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Hovercraft: Battle Arena review - "A multiplayer shooter you'll hover around for a while"

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Not hover this

Product: Hovercraft: Battle Arena | Publisher: High Score Hero | Format: iPad | Genre: Multiplayer, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
There aren't a great deal of truly compulsive multiplayer games on the App Store. Some are interesting for a while, while others somehow manage to get everything wrong from the get-go.

Hovercraft: Battle Arena might not be perfect, but it's got more going for it than a lot of other games out there. Don't let the very Minecraft-y styling put you off, there's some chunky, entertaining violence here.

Hover there

As you might be able to tell from the title, this is a game about hovercraft fighting battles in an arena. It's not a simple game of kill everything that moves though. There's a few twists to the formula, and ideas from other genres, that keep things fresh.

The key to the game is collecting and holding power cubes. There's one of these at the centre of the arena, and once someone's picked it up it'll respawn after a brief amount of time.

You're not just collecting these though, you need to hold them as well. When a team is carrying ten cubes, a countdown starts. If everyone stays alive for 15 seconds, then you win the game.

Hovercraft: Battle Arena iOS review screenshot - Fighting in ancient ruins

Get killed and you'll drop all the cubes you're carrying, so the game can change its complection in a matter of seconds. It means there's always an edge to proceedings, and defending is as important as attacking.

There are power-ups to collect as well. You tap the left and right of the screen to steer - press them both at the same time and you'll boost forwards. Run out of boost and you'll need to grab some more.

There are ammo packs and shield buffs to grab too, and everyone is constantly on the move. You rarely have time to think about the best place to be, since someone's pretty much always shooting at you.

Hover here

That frantic nature does mean that tactics are a little thin on the ground, and once you realise that sticking together is the key to winning, you're going to be pretty difficult to beat.

The game adds some customisation options to keep you coming back for more, and building up your hovercraft is a decent slice of fun. But after a while the action does get a little samey.

That's not to say there isn't fun to be had with Hovercraft: Battle Arena, but once that initial spark has worn off it's going to lose its lustre pretty quickly.
Hovercraft: Battle Arena review - "A multiplayer shooter you'll hover around for a while"
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 28 September 2018
There's plenty to like about Hovercraft: Battle Arena, but once you've got to grips with it, there's not much else to do
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