Reviews

Warp Gate iPad Review

I finally feel that I have spent enough time with Warp Gate to review it; my first impressions were very high, but how does the game stack up after spending more time with it?

If you looked at the categories of this article, you may notice that Warp Gate falls into a whole load of genres. It’s going to take me a whole sentence to put a genre on the game so here goes: warp gate is a top down space shooter rpg economy management action adventure game. That’s a mouth full for sure, and I’m fairly certain that was a run on sentence, but I’m alright with it.

Every now and then a game comes along that I really have no idea what it is all about before release. Warp Gate is definitely one of these games. I knew it was a game a about flying around in space, but that was about all I knew. My mind immediately pictured something much more basic, like an asteroids clone. I was shocked when I booted the game up and realized just how much content is packed into this game.

The basic premise in Warp Gate is that you are the owner of a ship, and you fly around the galaxy completing various quests for people. That’s the bare minimum of what the game is. On the way to do these various quests you will encounter asteroids that can be mined for minerals and turned into money, enemy ships that will attack you, planets looking to buy and sell various space commodities, and side quests. The variety is like nothing I have seen a game on the iPhone or iPad. It really has that full console feel to it. Maybe you feel like killing evil space pirates? Maybe you feel like selling 35 tons of food at a 20 dollars a ton profit? Maybe you feel like getting some story and doing some quests? Maybe all of the above. Whatever it is you feel like doing, as long it involves outer space, then Warp Gate is happy to oblige.

warp21The game has a pretty cool story where you are a dude, who gets recruited to help save the galaxy. Maybe it isn’t the most original story ever made, but with over 100 main line quests, there is plenty of story to be had. The dialog in the game is well written, which is rarefor iPhone/iPad games, since more of the games I have played have pretty poorly written dialog. It’s all text based dialog, but they keep it short enough that reading it isn’t tedious.

To add to the story, and the insane amount of game play, there is also warring factions, and depending on what kind of actions you take, you may or may not remain friendly with the various factions. If a faction doesn’t like you and you cross into their part of space, you better have your shields up, because you will be attacked.

Moving around the world is really simple. You can either tap a location that you want to go to or swipe the screen in the direction you want the ship to go. I found the most effective method was to zoom all the way out and just tap the planet or warp gate I wanted to travel to. Either way, both methods are effective and easy to use.

When you land on a planet you will be giving a number of options. You have the option of buying equipment; things like new guns, shield upgrades, and even new ships. There is also the market. This is where you buy things like gas and food for as cheap as possible and travel to other planets to sell for a profit. You can also check your mission log and see what you have to do next. You will also be given the option to buy things in the game for real money, if you should so choose.

warp11The combat in game is fairly simple. It plays much like a turn based Role Playing Game. Each ship has a certain number of weapon slots, and these determine the number of attacks you can perform. Each attack takes a few seconds to recharge, so obviously having more types attacks will keep you more consistently doing damage to whatever ship is attacking you. To launch an attack you simply tap the button for that attack on the screen. Once you are in combat you do not have to worry about movement, as the game takes care of this for you. All you have to worry about is making sure you use your attacks as soon as they are ready. This is not always as easy as it sounds, because when you get to higher level ships you will pretty much constantly launching an attack, and being a little too slow can be the difference between life and death.

On top of the awesome game play, Warp Gate looks really solid. Even the initial loading screen looks super pretty, and once you get in the game, the visuals are captivating. There is a real sense of scale and size of their portrayal of outer space. The ships also look fantastic when you get up close and personal for combat.

warp3The sound effects in Warp Gate are among the best I have heard. The sounds of rockets and futurist phasers are awesome. The music as you fly around the galaxy is incredibly well composed. I never found myself bored with the music, and after a ton of hours spent in the game that is no small feat.

