iTuesday review: Cowboys and Aliens Absolution Training Grounds for iPhone


To help promote the release of the new film, Cowboys and Aliens, NBC Universal developed the iOS game Cowboys and Aliens Absolution Training Grounds.  The game is a full game, free, and ad free (obviously because its sole purpose is to promote a movie) so I thought I would check it out.

The game is a first person shooter, where you don’t control your character (think House of the Dead in the arcade). You are able to have the character look around by moving your left thumb around the screen, when you have a target in sight you hit the shoot button with your right thumb, pretty easy to get the hang of. There’s also a button you can use once a round that will turn everything into slow motion for a short period of time. Oddly enough your not shooting at aliens, but rather targets of “bad guys”. Based on the screen shots, I thought firing was going to be accomplished by tapping the enemy, I’m glad that wasn’t the case as it would have been way too easy.

The game plays really well and the music is excellent, it just has a great Wild West feel to it. It’s only five levels long, but for a free game I can excuse that when the levels are this well designed. Unfortunately the favorable comments I have about the game end there. This game had so much potential to be a really great free game, but unfortunately its downfalls really ruin it.

First off, you have the option to bring two different weapons into each round with you, a primary weapon and a secondary weapon. The problem is you have infinite ammo so there is no reason to not just bring the best weapon into battle with you. You really won’t need to worry about the secondary weapon at all.

Second, you advance to the next level no matter how well you do. It doesn’t matter how many bad guys you shoot, or how many good guys you don’t shoot; no matter what, you will always advance to the next level. Before each new level you are given several new weapons (once again, this happens no matter how well you did on the previous level). This is the biggest downfall of the game. How can you have fun with a game if no matter what you do you win? Imagine playing Angry Birds and no matter how many pigs you killed (even if that number is 0) you made it to the next level. That would take all the fun out of the game, and it’s no different with this game.

Theres no reason I should have been allowed to advance to the next level

Cowboys and Aliens Absolution Training Grounds is available for free in the App Store, so there’s no harm in checking it out for yourself. It’s just a shame that this game could have been so much better if they had just changed a couple small things. It should also be noted that while I only played the iPhone version, the game is designed for both iPhone and iPad.

Final Rating: 6/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: iPhone 4
Approximate Time to Completion: 20 minutes
Price Bought at: Free
Current Price: Free
Recommend Purchase Price: Free

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