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Starfront: Collision™ FREE Review

By , on February 18, 2011


Starfront: Collision™ FREE
  • Publisher: Gameloft
  • Genre: Action
  • Released: 17 Feb, 2011
  • Size: 681.9 MB
  • Price: FREE!
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5

PROS

  • Easy to use control system; scales to your skill level.
  • Significantly large campaign; split in to three race-specific storylines (~6+ hours depending on skill and completion level).
  • Four player online multiplayer modes; 1v1, 2v2 or free-for-all on 5 different maps.
  • Replay system allows you to save matches to view them again later.

CONS

  • Limited voice acting; almost exclusively unit response audio.
  • Unit 'type' selection oddly absent; also adding units to control groups can be tricky.
  • Rush-heavy meta-game for online play; not necessarily a permanent issue.

VERDICT

Starfront: Collision shows that RTS titles have a great potential future on iOS devices; it's not perfect, but it hits all the right marks for competitive online play and a fun campaign.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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Please Note: Due to Gameloft's new release system, the title is only free as a 'demo' with an in-app purchase unlocking the rest of the content. This does require an internet connection of some kind for your device, however given that this requires 3rd Gen or higher iOS device, this should be available in one form or another. The current release price is US$6.99 - please adjust accordingly for your region and be aware that sales/updates could affect this pricing regularly.

As a genre, the Real-Time Strategy (RTS) has matured and found its niche on desktop PCs mostly due to the complexity of the controls required to efficiently manage multiple elements in the game at any one time. Starfront: Collision by Gameloft may have a passing resemblance to the Starcraft series, but at its core is an RTS bred for iOS devices with a surprising amount of complexity to its competitive gameplay.

Each of the three available races feature the same basic setup for their base management, with workers being produced from a home-base structure and subsequently consumed when used to build additional structures or placed in resource gathering facilities. For those familiar with the Starcraft universe, this is not unlike playing as the Zerg and using up Drones, however once a resource node is captured it will automatically distribute minerals or energy back to your base, freeing up your time to manage your army.

Speaking of which, controlling your army is also a snap thanks to intuitive controls that allow you to select individual units, tapping to force them to attack while moving or holding down to move without attacking. Pinching the screen will also create a selection box to highlight multiple units that can subsequently be stored in one of three 'quick selection' buttons, reducing the time required to jump around the screen and back to your army.

The overall result is a highly specialized system that provides all the major conveniences of modern RTS titles while keeping the screen relatively uncluttered (all the better to enjoy the game's slick 3D graphics). To offset the similarity in base control, each race features a unique set of army units and upgrades that give them their individual feel. Playing online is a blast and players can enjoy multiple game modes with up to four players, however it's not quite clear as to how matchmaking pairs players up with other opponents and RTS fans should be aware that the game is (currently) favoring rush tactics, though the meta-game certainly has room to evolve.

But... you know what's best of all? None of this even begins to take in to account the 20 mission campaign and skirmish modes against AI players. While the story isn't astounding, the missions provide a good amount of variety and 'hard achievements' for those after more of a challenge. What is usually considered the main bulk of the game is simply the icing that allows you to enjoy the game offline as well.

Starfront: Collision may not be a perfect rendition of a modern RTS, but its concessions are understandable and playing against gamers around the world is a blast. A must-try for any RTS fan after some serious competition.

Screenshots

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Comments

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GemZ 3 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if Gameloft bought the rights of Starcraft...

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uahero 3 years, 6 months ago

It takes about 1.2Gb on Device - isn't it too much for a free trial game?

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mrhappy1 3 years, 6 months ago

It is a game that takes an in app purchase, meaning it is there, but you have to pay to unlock it.

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mrhappy1 3 years, 6 months ago

It is a game that takes an in app purchase, meaning it is there, but you have to pay to unlock it.

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gvcdkg 3 years, 7 months ago

Gameloft is starting to get a little tricky with their prices. i understand that its easier to just download it to try it out but i would like to know the real price. Like will it still show up if its on sale? Can it be on sale when it says free? I'm guessing its 6.99?

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thicky 3 years, 7 months ago

You can have sale for inapp purchases, I think. It's not common though.

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lootbot 3 years, 7 months ago

gameloft always left a 'crafty' impression on me, with their flashy trailers, shameless ripoffs and all.
even if it was the same game for the same price, ill be more likely to buy it if its being sold under an indie developer name than 'gameloft' :(

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andrew 3 years, 7 months ago

It is indeed $6.99 - I'll be updating the review to reflect the pricing as I believe it was remiss of me to leave this out of the zelda-like title.
 
I can understand how you feel about Gameloft - it's hard to shake the feeling that they're doing something wrong, but in all fairness they rarely actually step on anyone's toes. They have a wonderfully creative team and it's alwas great to see them at their best (MC2, NOVA2 and Spiderman to name a few), but they certainly have their low points.
 
Take it for what it is - a great quality title that wouldn't have been able to release with as many features if an Indie developer set their mind to it ;)