September 20, 2014

The Last Contact - Manning the gun with a hint of exercise

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The Last Contact is a gunning/turret-style game with gorgeous graphics that will have you spinning, literally.  A combination of great mechanics along with the peculiarity of physical movement makes this game stand out in the Android crowd, especially for those who remember Fury3.

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The Last Contact begins with you in the gunner’s seat, targeting two different enemies.  The first enemy is a spherical droid with legs (think GLaDOS with legs) that attempts to run into you and blow up.  The second is a flying ship that circles above you and shoots lasers at you.  These enemies are marked on the screen, around your targeting reticle, by purple and red dots.

Your health and a bomb timer are set in the upper-left corner, your score is in the upper-right corner, and below your reticle are buttons for recentering the camera and for using a bomb that destroys all the enemies on the screen.  If you tap the right side of the screen, you shoot a teal laser, which is your main weapon, while tapping the left side of the screen allows you to zoom.  Aside from the buttons, bars, and enemies, your turret is stationed in a picturesque mountain setting that encircles your turret.

The levels progressively get harder as you beat them, and your score multiplier doubles as you kill more and more enemies in succession.  Killing enemies is the easy part.  Whirling furiously in your chair (hopefully a swivel chair) is where you become breathless, lost, and disoriented while the enemies mount numerous attacks.  The Google Play Games service could be well implemented here to allow you to compete against others for a high score, but as of now, you can only compete with yourself.

You have a full 360 degree rotation as well as an almost-vertical Y-axis.  The enemies will come from all angles so standing static is impossible.  At first, the enemies are slow and attack head-on, but the further you progress, the more varying the dropzones get and the faster the enemies walk and fly.  The setting and movement are reminiscent of the turret scene in the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars except that there are more enemies and a bright color palette.

[pullquote1 quotes="true" align="center" variation="teal" textColor="#000000"]Whirling furiously in your chair is where you become breathless, lost, and disoriented while the enemies mount numerous attacks.[/pullquote1]

While you begin with a fair bit of health, there are bonuses you get randomly that serve as health packs and bonus points.  These extras, however, are where The Last Contact could add a suite of extra features.  More enemies, more environments, and more bonuses could cement the turret-gunning experience.  As it stands, you are wildly swinging your phone at only two types of enemies in one environment with beating your high score as the sole motivation to continue.

The Last Contact adds a new dimension to mobile gaming.  You are not stuck hunched over, gracefully moving your phone back and forth to navigate tiny balls into holes; no, you are frantically zooming in and out, twisting and turning to find and target your enemies, ungracefully, maniacally, and probably funnily in public.  Hopefully in the future, The Last Contact will add some new features and new enemies, but for now, “Don’t get cocky, kid.”

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What we liked

  • Great graphics.
  • Challenging.
  • Exciting, turret-wielding with your phone.

What could be improved

  • More diverse enemies.
  • More levels and objectives.

[download_link link="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.doblepalabra.thelastcontact"]Download The Last Contact (Google Play)[/download_link]

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