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Hunters: Episode One Review

By , on March 1, 2011


Hunters: Episode One
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • Easy to learn strategy gameplay; smooth difficulty curve.
  • High-quality sprites and environment design.
  • Unit specialization allows for unique strategies.
  • Content updates every 24 hours; shop items refresh on the hour.

CONS

  • Limited mission variety despite 'new' levels each day.
  • Crash on level loading bug.
  • Occasional in-mission 'locked' unit selection bug.

VERDICT

Hunters: Episode One provides a solid grounding for what could be an insanely addictive tactical turn-based title, but bugs and the lack of story missions are holding it back for now.


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I can't even begin to describe how the turn-based strategy genre has swallowed up portions of my life, with countless hours being squirreled away on playing turn-based strategy (TBS) games like Jagged Alliance, Fallout: Tactics, X-Com... and the list goes on. Hunters: Episode One by Rodeo Games isn't the first TBS to grace the App Store, but its polished presentation and unique missions system give it an edge over its competitors.

Every 24 hours players are given new missions to complete, each with a primary and bonus objective. Multiple 'hunters' can be selected to complete missions and experience is awarded for killing enemies and participating in the mission. Leveling up members of your unit grants access to new weaponry and skills that help to define their specific roles, be it as a scout, a damage dealer, a heavy armored unit or a squad leader.

Controlling your units via the touch interface is intuitive enough to jump straight in, though a cursory tutorial is provided to get you going. Each unit expends points of energy for each action they take and if you have any energy to spare you can set units to defend, allowing them to catch enemy units off-guard when they advance. Some quirks such as being unable to walk past friendly units can prove to be troublesome, but these issues are rarely problematic enough to prevent progression and if the worst happens, players can keep the experience and items earned on the mission so far even if they retreat.

It's a shame the game lacks story-based missions (though they are 'coming soon') as the current missions feel repetitive, lacking any sense of purpose beyond leveling up to do the same thing again. With any luck the updates promised by Rodeo Games will breathe some life in to what is otherwise a shallow yet functional turn-based strategy. A great time-waster for TBS fans after something with a bit of a challenging bite.

Screenshots

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Comments

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Espekayen 3 years, 5 months ago

I actually like the model Rodeo have used (although I think perhaps the limit should be raised to level 3 or 4). It gives people a chance to try the game for free before shelling out any money. And £3 is not excessive for a decent game; a sandwich and coffee costs more than that.
I agree with the review - Hunters is worth a 4 because the bugs and lack of story-based missions do let it down. If the developers keep their promise and update the app with story missions (and squash those bugs!) then this is close to a 5-star game. I love the cool visuals and UI and the two-finger-swipe-up help screens are very useful when first starting out. The tutorial is concise but helpful.

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gvcdkg 3 years, 5 months ago

In app purchases suck. You can't tell the real price of the game untill you download it. So these games will never be on sale? If they were how would you know? it always says "free" and i hope this doesn't catch on because i really liked the option of having games on sale or at least knowing how much they cost.

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ruhalmi 3 years, 5 months ago

I don't see how it would prevent the price drop. It is always developer that sets the price of game. If he doesn't want the game to go on sale, the game will not. I'm not buying games that uses in app payment, because I'm not sure what will happen when I uninstall the game and then after some time I decide to reinstall it once more. Will be my in-app payments still valid? Also I find it a bit stupid that when I buy let's say premium cars in NFS, then after I restart my carrier I'll have to pay again when I decide that I'd like to have those cars back. I already paid for that, so what the hell...

Avatar
ruhalmi 3 years, 5 months ago

I don't see how it would prevent the price drop. It is always developer that sets the price of game. If he doesn't want the game to go on sale, the game will not. I'm not buying games that uses in app payment, because I'm not sure what will happen when I uninstall the game and then after some time I decide to reinstall it once more. Will be my in-app payments still valid? Also I find it a bit stupid that when I buy let's say premium cars in NFS, then after I restart my carrier I'll have to pay again when I decide that I'd like to have those cars back. I already paid for that, so what the hell...

Avatar
andrew 3 years, 5 months ago

As long as you don't change iPhones your purchase should remain valid (most IAPs are tied to your UDID or a similar identifier) - some developers are even friendlier and as long as you log in via their social system you'll have your purchases recorded. It's not a perfect system, but it's like any digital purchase - there's little to no protection and it's part of the reason why many consumers only accept cheaper prices for these sorts of games :)

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rekz 3 years, 5 months ago

In-game purchase of $5 allows playing beyond lvl 2.
Frankly, I don't particularly like this type of game sale.

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talugo 3 years, 5 months ago

This seems to be happening more and more frequently. Although I am not sure, I think it is a way to prevent price drop sales in the app store (I don't know if in app purchases can be dropped on sale).
On the other hand, the developer mentioned (in the app store) that if you play more than a set amount of time, you can unlock the rest of the game. I am not sure how true it is though.

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andrew 3 years, 5 months ago

At least it provides some sense of how the game is going to progress before it locks you out, but lvl2 really is nothing - you unlock flamethrowers and get one specializations point; hardly indicative of the rest of the game.
 
I really hope they update and add more content because I love tactical turn-based titles and I think I could really enjoy this one if they add some decent content.