Chillingo iOS Roundup – Volume Two

by on April 27, 2011

Last month, in the first of our Chillingo iOS Roundups, we took a look at Sky Combat Air & Land Assault, Collission Effect, and Big Boss. As always, the quality was high, and this time we’re going to take a look at The Relic and A.I.R. Defence.

Titles are available on iPhone and iPad unless specifically stated otherwise. If you like what you hear, click the small black “App Store” button to load iTunes up and purchase the title!

THE RELIC: Developed by Axolotl Studios and published by Chillingo/Clickgamer, The Relic is a dungeon crawler for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. In the same vein as most dungeon crawlers you’re given the simple task of finding a specific object or item, the Relic in this case, which is inexplicably at the end of a huge dungeon. With enemies to kill, doors to unlock and items to be found you don’t need much more of a reason to enter this dungeon!

The main crux of the gameplay in The Relic revolves around the player walking around a floor of a dungeon looking for the stairs which would lead up to the next level. Those stairs are often behind a locked door and a slew of enemies which you’re supposed to figure out how to get past, either by smashing through them with the big sword you’re carrying, or searching the floor of the dungeon for a key. Once you’ve managed to get to the next floor of the dungeon you’re presented with the same problem again, big door + no key + respawning enemies = The Relic. That equation (that the developers seem to have been very strict about) results in a game that gets very repetitive, very quickly. The only solace is that if you’re only intending to play it for 5 minutes, or a level at a time, then it’s not as bad as it could have been.

The main problem with The Relic, aside from the repetitive nature of the game on the whole, is the same problem as with most games that use an on-screen thumbstick in order to control the character; it’s never very user friendly. The moment a player’s thumb slips off of the designated area (which is something that will happen, and happen a lot) the character will simply stop moving. This will usually happen in the heat of a battle, due to the fact that the player will be concentrating on what’s happening and not whether or not their thumb is in the right place. Having this happen once is annoying, having it happen multiple times during a gameplay session that lasts less than 10 minutes is a real issue, however, it’s an issue that won’t get resolved until developers figure out a way to let players control characters without the use of an on-screen thumbstick.

For 59p you can’t really go wrong with any game, The Relic is a repetitive game with flawed controls but for 5 minutes at a time or if you just want to load something up to relieve a little bit of stress before you get off the bus then you could do a lot worse. Fire it up, smash some enemies on the head for a few minutes, find the key, get up to the next level, and you are done, with the bonus that you feel a little bit less stressed to boot! The Relic - Clickgamer.com

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A.I.R. DEFENSE: A.I.R. Defense is an iPhone/iPod Touch game, developed by Colourbox and published by Chillingo, that can’t really be defined by the usual genres of iOS games. At first glance it feels like a tower defense game, similar in look and feel to something like geoDefense Swarm. After the tutorial has been finished however, most players will think that it suddenly feels more like Flight Control or Harbour Master.

If you’ve ever played a tower defence game then you’ll feel right at home the moment you pick up A.I.R. Defense. The main gameplay mechanic revolves around waves of enemies that will make their way towards your base. You have to build and upgrade standard vehicles of air warfare and then send them, by drawing the flight path directly onto the screen, towards the enemies. The difficult part comes from the fact that there can often be a lot of enemies on the screen at one time. In order to defeat them you have to wait until the very last moment, attack one of them, and pray that the explosion will cause a chain reaction and take at least a few more of them out with it. The second difficulty, as with most tower defence games, is that some of the enemies will take a little longer to destroy. The catch with A.I.R. Defense is that, since your units are aircraft, they need to return to base in order to reload. What you end up with is a tactical tower defence game where you often need to decide whether to send your heavy hitters across the screen to destroy the oncoming forces as they appear or wait until they get a little closer and hope that you’ll be able to take a few of them out at a time.

A.I.R. Defense is one of those games that’s almost impossible to pick up and play for a short amount of time, it’s not because the levels are long (there are 10 waves, so each level can last about 10 minutes in total), but because it’s one of those games where you’ll find yourself finishing a level and then thinking “well, I’ll just see what the next level is like”. Before you know it you’re half way through the next level and you’ve missed your bus stop. With the addition of Game Center support, high scores and Crystal (that comes as standard on Chillingo games) you’re well equipped for a game that will last you a long time, whether that’s beating your friend’s scores, beating your own, or just trying to get past that level that feels almost impossible. If you like Flight Control/Harbour Master and you like Tower Defence games such as geoDefense Swarm, then you should get A.I.R. Defense right now. You won’t regret it. A.I.R Defense - Chillingo Ltd

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