Posted by Florian Wardell | 2 comments
iPhone App: Eliminate Pro
For this week’s app review, I chose to write about a game called Eliminate Pro for various reasons. First, as I already mentioned, it is a game. While iPhone apps of all kinds keep on getting developed, the majority of the best selling, best grossing apps are games. Apple seems to be marketing the iPhone and iPod touch as gaming devices in their latest ad campaigns, and it is true that the iPhone’s 3GS upgraded processor and GPU allow for great quality on the go gaming.
The second reason why I chose Eliminate Pro was because of the controversy it has caused lately due to its unique business model. In my opinion, this app got some unfair criticism and I’d like to address this by clarifying a few points that seem to be ignored by people who call this app a “scam”, “ripoff” or even “evil” (just read the comments on the app store).
What it is
Eliminate Pro is a first person shooter game for the iPhone. What makes this app unique is its connectivity: The whole purpose of the game is to play online and collect credits that will allow you to upgrade your armor and weapons. Basically, you are an employee of Arsenal Megacorp, and you’re supposed to test equipment. As you enter one of 5 arenas, you will encounter fellow gamers and your goal is of course to eliminate them. The more you score, the more credits you get, and these credits will allow you to buy better weapons and armor. Here’s the catch: In order to be able to collect credits, you have to play in a “charged” suit. To charge your suit, let time do its job (your suit will be fully charged in 2 to 3 hours, and ngmoco has been decreasing this time over the weeks), or buy additional power cells. This video might clarify a few concepts:
Gameplay, graphics and performance
The gameplay is fantastic. The concept is simple: eliminate as many people as possible, collect credits and powerups (like cloaking, shielding, jet packs, etc…). People who like FPS will be immediately hooked. However, let’s not forget that the game is played on the iPhone, and this device doesn’t have physical controls. So how do you move around and aim? Well it needs some getting used to, but you basically hold your phone like you would hold a console controler, and put both thumbs on the screen. The right thumb is used to aim, the left one to move. Here’s a shot video explaining the controls:
Surpringly, the controls are very intuitive, and the scheme works very well. A few tweaks in the settings menu and aiming is precise and easy, moving is fluid and smoothly controlled. Online play is fun, charging takes no longer than a few seconds and I haven’t had any performance problems. You can also play offline, but this is rapidly boring: You can only play in the standard suit and the bots are just too predictable. The graphics aren’t the best on the iPhone, but they are convenient and fast. The effects look nice and it is a pleasure to roam around the arenas. And yes, let’s not forget that you are basically playing an onlince 3D FPS game on … a phone.
Pricing, criticism and verdict
Eliminate Pro is free. That’s right, you can download and use one of the best mobile games in the world for free. There is no light version, and all the functionality is included in this free game. There are no ads either. However, if you want to seriously increase your rankings, you will have to pay for additional power cells, as these take ages to charge. Brian Tong, in his weekly “Apple Byte” on CNET TV threw a bad apple at ngmoco for this, stating that you will have to wait or pay to play the game. Well, it is my turn to throw a bad apple at him, because this is not true: You can very well play the game if your suit is discharged, you can even play online. You just won’t get any credits for the game, that’s it. And considering the quality of the game, it pricing and the fact that charging time decreases regularly, I find this limitation really insignificant. And if you do happen to pay for cells, well then you should seriously consider getting a life, so thank you ngmoco for not pushing me to become an asocial iPhone gamer who hasn’t seen daylight in days. The only negative point about this game is that the server seems to always put me in arenas with people who sometimes have twice my level. This kills the fun in the game as it usually only lasts a minute or so and I don’t stand chance. Looking at the App store complaints, I’m not the only one saying that this should be fixed. In any case, you can play a one on one with friends, which is a nice feature and allows you to rapidly win credits.
Eliminate Pro is one of the best iPhone games I’ve seen so far. Grab it, you won’t regret it.
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