EPOCH., a cover-based TPS from Uppercut Games, is now available from the app store. A polished shooting gallery of sorts, EPOCH.’s terrific graphics, upgradeable weaponry, and engaging gameplay make it a title worth checking out.
- Gorgeous graphics and polished presentation
- Menacing soundtrack and futuristic wartime sound effects
- Swipe-based controls are intuitive, eliminate screen clutter
- Upgradeable weapons and player stats
- GameCenter integration for achievements to earn
- Prone to crashing at start-up
- Short campaign
EPOCH. contains only a single-player campaign encompassing 10 locations, each with 3 waves of enemies to take out. It plays out in quick fashion, but its simple gesture controls and detailed visuals keep us coming back for more. There are 3 difficulty levels, so you can play through multiple times to gain longevity. Your character is a robot, searching for the human you’re assigned to protect in a post-apocalyptic setting. Along the journey, you’re attacked by a variety of other robots using a variety of weapons. To survive, you must balance taking cover behind walls and barriers with counterattacking when the moment is right. Success in battle allows you to collect scrap which is used to upgrade your weapons and robot’s stats. Credits are also earned based on your success in battle.
Each combat space contains a left, center, and right position to occupy or take cover behind. Swiping up or down allows you to stand tall and fire upon the enemies or duck out of harm’s way. Swiping left or right allows you to move from one position to another to avoid gunfire and find a safe place from which to shoot. A Super Move is available from either extreme position, allowing you to perform an airborne somersault with an upward swipe that sends you from one side of the screen to the other. To actually engage an enemy, you need only tap on them. Your robot will continue firing until the job is done or you shift focus to another enemy. Reloading is handled automatically, though you can manually reload by swiping downward while taking cover. The controls are responsive and intuitive, freeing up the game screen for a better view by eliminating the need for a bunch of buttons.
The graphics are quite impressive, exhibiting a deep level of detail with lighting and shading effects that really enhance the experience. The robot actions are fluid and the on-rails nature of the game allows things to remain within a cinematic viewpoint. The story plays out through cutscenes that break up the repetitiveness of the battles. The soundtrack is brooding and atmospheric to match the game’s menacing setting, and the sound effects have a futuristic warfare vibe that complements the gameplay nicely. Controlling the robot can be a bit confusing at first (we often attempted super moves while out of position), but you quickly get the hang of things and it becomes second nature.
Replay value is fair, given that you can replay the campaign at harder difficulties and continue to upgrade items. A content update with additional locations and weapons would be a welcome addition. GameCenter integration allows for an achievement system with more than a dozen achievements to earn. A universal app currently enjoying a half-price sale at $2.99, EPOCH. offers a solid 4-Dimple experience.