Not long after the triumphant march of Command & Conquer and Warcraft across the video games battlefield, one of the iconic developers of the era — Bitmap Brothers — released a unique spin on the RTS genre. Letting go of such traditional constraints as resource management and building construction, it pioneered the Action/Strategy genre with the unique and witty Z The Game.
Z The Game is THE Action/Strategy. One of the fathers of the subgenre and probably the first to do it truly well, it follows the battles led by a certain General Zod. Aided by a couple of nitwit supply robots in dire need of some spaceship driving lessons, he has to take on 5 worlds before finally holding one hell of a party.
A step away from the classic RTS principals Z pits you against an AI opponent in struggle to take over the opponent’s fort. It swaps out the tedious resource gathering and building construction. Instead predefined structures are spread across the map divided in sections, ripe for capture. These structures can be set to produce one of the unit/vehicle types (selection depends on structure level), which they manufacture indefinitely once every so so minutes.
This simplification allows you to focus on Z’s core competency – combat. Despite being titled an Action/Strategy the game mechanics are remarkably deep. The fighting force is split into 2 basic groups – infantry and vehicles. Unlike many other games however the infantry is actually useful here. For one thing – it is the quickest way to destroy the enemy’s fort. For the other – it allows you to capture various neutral vehicles and towers spread out all over the map. Finally some of the infantry units have the unique ability to actually kill the drivers of enemy tanks and turrets, allowing you to quickly and decisively turn the tide of battle. If you’re lucky.
Despite its age Z looks great on the iDevice, both the iPhone and the iPad (yes, it is a universal app). The colourful graphics and superb cutscenes manage quite nicely to convey the unique style and atmosphere. More importantly, the developers did an excellent job of adapting the interface to the touchscreen. Best experienced on the iPad, Z controls like a dream even on the iPhone/iPod Touch’s smaller screen and is probably the most comfortable RTS on the platform to play.
Released almost out of the blue, Z shoots and scores for first place, providing polished tactical gameplay wrapped in bright stylish graphics and superbly adapted controls. Withstanding the test of time the unique game mechanics offer a deceptively simple concept that is definitely more than meets the eye. Shame that it’s missing the multiplayer component however, as the ability to pitch yourself against a human opponent would take it to even higher hights. Regardless, both casual gamers and RTS-maniacs are recommended to try out the classic Action/Strategy game that is Z The Game!
With this I declare Z The Game officially touched!
|Title:||Z The Game||Developer:||Kavcom Limited|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.304||Min OS Req:||3.1.3|