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The Firing Line: 5 questions for Mode 7 on Frozen Synapse
by Harry Slater 16/5/2013
Product: Frozen Synapse
Publisher: Mode 7
Format: Android, iPad, PS Vita
Genre: Strategy
If you weren't already aware, Mode 7's Frozen Synapse is now out for iPad.

And in case you hadn't noticed, we gave it a glowing review earlier today.

In fact, we handed it a Silver Award and said that "the knife-edge tension of every session means your 50th game is every bit as exciting and unpredictable as your first."

The wait for this indie PC smash to surface on the App Store has been long, but the end result is a deep, strategic shooter in which anyone willing to put the time and effort into mastering its nuances is handsomely rewarded.

We got a chance to chat to Paul Taylor from Mode 7 about porting Frozen Synapse to the iPad, and how newbies to the game can get the most out of Frozen Synapse's ice-cold touchscreen edition.

Pocket Gamer: How would you describe Frozen Synapse?

Paul Taylor: We've always called it, rather self-effacingly, "the ultimate tactical game". It's a simultaneous turn-based squad strategy game.

The emphasis is on reading your opponent and reacting to the randomly generated terrain.

What was the biggest challenge you encountered in porting the game to the iPad?

Certainly the interface. Frozen Synapse has a complex UI that enables the player to have a lot of freedom in creating his plan. Translating this to tablets was a huge challenge and took us a long time to get right.

Were there any features in the PC version that you had to trim or change to get the game working on iOS?

We weren't able to have our IRC client in-game for launch. It's possible that we'll introduce that via an update, though. There's still chat available within individual matches.

Instant upload to YouTube also isn't possible, but we may look into a solution for that at some point.

I believe we constrained some features of the Instant Skirmish Generator, but that just involved capping extreme settings. It's not something about which I think anyone will particularly care.

Aside from that, every feature from the PC version of the game is available in the iPad edition. We will be launching the Red expansion pack soon, by the way.

Do you have any tips for players who are experiencing the game for the first time on the iPad?

Definitely watch the tutorial videos. We've done our best to keep these short and sharp, but they cover every single order you can give a unit.

Once you've taken a look at those, try an Instant Skirmish against the AI and figure out the basics of controlling units. Aiming, continue on sight, waiting, and using cover are probably the most important basics to master.

There are a lot of Frozen Synapse gameplay videos on YouTube if you want to figure out how other people are generally playing the game.

Any word on when the Android or Vita versions of Frozen Synapse will surface?

The Android version will go live later this month. No word on the Vita edition yet. That's still in development at Double Eleven.
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