Overall, Warp Gate is incredible, if I absolutely had to find a flaw in the game, I would say that combat could be a little deeper, but with all the other depth in the game that’s hardly a flaw. The game is as close to perfect as I have seen. If you own an iPad, this game is an absolute must purchase. I usually don’t like to take price of a game into a review, but the fact that Warp Gate is only $7.99 with all the stuff in it is absolutely ridiculous.

Final Rating (iPad)

eds-choice

5-stars

The iPhone and iPod Touch edition is now available in a pint-sized edition for $4.99 (get it from Warpgate)

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  • AnotherTim

    Wow, 5 stars! And it’s coming to the iPhone/iPod Touch (in the US) in a little over an hour! Instant buy for me.

  • Dave

    I worry that the loss of screen may make it more like a 4.5 on the iPhone, the game really benefits from the iPad’s screen. Comment and let me know how it is on the iPhone when you play it for a little bit!

  • Jeffyg3

    I love this game on the iPad, actually it’s my favorite iPad game. I can’t imagine this being as good on the small screen.

  • legend.inc

    sounds like a great game.. instant purchase for me too.

  • Joshn

    The loss of scree doesn’t seem to be a problem for me because of the zoom feature.

  • AnotherTim

    So after spending a bit of time with it, it’s obvious that it would be nice to have the extra screen real estate, but you could almost say that about any game. I do think think it could be particulary nice in the case of Warp Gate, however. I mean, it’s a space exploration game for crying out loud, so having more space for more space (heeyuk) would add a lot to the atmosphere. Also, screens such as you see in the last screenshot of this article clearly work better on the iPad since on the iPhone version you can hardly see some of the planet surface pictures behind the text.

    I don’t think it’s broken or should lower the score, however, because you shouldn’t really be scoring things based on cross-platform comparisons anyway. You didn’t score the iPad version of Geometry wars lower due to it having less screen space than the XBox Live version of the game, right?

  • http://freeverse.com/ Lydia

    Hey there,
    What a great review! Just wanted to chime in and add that Warpgate was actually originally developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch. So although the concern about visual/experience lost on the iPhone is understandable, hopefully it won’t be an issue as the original device it was intended for was the smaller one. :)

    Glad to see everyone enjoying the game!!

    -Lydia@freeverse

  • AnotherTim

    Oh I am certainly enjoying it. Thanks to Freeverse for bringing such an awesome and deep game to my iPod. It’s really a great game.

  • Seth

    I just love the characters, and the grafic. I’s a cool game.

  • LaggyG

    I don’t have an ipad, but I gave a friend of mine who owns one the money to buy this game after playing the demo when I was at his house. Anytime we’re hanging out now I take it from him and play =P

    It REALLY reminds me of an old mac game I used to play called Escape Velocity…

  • Sly

    Hi,
    Indeed, this game is a must :-)
    To explain what kind of game it is, you should have spoken about its equivalent on PC, because warpgate didn’t “create” a kind. I’m speaking about X3 especially which is its big brother on PC. That would be easier for readers to understand what Warpgate is.
    For me Warpgate is the only game that deserve a 5 stars rating on iPad actually !

  • Mike

    Very nice game! i got addicted to it until the point where I reached within only 2 days the Kill it all ship which is the Tichnarr. And this is something I didnt expect to get my hands on so quickly and whee I believe the main flaw of the game is.
    It is too easy to accumulate money on this game. Just mine all asteroid fields, upgrade to better weapons and ships until the moment where money is no more concern.
    I believe that FV need to implement some extra challenges such as depleating asteroid fields (so that new ones can be discovered), better AI (why would little fighters battle a cruiser if they stand no chance?), add a complex battle system (the current one is just mind dumbing)…

    This game is the best one I have seen for the ipad (i love the exploration and humor parts in it!) though Id be happy to buy a warp gate 2 with more complexity in it! A la reunion x3 ;0)

  • Nvidiati

    earn money with buying/selling Medical herbs, buy on earth the 800ton Cargo vessel, and earn untill you have the 7 million laser and also earn money to upgade the shields. took me almost half day. worth to buy.

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