Developer: Revo Solutions
Compatibility: Not available
iTunes Rating: Not rated at press time
Release date: December 17, 2010
Artillery Brigade is a new World War II gun turret game developed by Revo Solutions. It boasts 360 degrees of rotational movement and a slew of other features to keep gameplay engaging and entertaining. My iPhone 3G is notorious for being finicky when trying to run apps that include 3D rendering, so I was interested in seeing how successful this game would be on my phone. This could be a good purchase for you, depending on what device you own; continue reading to find out why.
The story is as simple as the gameplay. You’ve taken control of a WWII gun turret, and it’s up to you to halt the advancement of the enemy troops. Initially you face large numbers of foot soldiers, but as the levels progress and you upgrade your turret, you defend against a combination of land and air attacks. To up the ante, you also have the chance to try some night missions. Make it through each campaign and you’re rewarded with survival modes and plenty of firepower upgrades.
Artillery Brigade was developed to make full use of the iPhone 4’s retina display and gyroscopic motion sensor, but for those of us with less spectacular phones, the game provides backwards compatibility. Your turret has 360 degrees of rotation and what appears to be 180 degrees of vertical movement. Because enemies can spawn in the distance, you’re also given a zoom-slider for getting up-close and violent with the baddies from far away. The turret can be controlled using the motion of the device (accelerometer/gyroscope) or by finger movement on the screen itself. Once you’ve got the movement down, you simply press the fire button and let the bullets fly.
Artillery Brigade has a lot of positives. The most important thing is that the game is fun. I was pleasantly surprised to see some blood splattering when I made a kill or shot a gas can to disperse a cluster of enemies. Allowing such a wide range of movement keeps the game challenging. I’ve played some apps with a more limited range of motion, and they feel constricted and repetitive. While the 3D rendering on my non-retina display phone was not spectacular, given the amount of rendering going on in the game, it was acceptable. Controlling the turret was not as smooth as I’d like on my 3G, but once I discovered the zoom slider, this became less of an issue. I imagine that controlling the turret on the current generation iDevices should be a lot more rewarding.
My list of complaints is small, but on the 3G the negatives are catastrophic. As a disclaimer, my phone has the newest iOS, which is known to destroy the usefulness of the 3G models. I frequently experience apps crashing and horrendous lag doing just about anything on my phone. While playing Artillery Brigade, I couldn’t make it past the first level. I would complete it, I’d see the completion screen, and then the app would crash. I tried reloading, only to have to restart the first level again. I gave up after the third reload. Now, I’m going to go out on a limb and not let this affect my review (too much). Why? Because I accept that my phone sucks, and I’m 100 percent positive that, on a 3GS and especially an iPhone 4, this game rocks. I‘m also positive that the developer would not have let something this major go unattended across all platforms. They’ve put out some quality games, and these types of failures don’t occur with decent development.
If you own an iDevice with the retina display and gyroscopic movement detection, then buy Artillery Brigade. It’s fun, it has replay value, and it’s sure to be worth the price. If you have an iPhone 3G, hold off until the issues I encountered can either be identified as hardware problems or patched.