Quantum Collapse Hands-On

Ever since gamers began to recognize the iPhone as an innovative handheld gaming device, there has been talk about how suited the real-time strategy (RTS) genre was for the platform. While the few attempts made so far have come up short, Javier Davalos’ Quantum Collapse seems to have potential from what we have seen in our early build.

The vast majority of RTS games have you building and controlling an army and economy in real time while fighting against the opposing side. You usually have multiple things going on at once and must focus attention on several ongoing tasks. As many experienced players know, it can get hectic at times.

Battles can be won or lost in a split second over slightest details, so controls and responsiveness are key. Quantum Collapse is doing a great job so far. The game is fully controlled by touch, and everything feels natural, from the two-finger scrolling and zooming.

Tapping a fighting unit will select all units of the same type that are close by, allowing easy movement of troops. Double tapping a unit allows the player to single it out from the pack. These simple controls should be easy for beginners to learn and will give experts the freedom needed to quickly yet precisely plan their moves.

In the build we have been playing, there are only a handful of units and buildings to utilize, but Davalos said the final build will have more. Buildings are quite straightforward and what one would expect from an RTS game–a base station, a place to generate units, power plants, research facilities to discover new units, etc. Gatherers mine xeron nodes for currency.

There are two general types of units that we have seen so far–ground and air. Our build only gave us a brief glimpse of the latter, but it seems like every type of unit in the game will play differently with unique abilities. For example, tanks have shields and infantry can sprint around the map.

One type of ability that we did not get the chance to mess around with, but did witness during one of the battles, is spells. According to Davalos, these will be taught at research centers and will play a huge part in the strategy of the game. Allowed once per round, spells will affect both friends and foe, which was done with multiplayer in mind, Davalos said.

He gave us a few examples, though. Aggressive players may choose an area-of-effect fire spell that burns units to death while more defensive strategies could call for “Singularity,” which creates a black hole that swallows missiles. For a look at what these spells will look like, check out this video provided by Davalos.

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