After 35 years exploring space, an aging captain and his crew return to Earth. However, the planet has been destroyed by an epidemic of self-controlled robots. In an effort to save whatever remnants of life they can find, the crew and survivors met along your journeys must work tactically with the units at their disposal to prevail. This compelling story is just part of what makes Rogue Planet a turn-based strategy game not to be missed.
The meat of Rogue Planet comes from the campaign. You play the role of multiple captains of an army who are at the forefront of the fight against the malicious robot infestation. 19 levels of various difficulty (although never so challenging that it becomes frustrating) and dialogue-based scenes between each mission kept us intrigued until the end.
Each time you beat one of the levels in the campaign, its respective map is unlocked in skirmish mode. This content-filled free play feature that is a must for TBS games includes 34 maps, three difficulty levels, and the ability to play as either side (humans or robots). With so many layouts to select from and two sides to control, you will almost never play the same game twice.
There are also some new strategies to be honed through the damage review and suicide systems. Before attacking your enemy, you can view the estimated percent of damage that will be inflicted on them. A tip is to always check out all of your options before going in for the attack. Also, the suicide system allows you to blow up a unit to deal damage to all enemies in a one-block radius. This is especially helpful when a unit is low on health (meaning they also cannot attack well) and therefore has little use other than taking up space. The units available are your standard fare, but that worked fine for us.
One component that helps Rogue Planet stand out is the artwork. The hand-drawn character artwork and background images in the text-heavy cutscenes are incredible. Even battle sequences are entertaining to watch. As far as the in-game sprites and textures, the game doesn’t disappoint. While it’s not as obvious in the screenshots, there are some quality animations and 3D models to be found here. To show this off, you can turn the perspective of the camera 90 degrees in all directions. There isn’t usually a true need to do this, but it leaves quite an impression nonetheless.
They’re just cruising for a bruising.
Rogue Planet does have some drawbacks for new turn-based strategy players, though. A confusing user interface with tons of tiny buttons, paired with a weak ‘tutorial’ that ultimately fails to teach the game’s somewhat complicated controls, will turn off newcomers not ready to spend time either reading the in-game instruction page or experimenting with the quirks. Also of note, although not quite a con, is that due the genre’s nature you will need to sink hours into some of the maps in order to beat them. The pacing seem slow if you expect to breeze through the game.
Multiplayer has always been a big part of TBS games. Rogue Planet’s efforts at this mode are halfway there. In the current version, there is multiplayer over Bluetooth and local wi-fi, both of which are fine if you are playing with friends. Unfortunately, online multiplayer did not make it into the release build, but the developer has stated it is coming in the next update.
If you enjoy turn-based games that will put you to the test, Rogue Planet is a title that should not be missed. An interesting storyline, tons of modes, and great graphics all help make this one of the best ways to spend $4.99 on the App Store.