Hunters: Episode One Review
- 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.
- Limited mission variety despite 'new' levels each day.
- Crash on level loading bug.
- Occasional in-mission 'locked' unit selection bug.
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.