Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rogue Planet - Free

I've always been a fan of real time strategy (RTS) games and turn-based strategy games. The problem is, I suck at them. So normally I ignore them. This is why you may have noticed they were conspicuously missing from my list of top 15 games of the decade. However, I was drawn to Rogue Planet as soon as I saw screenshots of it. The beauty of the App Store, of course, is that lite versions allow you to try before you buy, lest you get fooled by pretty graphics.

Rogue Planet is a turn-based strategy game, and like others of its ilk, you take control of several units to attack the enemy or to protect allies. Different units have their own strengths and weaknesses, and you need to use those, as well as the terrain, to your advantage.

Oh, and there's a pretty neat storyline, of which I'm going to spoil the beginning a little bit. You are an officer aboard the colony ship Nimah, which is returning to Earth after years in space. But as the Nimah approaches Earth, no radio signals are detected on the surface, so the captain decides to investigate. But the Nimah is attacked, and the engineering crew is killed. The ship is forced to land to assess the situation and attempt repairs, and it's your job to defend the ship from an unfamiliar enemy.

What impresses me the most about this game is its visual style and theme. The menus, conversation screens, and backdrops have a well-detailed futuristic look. Everything moves very smoothly, even on a lowly first-generation iPod touch.

I completed the single mission included with the Free version of the game, and I'd say it was time well-spent. Based solely on this free demo, I would recommend the full version to fans of turn-based strategy and science fiction. At $4.99, however, it is in the medium portion of the App Store's price spectrum for games, so try the Free version first. If there's a decent price drop or sale, I will probably pick it up.