SAGA has been available as MMORTS game for quite sometime, now Silverlode Interactive is bringing a taste of their real time strategy game to the iPhone and iPod touch with Saga Catapult.
Essentially an aim-and-shoot strategy game, gamers play a catapult operator, the last line of defense for the kingdom. From your tower you take shot at orcs, elves, and assorted bad guys with varying battle skills. For each bad guy that hits the dirt you earn gold to buy better, faster weapons or more lives. Choose wisely you’ll need increasingly powerful equipment as you work your way through the invading forces.
Saga Catapult is Silverlode’s first iPhone app. For a game company with so much experience, it’s surprising they waited this long to make the move into the App Store. It could be they spent the extra time on creating a quality app — a choice I wish more developers would make. I played Saga Catapult for the better part of an afternoon and not once did the app crash or require me to restart my device. And, no, I’m not on the “S” is for speed iPhone. It’s the sign of a well-made game. Saga Catapult’s developers understand memory management. Right on.
Saga Catapult has nicely rendered graphics that are appropriately medieval and a soundtrack that adds just the right touch of “epic saga.” The soundtrack can also be turned off, which is good thing, but I prefer games where sound effects and music can be controlled independently. Sometimes, I want to hear the bad guys scream without the musical accompaniment.
When it comes to control, you can choose your own poison — tap to fire or drag to aim. The drag-to-aim option feels a bit clunky because it’s hard to have any real precision. This may be influenced by my lovely-but-large fingers, but I think it’s more a limitation of iPhone gaming. Tap-to-fire worked like a charm.
As a stand alone game, Saga Catapult is a lot of fun and subtly addicting. However, Silverload isn’t just building an iPhone game. In an upcoming update, gold earned in SAGA Catapult will be able to be sent directly to a player’s SAGA MMORTS Online nation. I’m not a Saga online player, but it’s good to see game companies moving in this direction. I want games I play on my iPhone to influence my ranking when I play those same games on Facebook or another site. This is exciting stuff.
The only feature that’s really missing in Saga Catapult is the ability to save your progress. You can pause the game, but if you quit you’ll have to start over from the beginning. There’s a lot of gameplay in this app, so it can take a while to work your way through all the levels and having to start from the beginning with each session is frustrating.
Even if you’re not familiar with the SAGA community, Saga Catapult is a great game. Of course, if you are a SAGA fan then Saga Catapult is a must buy.