Origin8 Technologies has given us a shiny new tower defense-esque game with their new game app, Space Station: Frontier. As the name suggests, you’re sent out into the wilds of unexplored space territory, specifically to mine asteroids to send back to an resource-deprived Earth (which is not as implausible as it sounds). Unfortunately, it’s also a hostile territory, so you must protect your ship and its structures while mining.
You have a total of 10 campaigns, plus two additional locked levels: Survival and Mining. You have various missions for the campaigns, from mining a certain amount to staying alive for a certain amount of time; Survival and Mining require you to stay alive for as long as possible and to mine as much as possible, respectively. Mining gives you credits, which you can use at the Shipyard to obtain everything from better weapons to power generators to more health. The campaigns are linear, in which you have to finish one before going on to the next; you can also replay levels you’ve already finished to gain more credits, which you might need to complete all 10 campaigns (all results are logged under your profile). You start by building power nodes near a power generator, and then building miners near a power node in order to start mining (of course, it’s best to build these near an asteroid). You can link power nodes to each other…as long as you have a network in which they are ultimately connected to a power generator, you’ll be able to mine; each node can hold up to four connections Tap and hold the structure you want to build on the bottom bar, then drag it out to where you want to build it. The structure will have a green graphic over it if you can build it in that location, and a red one if you can’t. Enemy fighters will swoop in while you are on your campaign, which will increase in number and ferocity as you move up in your campaigns. The health and power bars are found on the left side of the screen.
This iPhone app is mostly a game of strategy, in which you plan out what to build and where, and balance how much to spend on defending your space station. The graphics are nice, but not extensively engaging (the pinch zoom option is nice, though); similarly, the background music and sound effects are sufficiently space-like, but nothing special. As mentioned before, the fun of the game is found in the real-time strategy aspects, with added excitement whenever the enemy shows up. However, it gets a little repetitive, as you really only have those two objectives to worry about…you could probably spend your $2.99 on a lot worse, though, as Space Station: Frontier is a game that requires smarts and is well-polished, to boot.
Here is a video demo of the Space Station: Frontier app on the iPhone
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