Warpgate in Review – Alone, against the galaxy, I will prevail!

About a year ago, the announcement of Warpgate, an open world space fighting/trading game caught my attention. Being a fan of  the classic Privateer/X series, this seemed to be the answer to all of my prayers. Well, the long wait is finally over and having spent a considerable amount of time with the game, I can say – it was worth it! Feel free to discuss Warpgate in our forums.

It’s hard to single out the genre of Warpgate. It’s a mix of a space trading/mining/exploration and combat. Think of it as a top-down Elite/Privateer/X(1,2,3) type of game. The story follows the adventures of a newbie N.S.E. pilot who finds himself in the middle of a galaxy-wide conspiracy, including top-secret research, aliens, ancient artifacts and secret agencies. Suffice to say that when the main storyline is over, the whole galaxy plunges into complete and utter chaos.

With so much variety included in Warpgate, it’s hard to decide where to start. You control a spaceship and travel across the galaxy exploring new worlds and meeting new people beings. The main storyline is conveyed via missions, though the game also provides unlimited (random) ones for your neverending enjoyment and money-earning. The missions vary from simple courier deliveries, scanning territories to assassinations (culminating in leading an all out assault on former allied forces).

The galaxy itself is split into sectors grouped by areas of influence of either factions (which include the humans split into Nation States of Earth and the Ecclesiarchy, the ancient and proud Adelaide, the warring and belligerent Artaxerxes and, of course, the Pirate Corps). The sectors themselves are connected by a system of warp gates. Of course, you won’t have access to all 35 systems at the start of the game. Rather, additional ones will be unlocked as you progress through the storyline. And for the dedicated explorers out there, the devs have hidden some funny easter eggs, like the Terry Pratchett inspired Flat Earth as well as an option to send a postcard via Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook or e-mail from the planet you’re currently on.

Aside from the income you get from executing missions, your main source of income is trade. Each planet has up to 6 commodities available with handy indicators showing whether the price is above, below or on par with the average one. In addition, you can check the news screen on the planet where places are indicated where there is extra high demand or supply of a good. And while you’re at it be sure to check out the other messages as well – they are simply hilarious.

When you’re tired of simply hauling around cargo holds full of stuff, it’s time to get your hands dirty. The combat system, vastly improved in the recent patch, throws you in a tactical map with up to 5 other spaceships, be it friend or foe. Using the accelerometer you control the direction your ship is heading and use the buttons to discharge your armament (one per weapon). Crucial to the more difficult battles is the shield boost, which when activated, immediately drains your weapons and surrounds your vessel with an impenetrable cocoon for a short period of time.

Ship customization options  are also available in Warpgate.You can load up on weapons (up to the ship maximum) or even trade-up for a brand new battlecruiser. The ships vary in shield strength, speed, weapon slot amount and cargo hold size and with 172 different ones on sale, you can choose a ship that best suits your style of play. The only thing that I didn’t care for too much was the strange pricing scheme, where for an obscenely low amount of cash, you could trade-in your second ship received through one of the first mission for a top rated battlecruiser (Thor) .

The graphics and interface in Warpgate also live up to the high standards set by the gameplay. The game is visually gorgeous with beautiful space backgrounds riddled with stars and nebulas, as well as amazingly detailed ships with excellent lighting effects – all running smoothly even on the iPhone 3G. The music succeeds and sets the mood for some galactic exploration and although is a bit high with pathos, it still fits in perfectly. The interface works flawlessly on the iPhone, with two-finger gestures for camera control and tap/tap-drag working intuitively for easy control of your ship.

Trade, communicate, explore and fight or simply follow the story – do what you want, when you want and for hours on end. Warpgate is a bustling world just waiting for you explore, wrapped in a beautiful graphical package with an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Without a doubt, Freeverse’s latest is one of the true gems on the App Store and not to be missed. Warp speed, Mr. Zulu!

With this I declare Warpgate officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Warpgate Developer: Freeverse, Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.1.2
Price: $4.99 App Size: 161 MB
  • Huge world to explore
  • A spaceship for every taste
  • Well over a hundred main quests with additional sidequests and unlimited random ones
  • Trade, pirate, ferry – do whatever you want
  • Original storyline that plunges the galaxy in chaos
  • Beautiful graphics and easy-to-use interface
  • Combat could be a bit more tactics-oriented
  • Ship customization could be expanded with new types of equipment
  • Some kind of auto-pilot or at least a speed-up option for those long trips from warpgate to warpgate


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A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well): http://twitter.com/ChiffaNe

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