Yes, the iPad finally lands in the UK tomorrow (Friday) and to celebrate Origin8 is putting their hit iPad game Space Station: Frontier HD on sale. Full release below:
27th May 2010, London, UK: Veteran British iPhone game developers Origin8 will be celebrating the iPad’s arrival in their country with a long weekend sale on their smash iPad strategy title “Space Station: Frontier HD”. From the 29th to the 31st May the top ten hit game will be available for $2.99 or regional equivalent, down from $4.99, while the iPhone/iPod Touch version will also be on sale for just $0.99.
Coinciding with the sale is the release of an update adding a head to head WiFi/Bluetooth multiplayer mode. Now iPad players can go on the offence, assembling alien fleets to attack their opponent’s station while constructing their own base’s defences against enemy assault. “Space Station: Frontier” and “Space Station: Frontier HD” are fully compatible in multiplayer, allowing head to head play between any pairing of iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (requirements: iPhone OS 3.0 Bluetooth, OS 3.1 WiFi).
Praise for “Space Station: Frontier HD”:
“…an incredibly addicting and challenging game… Space Station: Frontier is a well-rounded and well-designed game that’s perfect for any strategy gaming fan. One word of warning: once you get sucked in, this game is very hard to put down.” – cnet.com
“The game just looks, sounds, and plays like a well oiled extraterrestrial machine.” – appsmile.com
“…easily justifies the iPad as a viable gaming platform. 5/5″ – infoaddict.com
“Hours later as the sun was coming up I was amazed that I’d just spent the entire night playing it.” – gamerswithcasts.com
“Space Station: Frontier HD” is available from the iTunes App Store at http://itunes.apple.com/app/space-station-frontier-hd/id368763113?mt=8, while the iPhone/iPod Touch version is at http://itunes.apple.com/app/space-station-frontier/id346227455?mt=8. For screenshots, video and a round up of reviews, please visit http://origin8.com/spacestationhd and http://origin8.com/spacestation respectively.
About us: Origin8 is an innovative mobile developer based in London, UK. With an experienced team whose credits cover a vast number of gaming platforms, they specialise in games and entertainment for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. Origin8’s acclaimed products include “Sentinel: Mars Defense”, one of Apple’s App Store Anniversary top 30 games.
I have long been a fan of the Sentinel games by Origin8. These tower defense games are some of my favorites. In creating BioSub, Origin8 explores a very different type of game. BioSub combines physics and problem solving into one very challenging and unique game. You are a mini sub and your goal is to destroy the canisters in the water around you. This is done by bumping into the canisters to propel them into one another. A canister is destroyed when you make it bump into another canister of the same color. If you make two canisters of different colors bump into each other, instead of being destroyed, they will cause a third container of a different color to be formed. The hardest part of the game is that you only have 30 seconds to destroy all of the canisters on the screen in each level.
There are two types of controls available to use. I recommend trying both to see which one is more intuitive and easy for you. The first is tilt controls that take advantage of the accelerometer. Using these controls, you tilt your device to tell the sub which direction to move in. The farther you tilt it, the faster the sub will move. Controlling the sub by tilting alone is extremely difficult. However, by touching the screen you can apply the brakes. Thankfully, these brakes work very well and can be very helpful in controlling the sub. You can calibrate the tilt controls as well as adjust the sensitivity of the controls in the options menu. The second type of controls are touch controls. Using these controls you tap and drag on the screen to direct your sub. An arrow will appear on the screen in front of the sub indicating the direction that you have told it to go. The length of the arrow indicates the speed that the sub will move at.
BioSub is a clever game. As you move through the levels, the challenge gets harder and harder as obstacles are placed in your way or canisters are tethered together with different types of materials. It takes some thinking to figure out some of the levels. My only complaint with the game would be that I found the controls hard to master. At first, I had a hard time controlling the sub. With the two types of controls and the ability to calibrate them, you can find the controls that work best for you.
