Release Date: 12/17/2009
Also Available On
The Good: Technically superb, lots of guns, good controls, level variety, decent story
The Bad: Feels generic and too familiar, gets repetitive towards the end, no one’s playing online
NOVA can be called the iPhone’s answer to Halo. What does this mean? Slightly generic, over rated, but still good. NOVA is probably one of the best looking games on the iPhone and one of the few shooters with solid controls. NOVA puts you in the shoes of hero vet Kal Wardin who is forced out of retirement to take care of an alien species hell-bent on destroying mankind. Sounds familiar? Well, it is, but the story is just enough to keep you interested until the end.
The game’s main focus is shooting, so the question is what do I get to shoot and what do I shoot it with? You shoot a bunch of aliens that range from big to small to human like. Some shoot projectiles and some come at you with huge clubs. They aren’t much to look at and the enemy variety is sparse, but it’s enough to give you a good challenge. The weapons are plentiful, but they are pretty generic. You get your standard grade C arsenal of a handgun, machine gun, rocket launcher, sniper rifle, plasma cannon, shotgun yeah you get what I mean. The gun feels good to shoot and they feel powerful, but you always feel like it could be better.
Shooting is fairly easy with three different control setups. You can toss grenades with an on screen button, jump, and reload with ease. The game ramps up the difficulty at a nice pace so by the time you get to the end you’ve already mastered the controls. There are some varying events such as using turrets and riding on the back of a vehicle, but other than that it’s just your typical run and gun affair. The levels are varied which is a nice touch from your vanilla future space station. There are some jungle levels, snow levels, and indoor levels.
There is even some puzzle solving in this game. Certain door or ammo crates require playing a light and mirror type game on a grid. Just try to get the light beam to touch all the green nodes. There is even a different game in the last levels that consists of turning disks with green and red dots. These break up the monotony of shooting but were out quickly.
Despite this variety, everything looks pretty generic and I wish there would have been a nice artistic flair. The game is technically amazing almost looking as good as an Xbox game.Surprisingly there isn’t much slow down, and the game has a good length of about 4 hours. There is an online multiplayer mode but for some reason no one’s playing it. I have to highly recommend this game, but I just wish it wasn’t so familiar. I’m hoping NOVA 2 can up the ante on the amazing game.