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Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace for iOS
 

Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace for iOS

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Action Games, Space Sims
 
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Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace for iOS makes you a pilot, defending humanity against the space-faring dinosaur threat! The game's developed by Philipp Seifried and published by BulkyPix. Dinosaurs are returning to take over the Earth using their spaceships, and players are tasked with stopping them! The game gives you control of Ace Ferrara as you engage in space combat and cartoon fun.

Graphics and Sound

With colorful graphics and interesting characters, Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace has a great cartoon feel to it. It's pretty much what you'd expect when you hear that space-faring dinosaurs are attacking the Earth. If you expected dark, graphic, and lifelike, you'd not only be wrong, but you'd be full of some weird expectations. Although there is little variation in the music, it's catchy and serves the game well.

Gameplay

Between levels, you have the option of reading through dialogue and getting a little scene advancing the story. This is mostly character interactions, showing their changing relationships. When a mission is started, you get a briefing that advances the primary story of the battle against the dinosaurs. This can all be ignored if you prefer to jump into the action, but I like to do the reading.

There are twenty-three missions, so the there's definitely a bit of content to the game. The controls are relatively simple and work well on the iPhone. The space battles look like there is full range of motion, but it works because it's actually restricted. Yes, the battles are in space, but they're held to a single plane. You don't actually tilt up or down.

The game follows Ace Ferrara, a military cadet assigned to the Proton Riders and their flagship, the Discordia. The ship contains a brilliant scientist, military leaders, and even cybernetically augmented cats. As you complete missions, Ace moves up in the ranks.

There's a slider on the lower-left of the screen that can be slid left or right to aim the ship. When you touch on the screen and slide up or down, your throttle is adjusted accordingly. When a ship or target is centered in your view, you can tap the upper-right to lock onto the target. A locked target will always be marked as it and you move, so you can find it easily. Tapping the gun button will start shooting the guns. They'll continue to shoot automatically until tapped again. You don't need to worry about friendly fire, so this is another simplifying step. There's an additional button to launch other weapons. It's really a genius way of simplifying a genre that appears too difficult to control from a phone. I know some games only sort of work when adapted to touch controls, but Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace works really well.

There are a decent variety of missions as well. Sometimes you have to escort ships or destroy enemy fighters. Other times you'll have more complicated tasks. For example, you might have to attack stationary targets, getting inside their defenses, navigate through mine fields, etc.

There are a few things I look for in playability of an iPhone game. Can I hop in and out of the game easily? Can I play for just a minute? Can I play while not paying close attention? Some games force you back to the title screen if you switch apps, but this doesn't happen in Ace Ferrara. The game will remember where you were. (Of course, the iPhone will "forget" if you do too many other tasks outside of the game, but you shouldn't need to worry about answering a text or something similar.) Because of this, you could play for just a minute, but I found that I'd really want to dedicate a good five minutes or so if I'm going to play it so I could at least try to get through most of a mission. You also do need to pay attention. This isn't a game to play while you're walking and trying to look at where you're going!

Conclusion

Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace contains great space combat adjusted with superb controls for a phone. It has a silly storyline that I enjoyed. It's not so gripping that I was constantly hankering to find out what happened next, but it definitely entertained me and gave motivation to move forward into each next mission. Check out the trailer if you want to see more. If you decide you want to stop the Dino Menace, you can pick up the game for $3.99 on the iTunes Store.

I am @TheUser on Twitter. Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace was reviewed using a promotional download code provided for review purposes.






 
 

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