the £1.99 [$2.99] price range. One thing we are certain of however is that we don't want pushy monetization and in-app purchasing interrupting your gameplay experience, all mechs and weapons are attainable without too much grinding and we reward dedicated hard working players with big payouts.
How about a release date?
As for a released date, a lot of that depends on the kickstarter campaign, if we are successful then we are aiming for an April release this year.
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
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After launching on Xbox Live Arcade in 2009 and making the long, slow burn over to the Windows Phone 7 platform in 2010, Codeglue’s twin-stick shooter Rocket Riot has finally landed on iOS, courtesy of Chillingo.
I could make an attempt to explain Rocket Riot’s “story’ to the reading audience out there, but by the time I finished relating this nonsensical tale of stolen legs, blocky pirates and butt-mounted jetpacks I would likely have been hauled off in a straightjacket, thus rendering me unable to finish the review proper. So let’s just say some crazy stuff happens that requires the player to hoist a bazooka, strap on one of those jet-butt devices and blow the living crap out of, well, everything.
The game’s stages, presented in a very neat, pseudo-3D style, are all fully destructible, with bursts of pixels cascading as each rocket tears chunks out of the surrounding structures. However, there’s more incentive to smash these levels to bits than mere visceral thrills, as hidden inside the various environments are a variety of power blocks. I hesitate to call them “power-ups,” though, as roughly a quarter of the 20 blocks offered have detrimental effects and another quarter are mere cosmetic effect changes (rainbow particle effects, firing soccer balls instead of rockets, etc.). Just keep in mind that the blocks are mostly color coded, avoid the red ones, and things should be okay.
Three different control schemes are offered, but I found the onscreen virtual stick setup to be the best, most intuitive option. The movement controls are carried out relative to wherever the player’s left thumb plops down and although the right side is limited to a defined circle for aiming and firing, it’s so generously sized that I never found myself scrambling back to reposition my thumbs. It just works, transparently fading away to the point where I forgot that the controls were even there. And that’s always a good feeling.
Objectives shift over the variously themed stages by including different match types. Most of the time players will be blasting a set number of enemies in arena deathmatches, but the pacing occasionally gets changed up with detours through Destroy the Object levels or a quick Rugby Riot match, which requires a number of goals to be scored by carrying a ball through goal posts. Nothing hugely innovative or different here, but it serves as a nice palate cleanser for when just blasting hordes of pirates/zombies/what-have-you gets a little old.
While the omnipresent theme song may get a bit grating and it sadly lacks the multiplayer modes of the original Xbox version, Rocket Riot still serves up plenty of good, mindless, destructive fun and bizarre quirky charm. Warm up those jet-butts and check it out.