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Mobile Game of the Week: Epoch (iOS)

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Mobile Game of the Week: Epoch (iOS)

Epoch


Platform: iOS
Developer: Uppercut Games
Publisher: Uppercut Games
Release Date: 11/10/2011
Price: $5.99

With the Infinity Blade franchise showing the world that the Unreal engine can be handled successfully on the iOS platform, dozens of games have been released that hope to cash in on the dream of playing triple-A quality titles on cell phones. Unfortunately, because the mechanics of many of these console-gone-mobile games are not built ground-up with touch controls in mind, they often ended up as buggy, clumsy ripoffs. We’re looking at you, Modern Combat and Shadowgun.

With Epoch, developer Uppercut Games ditches the virtual joysticks and buttons and emphasizes what the iOS platform is good at: swiping and tapping. By swiping left and right, you jump behind the rubble of the post-human world for cover, while shooting is handled automatically with just a simple touch. With controls as simple as these, Epoch feels intuitive the first time you pick it up to play.

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Epoch is technically a cover-based shooter game, but that’s using the word “shooter” pretty loosely. You play as a robot attempting to save the post-apocalyptic world with just a single gun attached to your arm and the uncanny ability to jump behind cover. While not much else is clear starting out, along the way you pick up people’s personal “intercepts” that unfold the story of the robo-pocalypse in a particularly cool way. In what would have been a cliche and rather boring plot, this simple storytelling device gives the game a touch of personality and character that suits this kind of a game really well.

Passing through each wave of robot enemies, you’ll receive experience points and credits that you can use to increase your level and upgrade your guns as you get closer to reaching your goal of rescuing some lady in a tower in the distance. The game’s not perfect — the action really ramps up in the harder difficulties, but your first play-through won’t likely present you a lot of challenges outside the final boss. In fact, its relatively short length was the primary drawback for me overall. In terms of replay value, I’ve just come to expect a little more length out of a game marked at $5.99 for the iOS platform. The good news is that in terms of gameplay, graphics, and controls, Epoch is one of the most accessible and intuitive action games out in the App Store right now. Don’t let the greatness of Infinity Blade II distract you from this one.