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For: iPhone

You won't want to miss a thing

Product: Armageddon | Developer: Mun Chi Dao | Publisher: Meridian | Publisher: Gameprom | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (adhoc), Bluetooth | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Armageddon iPhone, thumbnail 1
It used to be feared that the end of the world would come about as the result of supernatural forces, but modern doomsday scenarios are man made.

Nuclear holocaust, genocide, global warming, Lebron James's decision to play for the Miami Heat - whatever the catastrophe, we are our own destroyers.

The same can be said of Armageddon and its castle versus castle gameplay. Its simplicity is intentional, but that doesn't excuse it. While there's enjoyment to be gleaned from this challenging action game, wilful design decisions prevent it from being a deep experience.

Castle contest

The battles themselves are 2D affairs between the wealthy nation of Magnus and scientifically superior Licinius. You take on your rival from the left, the idea being to move troops gradually to the right in order to destroy their base.

Your arsenal is mixed, ranging from standard soldiers to helicopters and two-legged mechs. Naturally, emerging victorious from battle nets you credits that can be used to unlock new weapons and strengthen your veteran units.

Winning each encounter is a question of patience and timing. During each stage an energy counter ticks upwards. The stronger the unit you wish to deploy, the greater the amount of energy needed.

As such, it's easy to fall into the trap of waiting for stronger and stronger weapons to become available, which can often leave your base vulnerable.

Strength in defeat

It really is a case of trial and error. Fortunately, even failed battles – expect defeat regularly – add credits to your coffers and so empower you to better equip your troops the next time around.

Failure isn't especially heartbreaking, either. Although poorly scripted, the story somehow evokes sympathy for the enemy so that when Magnus soldiers line up to fight you can't help but sense their frustration and desire for revenge after having lost to Licinus in previous wars.

As a result, you learn something from every battle, with defeated enemies feeding you information or joining your ranks to help you as you progress.

Space battle

While Armageddon is far more playable than its involved story may suggest, it isn't the deepest of castle encounters.

Once you've learned how the game works, it becomes clear that the size of the levels – the gap between your own base and your rivals – determines how long battles last, rather than tactics.

Rival armies naturally become more forceful and the addition of a multiplayer mode (local wi-fi and Bluetooth) keeps things interesting, but this is an exceedingly straightforward game.

That doesn't mean it isn't fun, though. It's solid a game that has enough to it to keep you on board. Almost anyone can pick it up – it's putting it back down again that's the real battle.
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 3 August 2010
Armageddon is a straightforward castle vs. castle battler that opts for simplicity and a high level of difficulty over creativity and depth
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