Vogster Entertainment gave us a quick preview of its upcoming title Robocalypse: Mobile Mayhem, due for tentative release in early September, at its E3 booth.
A port of a popular Nintendo DS title, the game features the comedic work of writers Jay Lender of ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ and Micah Wright of ‘The Angry Beavers,’ incorporating their story into their 17-mission story campaign. Mobile Mayhem is part of the three-game Robocalypse series, though it’s the first for the iPhone. In this particular episode, a robot factory has inadvertently created sentient robots out to annihilate mankind. Your task is to stop them with a robot army of your own.
“This is a full-on game,” said senior producer Alan Martin. “We took a $30 DS game and brought it to the iPhone.”
The price point for the iPhone version is still under discussion, said Vogster spokesman Ted Brockwood.
Mobile Mayhem is a fairly straightforward mission-based real time strategy game, which will inevitably draw comparisons to Warcraft II in both its look and gameplay style. Resources are gathered via worker drones, who then construct structures that produce combat units. Rally points are available, and there is some degree of AI involved to help prioritize the actions of the units, Brockwood said.
When porting the game from the DS to the iPhone, Vogster took certain steps to streamline gameplay for the smaller surface. For example, though the number of units in play remains unchanged, fewer units will appear on screen. Also, instead of being able to build anywhere on the map, there are preset locations on which to build, a design choice which helps reduce clutter, Brockwood said.
Reminiscent of Warcraft II
The two-screen presentation of the DS was simulated by having both the mini-map and the board on the screen, which can be presented in both landscape and portrait layouts.
In porting the title to the iPhone, Vogster also was able to take advantage of the platforms capabilities to expand multiplayer options, evolving from local LAN-only play to straight Internet play with global leaderboards spread across 18 maps.
Martin said bringing high quality production value to an iPhone title was a priority for Vogster, given the increasingly crowded field of games at the lowest price point. But still, Martin said he believes the combination of the scaled down gameplay and the mission length will hit the sweet spot.
‘There’s been a cryout from serious gamers,’ Martin said. ‘We have a quality product and we want to get it to consumers. This is really an untapped genre, but we feel [Robocalypse] is suited well to the mature gamer looking for something more.’