Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space in Review – Unlock the mysteries of the universe in 30 minutes or less
Have you wondered what’s out there in the great beyond? Are you a fan of Star Trek, Star Wars or Babylon 5? Have you ever dreamt of exploring new worlds, discovering ancient artifacts and meeting aliens? Well, settle in my dear friend, as now you can do all of that in the comfort of your own living room! Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the creativity of some indie devs, the full experience has essentially been recreated in Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space.
I usually begin my reviews by stating the genre of the title in question, but Weird Worlds got me stumped. It takes the exploration elements of Master of Orion, the RPG elements of a Space Rangers and throws on top a simplified tactics strategy game. A short backstory is provided depending on the faction you chose, but don’t expect a cutscene or anything. The goals are set and you are launched into space.
The ideology of Weird Worlds is actually closer to a board game than a computer one. You have to get the highest score possible in a limited amount of time. Score calculation is based on the faction you align with in the beginning – each has specific criteria. The factions in question are scientists, pirates and the army who value the most alien flora and fauna, unique artifacts and making first contact respectively, with some secondary goals as well. The ship and initial equipment you will have at your disposal for the actual exploration depends on the faction – so make your choice wisely.
The gameplay itself centers around exploration of the universe. Each star has a certain event associated with it – you can either find some artifacts, equipment or aliens in orbit. The latter vary from friendly traders to the hostile and protective races. Interestingly enough, some hostile races can be made friendly if you have previously discovered a specific artifact.
The combat system is quite simple: you are presented with a close-up view of both fleets and you can control your ships in real time to eliminate the enemy. I would warn the overaggressive types to carefully prepare for any battle though. Unless you have upgraded your ship with very nice equipment and found some allies to join your fleet, there’s a high likelihood you’ll end up dead. And in Weird Worlds dead is game over – no save game function is available.
Weird Worlds boasts some very nice graphics, whether it is the colourful overall map, the detailed icons and images of equipment and aliens or the nicely designed ships in combat view. The interface is generally very intuitive, with the rare ability for an iOS release to move the windows on the screen. The only change I would propose is to make the combat UI a bit more accessible and perhaps have it completely turn based. Also the lack of any save/load functions — though perfectly fitting into the ideology of the game — is often very frustrating when you die in a battle close to the end of the game. Multitasking is semi-supported, meaning if the game does not get closed completely, you’ll be fine. So if you run out of memory or manually close Weird Worlds in the multitasking tray, be prepared to start from scratch.
Weird Worlds is a unique application of the traditional board game ideology to an iOS release. It provides the essence of space exploration, including meeting and fighting aliens, recovering ancient artifacts, customizing ships and even traveling through black holes in carefully designed and tailored sessions. Even though I would like to see the ability to save/load a game, I can’t help but admit the significant effect its absence has on the experience, requiring you to assess the situation at all times and be extra diligent in your explorations. Yep, just like in real life! Up, up and away!
With this I declare Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space officially touched!
|Title:||Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space||Developer:||Astraware Limited|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.03.001||Min OS Req:||3.2|