What happens when a mostly female development team comes together to create an action-adventure game staffed entirely by female characters? Revolution 60 by Giant Spacekat (US$5.99/try-then-IAP-buy) happens. It's a touch-based iPad story-driven take on Heavy Rain and Mass Effect.
You play Holiday, an assassin faced with a more morally complex landscape than you normally encounter in gaming titles. Should Holiday support her friends or fix her attention on the mission? It's a little bit transgressive, a little bit feminist. The stakes are high.
I was particularly drawn to this title based on its feminine novelty. A mom to girls, I found the notion of a female actioner exciting. Although the reality was a little more boobs-and-bullets than can-do girl-power, I found Revolution 60 entertaining and well made.
The acoustics of the game are superb. iOS has a bit of a bad rep for users switching off sounds. Do that in Revolution 60 and you'll be missing out on one of the game's highlights -- a well designed audio system that really brings the game to life. It helps you feel the experience as well as see it.
The character graphics are really well done, built with full facial animation using the Unreal engine. Holiday's hair swings around as she walks, and her interaction with her world feels solid and multi-dimensional. The sets are nicely detailed, if a bit generically textured, and you feel immersed in an exciting drama.
Where the game fell flat for me was its combat system. Admittedly, I played on the easiest level in order to progress as quickly as possible. The touch-based fighting felt tedious and I never really enjoyed those moments.
However, the strength of the story outside of the combat kept me invested in following through with the adventure. The novelty of building emotional connections with characters provided the best part of the experience. The game offers excellent replay as your choices drive the story.
Revolution 60 (iTunes link is not yet live) will be released on July 24th. You can try the basic game for free. A single in-app purchase of $5.99 unlocks the the full title. Giant Spacekat will also sell a companion book, "Revolution 60: The Chessboard Lethologica" in the iBooks store (iTunes link, not yet live, $3.99).