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iPhone App Video Review: Allied Star Police

by Andrew Koziara

Allied Star Police is an awesome new game from Popcap's 4th & Battery. I'm becoming quite the fan of theirs after this game and Unpleasant Horse. This is a fast paced strategy game with a great story behind it. The game was designed by a 9-year-old named Owain, and brought to life through the Make-A-Wish foundation.

He actually worked with 4th & Battery on the game. The really cool story is linked right from the main menu of the game, and you should all check it out.

Right from the intro I was already getting into the game. There is fantastic theme music that abuses the electric guitar, but in a good way. Even though it sounds quite different, it totally reminded me of the 90's Spider-Man cartoon theme. At the end of the theme a robotic voice yells "Allied Star Police," though at first it sounded like he was saying "Error: start the race," which is irrelevant. In the game, you are defending the galaxy from  these aliens  called Flamions. That's all there is to it.

The best way for me to describe this game, is like Plants vs. Zombies if it was a real time castle defense game… on speed. The field is divided into four lanes, and you just tap on the vehicle you want to summon, and then on the lane, and they'll speed towards the enemy base. You have a slow and constant flow of scrap, which is your currency in the game, and you get bonus scrap every time you destroy an enemy. Your units include quick moving ATVs, deadly Snipers, tough Tanks, and all poweful HCSVs, which are like super tanks. The Flamions have Gruntoids, Commandoids, and Mechazoids, though they don't have a sniper class of their own. Each unit has a cool down after being summoned before you can summon them again, except the ATV. You could pretty much spam it endlessly if not for the vehicle cap in the game, which I've never been able to count due to being focused on the action.

The name of the game here is to keep all four lanes stocked with guys so that you always have a wall of defense. Each side target's the closest enemies on the opposite side, so your main strategy is to keep tanks and ATVs ahead of your snipers and your Super Tanks, allowing them to do all the real damage. This is where ATV spamming comes in. There are only three levels in the game: the easy Earth Level, the medium Mars level, and the hard Flamiar level, taking the fight to the enemy’s homeland. After each level, you will unlock a special power to use in conjunction with your units. There is a turbo power up, which makes one of your units go nuts for a few seconds. There is a bomb power up, which allows you to tap and drop bombs anywhere on the field. And after beating the final level, you get to rain destruction down on your enemies with the Hammer of Dawn from Gears of War.

This game is definitely not perfect as there are several features I would love to see added. This is an extremely short game and there is very little replayability. You can replay each level in an attempt to complete them faster, raising your score for the level, but there is little incentive to do so. This game could really use Game Center leaderboards to compare yourself against the world, and throw some achievements in there while you're at it. I would love to see the addition of some alternate modes of play too, but I'm just nitpicking. This is a fast paced and action packed strategy game with a great art style, and a totally metal soundtrack. Every single person who watches this review had better give it a download. It's a completely free game, it's iOS universal, and it has a really cool and inspiring story behind it. You have no excuse, people.

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