App Review: Star Hogs by IUGO Mobile Entertainment Inc.
Star Hogs is a great turn based shooter game. For those who like iShoot, here is a game for you. This time around instead of being a tank, you are a space ship trying to destroy your opponent before they can destroy you.
The first time you launch the game, it will offer you a short tutorial. The tutorial walks you through the basics of the game and the controls. Most of it you could probably pick up on your own by just playing the game, assuming you are familiar with this type of game. In addition to the tutorial, there are three different game play modes; Campaign, Free Play, and Online. Campaign mode consists of consecutive levels that you play against a computer generated opponent. When you conquer your opponent, you unlock the next level, as well as new weapons and equipment. You can choose to play on easy, medium, or hard difficulty. Free Play mode offers some more flexibility. You can choose the setup of the terrain, how many ships each player has, and which ship you want to use. You can also choose your opponent (you can have up to 3) from computer generated opponents of different ability levels, or you can choose to play against another human being. This option allows you to play with up to three friends on the same device. Online games let you join or create an online game room and play with others. For each type of game you have the option to choose your ship from the ones in your hangar and customize them and their weapons.
The controls for the game are quite simple and easy to pick up. Players take turns shooting at one another’s ships until only one person’s ships remain. There are a couple of things that can signal the end of your turn. In Free Play and Online games, there is a time limit of 30 seconds. If you run out of time, obviously, your turn is over. Also, if your ship runs out of energy, your turn is over. Shooting at the enemy or moving your own ship both require energy. So, keep an eye on the energy meter at the bottom of the screen. The energy goes fast. However, it is refilled again at the beginning of each turn. You can also pick up objects that help refill your energy, armor, and money. Getting these objects requires that you move your ship to where they are, which requires an expenditure of energy. Sometimes, it uses more energy than it is worth to go after them.
To shoot an opponent, you must first choose your weapon. Then, aim the shot by tapping on the screen to change the trajectory. Next, tap and hold your finger on the Fire button until the power meter reaches the desired level. Release your finger to fire the shot. It may take a few practice shots to get the hang of aiming and firing to actually hit an opponent. Luckily, the power and trajectory of the previous shot are marked so that you can make the desired adjustments based on the last shot’s outcome. Like other games in this genre, the shots that miss deform the landscape around the ships and often change the game entirely.
In the playing that I have done with this app, I did not find anything that was cumbersome or awkward. The levels did present a challenge, but nothing that a little practice wouldn’t overcome. The controls seemed easier to use and more straight forward than other turn based shooting games that I have tried. With it now on sale for only $0.99, Star Hogs is a great game to grab.
Developer’s Website: http://www.iugome.com/starhogs.html