2360: Battle for Cydonia in Review – Finally a step away from the dreaded V-Pad

It seems more and more developers are finally starting to realize they are not limited to using a virtual joystick for shooter games. Just recently I reviewed Heavy Mach 2 – a top-down shooter using touch-placed waypoints for controlling the movement and attacks. And now another shooter has fully utilized the unique multi-touch capabilities of the iPhone in their latest creation 2360: Battle for Cydonia – an interesting and quite original top-down shooter.

Battle for Cydonia’s backstory is an American Revolution-esque bedlam of Earth Vs its colonies. Mars has been colonised and its pioneers decided they would be better off without the watchful eye of their mother-planet. As part of the resistance, it is your job to pilot the recently stolen experimental Datalus-5 weapon. Can you defend the independence of our fellow resistance members?

Battle for Cydonia is new-age shooter game, with creative mission elements. You don’t just kill ‘em all. It brings together collecting, scouting, and destroying missions into one atypical shooter. The usual survive for x-time and defend the base/farms for x-time elements are also present. The game has 21 levels with 3 difficulty levels which are changeable before the start of each mission – this adds up to about 8-10 hours of gameplay to a game of Normal difficulty. Levels can be a bit too hard at the beginning of the game – some are downright frustrating. But as you get more equipment and weapons they switch to being a bit on the easy side.

Speaking of weapons – Battle for Cydonia shines. You earn cash for eliminating infinite hordes of enemy units, as well as completing missions and picking up leftover boxes. And you can spend it back in the garage to purchase weapons and various upgrades for your Datalus. The weapons offer a reasonable amount of variety and the best thing is that each one has distinct characteristics. For example, the machine gun is weak but constantly firing, the rocket launcher is slow, but has splash damage and targeting functions; the shotgun is extremely slow but devastates whole groups of enemies; finally, the laser decimates everything in its path.

There is no shortage of enemies on whom to test your battery. From the swarms of spider-like suicide drones to tanks and mortars to aerial attack bots – you’ll find yourself constantly surrounded by hordes of enemies. And the important thing here is to be in full control. The interface in Battle of Cydonia is a mix of shooter and flight-control like mechanics that work amazingly well. To move your bot, tap it and draw a path. And to shoot you simply tap anywhere on the screen to place a target-marker. But there’s more. You can place 2 target markers as you have 2 weapons on your Datalus. And you can even use multi-touch to dynamically move the markers to dance with deadly weaponry.

The visuals and sound in Battle for Cydonia are well on par with the rest of the game. And while they don’t imbue you with that great “aaahhh” feeling, the detail and the excellent weapon effects are great to look at.

2360: Battle for Cydonia is a game that will keep you glued to iPhone. The excellent interface which steps away from the dreaded virtual joystick is intuitive. The array of weapons has something for every style of play and once you beat the somewhat difficult starting levels you’ll find it hard to put the iPhone down.

With this I declare 2360: Battle for Cydonia officially touched!

App Summary
Title: 2360: Battle for CydoniaDeveloper: Brisk Mobile Inc
Reviewed Ver:1.0.0Min OS Req:2.2
Price:$0.99App Size:9.9 MB
  • Excellent and innovative interface
  • Addictive gameplay
  • Nice variety of weapons and upgrades
  • Good variety of enemies
  • The beginning levels are frustratingly difficult
  • Only 1 boss fight
  • The enemy drops could use more variety

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