Mobile games… mobile games, mobile games… funny old lot… don’t you think?
One of the things that I’m often struck by when considering mobile games is the fascinating dichotomy between general style and platform ownership.
What I’m talking about here is the fact that the large majority of smart device are owned by young to middle aged adults, whilst the vast majority of games for smart devices seem designed primarily for children.
Now of course there are notable and excellent exceptions, you may already know of my enthusiasm for “Death Rally” (a game that EVERY iOS device owner should have in their collection), and there are countless others, but let’s be honest, the vast majority of games feature a colourful cartoonesque character or challenge. This is by far the norm.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against some colourful fun, but I do relish approaching a more mature game experience and as such I tend to seek these out for my personal iOS device whenever possible…
Having played the original iBomber Defence on a chum’s iPad (lucky fool!) I was keen to jump into this sequel myself and see how it played out on my humble little iPod Touch.
Bringing together my requirement for a more adult theme and tower defence (One of my favourite casual game genres) there was every reason to hope for success, but also fear disappointment.
I needn’t have worried.
Delivering excellent game-play, spot-on bird’s eye view graphics and tons of encouragement to play on, and on, and on, I had a wail of a time.
As ever iBomber Defence Pacific starts you off nice and easy, but with new defense options added frequently and multiple upgrade, challenge, score, perk and secret unlocks to be had along the way there is always something for you to keep an eye on.
Levels are generally well designed and often require use of the pause button (a good sign in any proper tower defense game). The experience provided here can actually be pretty intensive as you must balance the usual tower defense with additional requirements to destroy enemy facilities (using aerial drop-bombs) and also hunt for secrets (using the same mechanic). The nice touch here is that these three requirements need to be managed in real-time, with all three requiring parallel execution to ensure full completion before the end of the final “wave” of attackers in addition to draining your resources which are already tight at higher difficulties.
A further area of praise is the way the game often pits you against pre-existing enemy emplacements which must be dealt with in addition to the attacks against your base if you really want score highly. This really ups the ante and is a refreshing element in what is all too often a by the numbers game type.
The menus, mission selection map, and overall feel of the levels, certainly chime well with the proposed setting and do help invoke a sense of place and time, even if this is an understandably stylised one.
Graphics: 4/5 – Strong, with a good sense of atmosphere, style and period all evident.
Sound: 3/5 – Solid if a little basic, nothing new, but nothing to fault either.
Gameplay: 4/5 – A great example of how to do a lot (of game-play) with a little (screen size).
Longevity: 4/5 – Kept me coming back for more… a lot to get done for completionists.
Overall: 4 turrets out of 5
This is just the sort of game I would love people to support, combining high quality production with a superb level of challenge for all abilities and considerable replay value it has much to recommend it. But perhaps most of all, it takes itself and it’s player seriously, without being pretentious, a thin line to take but one skillfully trodden by the team at Cobra.