Tips and Tricks:
- Remember that if your sub or the canisters go off the screen on one side, they will appear again on the other side of the screen. Everything wraps around.
- Moving your sub too quickly and hitting canisters too hard can often slow you down instead of making things faster. Use your brakes if you have to.
- You may have to create another canister of another color in order to get rid of all the canisters on the screen.
Developer’s Website: http://www.origin8.com/
With Halloween approaching at the end of October, we are bound to see more apps with ghouls, ghosts, and mummies. MonsterKill, the newest game by Origin8, is a great new app in this genre. MonsterKill is not a traditional tower defense game like the earlier Sentinel games also by Origin8, but it does borrow some elements from them. Your job is to defend your gates against the waves of attacking monsters. Don’t let them break them down. or the game is over.
There are three modes of game play. Each one presents a different challenge. In normal mode you have to last 20 rounds against the monsters. You start with one spell to defend your gates. Other spells are unlocked as you progress. In endless mode, you must last as long as you can. There are unlimited rounds of attacking monsters. See how long you can last. In onslaught mode, you have no gates to defend yourself. You are given 20 tokens to buy upgrades. Then, you have to defend yourself against 101 monsters. See if you can get them all.
In order to cast spells on the monsters, you have to have magic available in your magic meter at the top of the screen. Use the magic that is there wisely. It is easy to run out. At the end of each level, you are given the chance to buy upgrades using the money and tokens that you have earned. Money is used to repair or upgrade your gates. It is wise to save your money when you can. Once it is spent, you cannot get it back. Tokens are used to upgrade spells and the speed that your magic replenishes. Unlike your money, you can get your tokens back if you change your mind and use them for something else.
Overall, MonsterKill is a great game that is fun and has great graphics. However, I did run into one frustration in trying to cast the lightning spell. To cast it, you have to draw a lightning bolt on the screen. Although, the game provides a tutorial on each spell, showing you how to cast it, I could never seem to get it right. After much practice, though, I finally got the hang of it and was able to enjoy the game. Despite that flaw, I still highly recommend the game.
Developer’s Website: http://www.origin8.com/
The latest and greatest tower defense game is here. Sentinel 2: Earth Defense by Origin8 is a very well designed sequel to the popular Sentinel: Mars Defense. The mission to save the mining colony on Mars has failed and all personnel were lost. Two months later, unidentified ships were picked up on radar heading towards the Earth. In preparation for battle, your ship, the Sentinel, was given a full weapons upgrade and is now fitted with deadly weaponry. Your job is to defend the Earth from the alien invaders.
Sentinel 2 is a great sequel to the first Sentinel. It has the same graphics and controls as the original game. There are many things that have changed, though. All for the better, I think. There is a wider variety of aliens that you must fight against, including some that can teleport when struck by the slowing towers. There are also more weapons to choose from. There is now a booster tower that boosts the power and range of the other defenses around it. There is also an ion tower that can be very useful in fighting all types of enemies. The use of repair drones to harvest and repair for you has also been improved upon. Now, when you buy these drones you can specify what you want their priority to be. You can tell it to repair your gates as a first priority or to harvest only and never repair.
One of the biggest enhancements to this version of Sentinel is the addition of the weapons on the Sentinel itself. Now you have a whole new line of defense. There are four different weapons that your ship can provide. First, you must charge them, though. At the end of each attack wave, energy is beamed up to the Sentinel from one of your gates, but only as long as it is not destroyed. You can also buy drones, similar to the repair drones, that have the ability to synthesize energy for your ship’s weapons. There is a button in the bottom right corner of the screen that allows you to toggle back and forth between the towers you place on the ground and the ship’s weapons.
In this second version of Sentinel, Missions were also added. These are short games with specific objectives. Many of them involve you keeping invading aliens at bay with some specific limitation. For instance, in one, you must defend your gates without any monetary resources or towers at your disposal. Luckily, you only have to survive one wave of attackers. Each time you complete one, the next mission is unlocked. There are a total of 8 missions.
