iTuesday Review: Syz E.G. for iPad

Syz E.G is a recently released space shooter designed for the iPad. It was first brought to my attention when Tristan (aka the “main guy” here at CBR) sent me a link with a behind the scenes video of the making of the game. The game came to be as part of a college project. You can tell in the video (see below) that all the members of the team were really passionate about developing a game for the iPad that was unique and fun. I decided to take a look at the game and see what these college seniors turned game developers had come up with.

The game is definitely unique. At first glance it looks like a typical space shooter but given a closer look, there are a few cool things that set it apart. First off, you get to play as six different characters. You can switch back and forth between these characters by tapping on their icon on the bottom of the screen. Each character has a different bio and can control different abilities (one of them being the pause button). For example, my favorite is Mac. Mac is the ship’s communications expert. While playing as Mac you are able to take control of enemy ships and have them attack for you. You can also throw the ships into other enemies.

Mac taking control of an enemy ship

The main thing that sets Syz E.G apart is that it is designed specifically for the iPad and the controls have been designed to reflect that. You control the ship with one finger, while a second finger is used to control the direction of the weapons. The downfall to this unique control style is it takes a little while to find the best way to hold the iPad while playing. Since you use fingers from both hands all over the screen, simply holding the iPad in your hands does not work. If you have an iPad 2 you may be able to use your Smart Cover to set the iPad at an angle on a table. I don’t have an iPad 2, so I was unable to test this. I ended up discovering the best way to play with a first generation iPad is sitting Indian-style with the iPad in my lap, propped up at an angle. This is an unfortunate downfall of the game; you can’t play it in all situations because it requires a certain way of holding it. With that being said, I still would prefer that over an on-screen joystick, or something like that.

I really enjoyed the dialogue in the game. Throughout the game you’ll get to hear the crew react and discuss the adventure you are on. There are a couple lines in particular I enjoyed, but I don’t want to ruin anything. Just know that the crew all have different personalities – and once again Mac is my favorite.

In the documentary about the making of the game, the team mentions that this is only the beginning, and that more adventures would be coming soon. I emailed Team Krinoid to ask if this meant more content via in-app purchases or software updates. They responded “As it stands we plan to release future episodes as new apps entirely, somewhat similar to what Telltale does with their Back to the Future games”. This is extremely ironic because the way I felt upon completing Syz E.G was the same way I felt after completing Back to the Future the Game: Episode 1. In my review for that game I wrote, “My only real complaint about the game is that it is too short. I feel like when I was just getting into it, the credits starting rolling.” This is exactly how I would describe the ending of Syz E.G.

To be fair, there are a few aspects of Syz E.G that gives it an advantage over BTTF the game. First, Syz E.G is $4.00 cheaper than BTTF part 1. Team Krioid also said it plans on updating Syz E.G with new content. On top of that Syz E.G has a free play mode, where the object is to get a high score. This mode would be best if you had a friend who you could compete with for a high score. Even with these advantages, it was the same feeling. I just wish I would have known going into it that the game was only that long. There’s just a terrible “that’s it?” feeling that occurs when a game ends that way. Even something simple like a level select screen that shows how many rounds are left would have avoided how abrupt the ending felt.

Syz E.G is available for $2.99 via the App Store. As iPad games go, this is a pretty reasonable price (especially for a new release). As I mentioned the game is on the short side, but $2.99 isn’t a bad price tag for the amount of game you get.

Final Rating: 7/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: iPad (first generation)
Approximate Time to Completion: couple hours
Price Bought at: N/A – Review copy furnished by Team Krinoid
Current Price: $2.99
Recommend Purchase Price: Price may drop when future episodes are released… but it can only drop by a couple bucks – so if your interested I say go for it now.

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