Hands-On With Ubisoft’s Upcoming iOS Lineup

This week, Ubisoft unveiled a number of new iOS games to journalists. Most of the new games featured high-profile Ubisoft brands, like Ghost Recon, Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, and even Michael Jackson. Most of these games will be out in November, but a few might be pushed back to December or early 2012. Here’s our hands-on report.

Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars

This top-down, turn-based strategy game should be familiar to Nintendo 3DS owners. Shadow Wars was an early 3DS title, and the iOS version will remain mostly unchanged. The action is still mainly on the top part of the screen, replacing the top 3DS screen, with a bird’s eye view of the grid-based battlefield. You can tap on your elite soldiers, move them, and fire, until all of your soldiers are spent. Then you have to wait and let the enemies take their positions. It may not be the ultra-realistic Ghost Recon game we were expecting, but we’ll be happy to see a fairly new 3DS game on the App Store for a fraction of the price.

Assassin’s Creed: Recollection

While the Assassin’s Creed series is known for its stealthy action, it also features gorgeous Renaissance-era visuals. Assassin’s Creed: Recollection plays up the graphics while transforming the stealth gameplay into a card battle. There are three main kinds of cards: sites, agents, and action. You’ll earn points by playing site and agent cards and keeping them on the board while a “day” timer moves across the screen. Action cards can have some interesting effects– like stabbing your agents in the neck. We’re curious to see how well Recollection balances the various card effects, but the included art gallery and 20-minute movie, Embers, are nice bonus features.

Prince of Persia Classic

You may have already played the original Prince of Persia Retro on your iOS device, or the PS2 port Warrior Within. But if that’s not enough Prince for you, this upcoming Xbox Live Arcade port has 2D levels like the original game, and the updated characters and gameplay elements from Sands of Time. While we had some trouble transitioning our character between animations– like running, jumping, and climbing– Prince of Persia Classic is an excellent-looking update for the series.

Michael Jackson: The Experience

In this rhythm game, you’ll get to teach Michael Jackson how to dance. Instead of just tapping on the screen in time with the music, you’ll also have to swipe and draw circles on the screen in particular directions. If you perform well, the cast of background dancers behind Michael will grow. The motion-captured animation looks fantastic, and several of the music video settings made us fondly remember the 80s.

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