N.O.V.A. - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance Review

By , on December 21, 2009

N.O.V.A. - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance
  • Publisher: Gameloft
  • Genre: Action
  • Released: 17 Dec, 2009
  • Size: 325.0 MB
  • Price: $4.99
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Amazingly responsive controls.
  • Beautiful environments.
  • Well paced gameplay.


  • Stilted voice acting and story.
  • Currently only 4 player deathmatch available.


NOVA is almost the physical manifestation of just how well the iPhone and iPod Touch are doing in terms of handheld gaming.  If you're an action fan it'd be a shame to miss out on this.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Halo as a franchise was the start of a console revolution for the first person shooter. It combined well designed controls with a highly anticipated adventure story and amazing multiplayer paving the way for future FPSs. NOVA (Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance) may not be as epochal, but it has refined the genre for the iPhone in a way that can't be ignored.

Veterans of FPSs will quickly adapt to the controls that are purpose built and well considered for touch screens. Of the three control options available, the default is designed to work the best using a virtual stick for movement, swiping the screen to aim and UI elements around the screen to fire, throw grenades, swap weapons or deploy a special attack. This all sounds fairly standard, but the magic is in the firing button that allows you to correct your aim while holding down the button much like a secondary analogue stick.

However, the best controls in the world would be for naught if the game ran terribly so thankfully NOVA is beautiful beyond comparison. Each of the 3D environments are spectacularly detailed and make the most of the iPhone's capabilities. The musical scoring is limited, but appropriate and well worth putting on headphones for. And if the interface isn't to your liking then there's also an option to change the layout to your preference.

Obvious comparisons aside, this is one of the best FPSs currently available and a late hot contender for a game of the year. A definite must buy for all action fans.


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sizlinbabu 8 years, 7 months ago

I like the new concept that this NOVA game brings and I can see the effort that has been put up to make this game stand out. Although much of the storyline is the typical run-of-the-mill. I would love to play this kind of a game in a bigger screen though (such as an ipad) where my hand does not block most of the action going on in the game. The controls also seem a little difficult and laggy at times. But i would not take points away from the game just for that. I would instead recommend people to use a Detachable Gamepad Controller such as this one from JsxlTech. It's really a boon for gaming devices with small screens.

<a href="http://www.jsxltech.com/products/sharksucker-wireless-bluetooth-gamepad-controller-for-apple-iphone-5

christjajadi 10 years, 11 months ago

which first person shooter do you personally like most ??? btw , i already have black pegasus2 and COD zombies .. :) 

andrew 10 years, 11 months ago

To be perfectly honest I try not to stick with FPSs on the iPhone as I've been a long-time PC gamer for the genre - I have a hard time enjoying them on any other platform. That said, the iPhone has some really good ones, but I really only play them enough to finish the story :)

rajt 11 years, 2 months ago

err dude do u jailbreak ur iphone or are all the apps u reviewed paid? sry jus curious

andrew 11 years, 2 months ago

Paid, just like any professional site would be doing :)

ancientRobot 9 years, 11 months ago

the question is legit, since in the iPhone world $3.99 for an app seems like $500000 for a car. But actually, it's nothing. It's rediculously cheap and a thousands bucks buys you an app a day for a year or more.