Hunters: Episode One Review
The best tactical sci-fi strategy game on the iPhone 4.
I’ve always been a fan of real time strategy games since playing the first Command & Conquer way back when, but having played chess regularly in my childhood I’ve always had a special place for turn based strategy games in my heart. Sadly, this is a genre for which games come out very few and far between; many not good at all. Today I’m very happy to look at Hunters: Episode One, a surprisingly deep, fun and good looking turn based strategy game for iOS devices.
The basic premise of Hunters: EO is standard sci-fi future. At the end of the 23rd century, humanity has spread throughout the known galaxy and planets are controlled by giant corporations; there are no governments. You have an awesome looking ship, and are building a team of merry mercenaries to complete various objectives against other corporations, earn loot and XP, level up your characters and equip them with even more firepower.
The first thing you’ll notice about Hunters: EO is how gorgeous the game looks. This is one of those titles that take full advantage of the iPhone 4 hardware; production values are through the roof. The way the menus are laid out, the tutorials and info screens, the particle effects and artwork, everything seems top notch. The good impressions keep on rolling even when you start playing the game. It’s a turn based strategy game, so you place your mercs on a battlefield (tiled map), set them up, let the AI run its turns and then fight your way through to victory. There are various mission types, ranging from defending a position, to attacking an enemy base, to killing the enemy leader, to finding some artifacts, etc.
Every 24 hours, there are three new missions that come through to your main mission selection screen. This keeps the game content fresh every day, and is enough for the admission price of $2.99 alone. Then there are weapon upgrades, which you can buy through in-game credit you have looted and been awarded during missions, or you can buy credits in-app to customize your team of mercs.
All the little things that make a good game great are present here. Great graphics, decent sound effects, deep (yet quick) gameplay, new content in the form of missions and equipment available all the time, leveling up and customization for your entire team. The only complaint I can think of is that there’s no solid storyline, and given that this is ‘Episode One’ there will, undoubtedly, be an ‘Episode Two’ which means further investment down the line. But that’s the nature of this business, and at such a low price point, especially with the 75% off sale going on, I can easily recommend Hunters: Episode One to anybody who likes strategy games.