Game Review: Starfront: Collision
Release: Feb 17, 2011
Rating: (Age) 9+
Size: 679 MB
Ever since the release of the iPhone, real-time strategy fans have been begging for a decent RTS using the device’s smooth touch interface, and after years of no one truly answering the call Gameloft comes to the rescue with Starfront: Collision. Starfront has succeeded where others have failed, delivering a totally engaging, intuitive RTS that fully utilizes the potential of the iPhone’s easy-to-use interface.
Any fan of the Starcraft series will notice a number of similarities with Starfront: Collision. The game features three different races, including the humans of the Consortium, the insect people of the Myriad, and the Warden robotic race. All three are battling for dominion over the precious resource Xenodium. The game offers a highly specialized gameplay system very similar to Starcraft and other desktop RTSs, in which the player must manage resources (Xenodium and Energy) in order to build up their armies and obtain various upgrades.
Starfront: Collision offers three different gameplay modes:
- Campaign Mode
- Single Player Skirmish Mode
- Local or Online Multiplayer Mode
Unlike its iPhone competitors, Starfront possesses a depth that keeps the game genuinely interesting for not just hours but days, with dozens of upgrades and plenty of unit types for each race. The campaign is appealing to hardcore RTS gamers and fair-weather fans alike, offering 17 challenging levels that equate to over 6 hours of play. To add even more, Starfront’s online multiplayer is one of the most sophisticated on the iPhone, with 1v1, 2v2, and free-for-all battles available. Perhaps the only drawback with the multiplayer is the fact that the current system is highly susceptible to rush tactics, but this may be fixed or possibly combated with a new strategy with time.
Most desktop RTSs are known for their highly intricate control capabilities, allowing players to manipulate vast armies with only a few hot keys and a mouse, and it’s hard to believe that such a system could be successfully implemented on a screen as small as the iPhone’s, but Gameloft managed to do an amazing job of it with Starfront: Collision. A simple tap-and-drag style control system serves to achieve a multitude of tasks, making it easy to maintain and micro-manage large armies with just a finger or two. Obviously the controls aren’t nearly as sophisticated as those on its desktop competitors, but skeptics will be surprised with how much they can do on such a small screen.
Starfront sets the bar pretty high in the graphics department. The opening movie alone exhibits some of the best graphics seen on iPhone games, and the gameplay graphics certainly don’t disappoint either. The realistic 3D-rendered objects and environments along with the lifelike animation make this game a treat for the eyes, but the lack of quality voice-overs leave something to be desired.
What improvements can be done: It would have been nice if they put more effort into the voice-overs. Also the $6.99 price tag is too expensive and they should think about lowering it.
Jimmy’s final say: Gameloft’s Starfront: Collisions succeeded in blowing all other iOS RTSs out of the water. The well-developed gameplay system and highly intuitive controls are like none of its predecessors, offering an experience that true RTS fans can enjoy. Potential buyers may be turned off by the high price of the game compared to other iPhone titles ($6.99), but this is definitely no ordinary iPhone game, and in the end anyone who really enjoys a good real-time strategy game will be glad to have shelled out the cash. (iTunes Link)
Buy – if you are a RTS fan or wait until Gameloft holds another $.99 sale
Check out the trailer!