Mass Effect Galaxy
Pretty mixed reviews on this one so far. If you don’t know what it is, Mass Effect Galaxy is an iPod Touch / iPhone game made by BioWare and set in the popular Mass Effect universe.
I didn’t work on the game, but did some late-in-the-day testing of it. While I agree with several of the reviews in regards to features it should have included I think it is a strong offering on the iPod Touch/iPhone. Part of the problem for people playing it is that they think because it is Mass Effect it will have dialog, story, and combat. And it does… but they are presented differently (obviously!) because of the iPhone interface and specifications. It’s a radically different piece of hardware than an Xbox360!
I think this is going to be a struggle for BioWare, to be able to say ‘hey, this is a game set in the Mass Effect universe but it’s a different kind of game’. To be able to differentiate their IP from the core game mechanics of the initial titles. People who like the original game may not find the subsidiary games to their liking. Equally bad is that people who did not like the initial game might not even bother with the subsidiary games.
Ignoring what the game is not, and focussing on what the game is, I think many people will find it to be quite enjoyable and there’s nothing quite like it or on the iPhone (or at least I haven’t stumbled across it). High quality graphics, interesting storyline, and fun (even somewhat tactical) combat. It is missing RPG staples (item collection, et cetera) and I hope BioWare tries for a second game, adding these features and improving overall stability/performance.