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Desert Stormfront (RTS)

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad
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Oil be back

Product: Desert Stormfront (RTS) | Developer: Noble Master Games | Publisher: Noble Master Games | Format: iPhone | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0.0
Desert Stormfront (RTS) iPhone, thumbnail 1
It's really hard not to look back on the '90s fondly.

Economies around the world were booming, Squaresoft and Enix were two separate companies, and real-time strategy games were all the rage.

Desert Stormfront (RTS) is a love letter to the '90s in a rather twisty, 'meta' sort of way. Set during the Gulf War, this compelling RTS game captures the feel of early pioneers of the genre like Command & Conquer and Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.

A line in the sand

Like those early RTS games, Desert Stormfront (we'll dispense with the 'RTS') offers exceptional gameplay through limited graphics.

The building component in Desert Stormfront is fairly straightforward: you control different ground units (Humvees, Tanks, Rocket Tanks, etc) and air units (Chinook Helicopters, Harrier Jets, etc) and use them to defend your base while attacking your enemies.

Resources take the form of Monetary Funds which are generated by the oil fields that you control. Units are built (and repaired) at the base station, which is the one structure you can't afford to lose.

Once these essentials are understood, you can turn your ficus onto the fun part of the game: blowing things up.

Dune warfare

Everything about Desert Stormfront works to capture the elements that RTS players love and expect from their games.

You can easily select multiple units and assign them to a shortcut button on the bottom of the screen for easy scouting, raiding, and base defence. The ever-popular fog of war is featured on every level in the game, making air units rather indispensable.

Unfortunately, the game's AI isn't much of a challenge at the lower difficult settings, and it only begins to feel appropriately aggressive when set to Hard.

If you can master this difficulty - and the Extreme that follows - then Desert Stormfront also offers a multiplayer mode that lets you face off against a friend or seven.

Stormin' normal

While there's plenty to like about Desert Stormfront, the audio almost renders it unplayable.

The soundtrack itself is enjoyable – if a touch generic – but the voiceovers for the individual units are simply atrocious.

Delivered with the rigid and robotic style of an Xtranormal video, these voiceovers will make you dread every unit's confirmation and acknowledgment dialogue.

In fairness to Desert Stormfront, not every game has the budget to invest heavily in quality voice-acting, but the solution in that event is surely to go without.

To get the most enjoyment out of Desert Stormfront, you'll want to play it with the audio turned firmly off.

Tanks for the memories

There's no real plot or character development to distract from the gameplay of Desert Stormfront, which works in the game's favour. It presents a semi-historical backdrop for the game, and then promptly ignores it as it focuses instead on delivering a quality RTS game.

If you're looking for an enjoyable, if simple, RTS title to play when you have a few idle minutes to invest in it, Desert Stormfront is certainly worth checking out.
Desert Stormfront (RTS)
Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener | 29 November 2012
A solid RTS title that would definitely have benefited from a bigger budget and more challenging difficulty gameplay
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