Command & Conquer: Red Alert Hands-On

Command & Conquer is one of the real-time strategy genre’s biggest names. It’s produced eight games since the series started back in 1995, along with many expansion packs, across three different mini-franchises. Now the series is making war on the RTS-starved iPhone in the form of Command & Conquer: Red Alert. We took a look at a pre-Alpha build of the game at EA’s booth and whooped some Soviet behind! Details after the jump.

The Red Alert games take place in an alternate history, where Albert Einstein traveled back in time to assassinate Hitler. No Hitler means no WWII… and a very powerful Stalin, who decides to flex the Bear’s muscles by invading Europe. Whoops. Thanks for nothing, Mr. Relativity!

Now the formerly Cold War has gone hot. Soviets and Allies are going toe-to-toe with all kinds of crazy parallel universe hardware, from Tesla Coils to cybernetic bears. The 1950s could have been so much more awesome than they actually were.

The iPhone build is clearly in a pre-Alpha state, so we only got to test a single level, pitting rival Soviet factions against one another–apparently the Allies aren’t ready to show off yet.

Red Alert is played entirely via finger mouse. A pop-up menu on the right side of the screen gives you access to all of your soldiers, buildings, and vehicles. Small buttons along the bottom of the screen allow you to select multiple units and choose their targets. The left-hand side of the screen has four boxes for holding groups of units, so you can easily recall and maneuver them during play.

The jury is still very much out on Command & Conquer: Red Alert. While the game definitely looks like C&C, we didn’t see enough to be able to say whether it will be as playable as the original.

Of course, it won’t be out until sometime this fall, so EA Mobile has plenty of time to polish this one up and make sure they get it right. We would love to see this game shape up into an iPhone classic, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on it going forward.