iPhone Game Review: Neon Battle HD Reviewed by JJ Robbins
Neon Battle HD is a cool retro arcade style game where you defend one side of the screen while your opponent hopes to do the same on the opposite side. The gameplay is simple yet addictive. The game works on the iPhone and iPod touch, thought it's easier to play multiplayer on the iPad's large screen size.
Neon Battle HD has a simple gameplay concept: a cannon sits in the middle of each opposing player's base, and you will need to blast away your opponent's shield then his base. You have a very decent arsenal the include cannons and missiles as well as special power-ups. To attack with missiles you hold on them and pull in the direction you want and release it. To attack with the cannon you hold and move your finger to point your cannon. It's fun to see the black sky lighting up when you hit targets, but it's a lot more fun to catch power ups and use them to your advantage. These power ups include shields, faster missiles, laser beam, plasma beam, and also the all-powerful EMP which knocks out all your enemies attacks. It also knocks out the pieces of debris which can knock out your missile and cannon attacks.
There are three game modes in Neon Battle HD: death match, quick match, or survival. In survival mode, the game play is a little different. Instead of your base vs. base it's you vs. an onslaught of enemies. It has multiplayer but it's only on the same device. There are also three difficulties, Easy, medium and hard. Easy level feels comfortable but medium serves up a tough AI to compete with. For a game that?s mostly designed for pick up and play, which attracts casual players, difficulty levels could be lessened to give players longer play time and beginners to get into the game more easily.
Like with most Chillingo?s games, there is worldwide online leaderboard built-in and also tracks your achievements. It would have been cool to have a global multiplayer mode though.
Graphics & Sound
The graphics are sharp on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4th gen with retina display. The graphics fit this type of retro game. The explosions are nicely done. The touch controls work smoothly without any glitch. Frame rate is great. All in all, the graphics package feels polished and meet your expectations of a Chillingo title.
Neon Battle HD has a complete audio package that shows good quality. Sound effects are standard fare arcade shooting noises with rich explosions. The audio track is a fast-paced techno beat that instills a sense of urgency in your actions. The audio style fits the game?s theme well, but it can get repetitive after a while.
It?s not easy to find true retro arcade games that are well done, Neon Battle HD is one of the best we?ve seen on the iPhone and iPad. The game has enough gameplay modes and difficulty levels for various types of players. It?s easy to get into and yet can get very addictive. Weapons and power-ups have enough entertainment value, and the multiplayer mode is a nice touch for the iPad users. Graphics and audio have good qualities and do a good job at recreating the retro arcade game?s look and feel. The game could use some AI difficulty adjustment to include more casual players.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - They are sharp and fit the atmosphere of the game. Sound: - 5 - Sounds are arcade type and the music will keep you on the edge, but gets a little old after a while. Controls: - 5 - Controls are easy to learn and run smoothly in the game. Gameplay: - 4.5 - Fast and enjoyable. The relay value is good if this is your favorite genre. AI could be less hard.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- If you upgrade your weapons and fire after you send out the EMP you can do a lot of damage.