Another new addition to Sentinel 2 is the integration of OpenFeint into the app. When you first launch the app, it asks whether you want to allow Feint to run or not. OpenFeint is, according to their website, “The premier Social Platform for iPhone games made by Aurora Feint with friends lists, social profiles, leaderboards, chat rooms, facebook and twitter integration, cross-promotion, achievements and more!” If you choose to allow OpenFeint to run in your app it will allow you to access chat rooms and leaderboards directly from your app. You can also import friends from Twitter or Facebook. Then, you can allow your friends to see what you are playing and the achievements you get, as well as keep track of their stats as well. The biggest complaint I have about it is that after letting OpenFeint run for awhile on my iPod, I decided to turn it off and could not figure out how to do that. So, make sure you turn it off from the beginning if you are not interested.
Sentinel 2 has 4 maps to defend. You can play in assault mode where the attackers come in waves or endurance mode where they come continuously. There are also 4 levels of difficulty. I appreciated that the easy mode was, in fact, easy. So many games are way too difficult even when you play in the easiest play mode. With so many play options and so much variety, Sentinel 2: Earth Defense is sure to be a long term favorite.
Developer’s Website: http://www.origin8.com/
Sentinel by Origin8 is a great tower defense game worthy of competing with Tap Defense and Fieldrunners. The game takes place in the year 2029. Mankind has established a mining colony on Mars. However, after only 2 short years in operation, a distress call is sent back to Earth. The message cannot be read except for the word “invasion.” You are commander of the ship Sentinel, which is sent to Mars to help. Once you arrive, you must help defend the colony from the alien invaders. When you launch the game, this story is told to you with scrolling script in similar a style to Star Wars. At once, you can see that the graphics are great and the music fits the game very well.
Sentinel, like many other tower defense games has a fixed path that the enemy attackers follow. However, there are 3 different maps, 2 different battle modes, and 4 difficulty levels. Only the first map and battle mode are unlocked in the beginning. To unlock the others, you must prove yourself by defeating the ones that you have. The two battle modes are Assault and Endurance. The main difference between the two is that Assault has a fixed number of waves of attackers, Endurance does not. The second and third maps have the added difficulty that there are two places on the map where the aliens enter. You must defend two different pathways. Your money is a very limited resource so be sure you only build as much as you need. The money that you save will accumulate interest at the end of each attack wave.
To defend your colony, you have the typical choice of 5 towers (laser, bomb, slow, beam, and sniper). The sniper tower is locked in the beginning. To place a tower on the screen simply drag it to the spot where you want it to be. As the game gets more and more difficult, you can upgrade your towers to make them stronger. The defense that Sentinel adds that I have not seen in other tower defense games is barriers. There are physical barriers in the way of your attackers. If they make it past all of your defense towers, they must still break down the barrier before they can invade your facility. These barriers are quite strong and are flanked by sniper towers. Sometimes they serve as a good place to trap your enemy and kill them. However, the enemy will break them down over time (Some more quickly than others). This is where the second unique trait of this game comes in; your repair drones.
Repair Drones are fairly expensive, but they automatically find weakened structures and repair them. They can help your barriers stand longer. If you have no repairs to do, the drones will mine for you to get more money that you can use to buy more towers. You can only have up to 3 repair drones, and sometimes even with three the repairs happen too slowly to keep up with the damage being done. Another feature that I found I really liked was that before each wave of enemy attackers, the app flashes on the screen what type of attacker is approaching. This warning gives you a chance to prepare and upgrade your defenses with those that work best against that particular attacker.
Sentinel is a very well designed game that is quite challenging. It is a lot of fun to play and has lots of options to keep you coming back for more.
Sentinel is $4.99 in the iTunes App Store.
Sentinel Lite is free in the iTunes App Store. (This free version lacks Endurance Mode, some of the maps and structures, and the ability to compete with the online scoring system.)
Developer Website: www.origin8.com