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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