Last June (2011) a newcomer to the iOS gaming scene, Triolith Entertainment, released their debut title, Wisp: Eira's Tale. In it, you needed to guide a glowing orb through small maze like levels, avoiding incredibly creative hazards, collecting elements, Fire, Air, Water and Earth, and then safely make your way to the exit. Since it's release, it's gone through quite a few price drops, and had some updates that completed the game, making it one of the most polished games of it's type available.
Triolith has also been hard at work on their sophomore title, Megatroid, a platformer/run-n-gun title with randomly generated levels, and loads of equipment. Judging by the game's name, it's pretty easy to tell what the influences are; Metroid and Mega Man. These happen to be two of my favorite old-school games, and I'm sure many of you are also pretty big fans of the two series, so when I heard about Megatroid, I just about did a backflip in excitement.
Megatroid not only has endless replayablity, but also a story to go along with it, which was a pretty big surprise. You'll control Hali, a member of GRiN (Galactic Rebel Information Network), as she fights her way through the Imperium army one station at a time. You're accompanied by a mechanical pet orb, named S.P.A.K.K. (Self Propelled Aerial Kinematic Kitten - that's right - kitten), who gives you various information, and helps guide you on your journey. Now, once you complete the first couple of levels, and collect the Imperial Warp Gate, you're able to jump from station to station. This is where the randomly generated level system comes into play.
With a little help from the developers, here's how it works;
Because computers are pretty bad at figuring out random stuff, the level generation is seed based. This means that a string of characters - "FN/#NS¤'MDFH" - is fixed, while any word you can think of is typed in, say "The App Shack", and then combined with "FN/#NS¤'MDFH" in order to create the stage. Since every copy of the game uses the same seed, every copy of the game produces the same level when the same word is typed in. So if I type "Goobel-e-gla" in my copy of the game, and so do you, we will both play the same level.
This works out for the best, as Triolith has hidden some levels within the game, and if you happen to type in a certain word, you'll unlock the Hidden Game Mode. Hopefully more things like this will be added in future updates. It's a really neat feature.
If you haven't yet got Megatroid, make sure you check it out! It's available for FREE (that's right, folks! FREE!!!!) in the AppStore. This does, however, mean that IAPs are included as well, but they are very non-intrusive, and basically there for players to donate some cash to the developers. There are two markets, the Premium and Black Market. Both contain weapons and armor, but the Premium Market has items which you can only purchase with Space Bucks, while the Black Market's currency is with Coins, which you earn in-game by destroying enemies and completing levels. There's two options for picking up Space Bucks; One - purchase them through IAP with $$, Two - check out and install free apps, or watch trailers, though this only gives you a couple at a time, it's there if you're determined to get Space Bucks. The weapons in the Premium Market are not much stronger than the items in the Black Market, so it's definitely not required at all to progress through the game. Also, new items are added every day, so you never really know what's going to be available to you! Very cool!
Fans of Mega Man and Metroid (there are branching paths in the levels, but not much exploration, and no upgrades required to reach new areas, but you can still see the influence) as well as platformers and run-n-gun titles should definitely check out Megatroid. It's on par with Wisp: Eira's Tale, and could possibly become an iOS classic very soon. Check it out!