Quantum Collapse (RTS)

In this real-time strategy game, you can use massive spells to repel attacks from the enemy, or set them on fire.

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Quantum Collapse Review

“Alright, Administrator, it’s up to you now. It’s going to be a difficult road, but it’s a rewarding one. We have lots of units here to command, and we’ve considered their strengths and weaknesses. Controlling them all won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it in the end.”

This could be the mission briefing for Quantum Collapse, one of the latest real-time strategy games to hit the App Store. It also sums up our own experience with the game.

You play as the Administrator, fighting a mysterious group of aliens known as the Haha. The story and presentation is a bit amateurish, and the game has its rough edges. For example, upon booting up, you’re greeted by a nearly illegible title screen. Despite this, Quantum Collapse gets a lot right.

Burn, baby, burn.

The game itself takes a lot of cues from RTS classics of the past like Starcraft, but enough has been changed to make things feel relatively fresh. Tough decisions will be made during the heat of battle, and there are multiple choices offered.

Say the enemy just knocked out a power plant, and you’re using more energy than you produce. Until you build another one, all of your buildings and turrets are useless. You can either tough it out until you can build another one, or you can sacrifice one of your existing power plants for a 40 second power boost that will eventually require you to build two plants instead of one.

Another main concern in Quantum Collapse is the whereabouts and quantity of your gatherers. Gatherers cost a steep 350 credits to produce, and can either transform into a building (at an additional cost) or gather resources. These suckers move incredibly slow, which means you need to plan in advance when building turrets and other structures. While this keeps you thinking strategically, it also slows down the overall pace of the game a bit more than is ideal.

Itty-bitty Armageddon.

We liked that Quantum Collapse offers plenty of different unit types to create, each with their own strengths and weaknesses and covering both the air and ground. Spells can also be cast that engulf the enemy in flames or give your forces healing powers, among other effects.

However, the main problem holding back Quantum Collapse is the movement control of your units. You must double tap the screen to select their destination, but if any other unit is in the vicinity of where you want them to go, you’ll end up just selecting the new unit instead of moving anyone. This can lead to your army standing around, getting massacred by turrets or other threats.

Stationary units will also get pushed across the map when they’re in the way of moving units. Again, this was most frustrating around turrets. Certain tanks are designed to operate at long range to take out turrets, but if they’re at the back of the group they’ll push all their companions into the turrets while trying to get within firing distance, wiping out half the group in the process.

Still, Quantum Collapse is a solid RTS title for the iPhone, especially for just a couple of dollars. If more features besides the campaign mode make their way into the game in future updates (like a skirmish or multiplayer mode) we’d be even more eager to recommend it. As it is, the three difficulty levels and dozen missions should take many hours to beat. Fans of RTS games should check it out.

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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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