You Should Play: Implosion's hack-n-slash mechanics and stellar graphics make one outstanding game

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

I know, I know--Rayark's Implosion -- Never Lose Hope is pretty pricey for a mobile game. But it's time to break open your piggy bank, because this game is easily worth twice that. I might be biased, of course, since it hits all of my favorite play points--it's a top-down hack-n-slash customizable build game in which you fight mutant aliens (basically, my dream come true in a game). But even if you're not into slicing up mutants, Implosion is still worth a look for its super pretty graphics and unparalleled gameplay mechanics.

Implosion is set on post-apocalyptic Earth, 20 years after an alien race (the XADA) chased humans off of the planet and into space. You are Jake, one of the last surviving humans, and the only person who is able to control the War-Mech Series III battle suit. The battle suit is sort of like a robot avatar (in fact, if you've seen James Cameron's Avatar, the concept is almost exactly the same): The suit is down on Earth, while you/Jake are "safely" tucked away in a hovering spaceship, controlling the suit with a mind-link.

Honestly, you should probably just stop reading this review and go buy the game--it's that good. But if you need more convincing, here are three more reasons to drop a hefty $10 on this console-worthy title:

You won't believe your eyes: I frequently rave about graphics, but Implosion's graphics are like nothing I've ever seen on a mobile game. The game does a nice job of mixing art styles--the cut scenes are decidedly anime-style, while the game itself features drool-worthy 3D graphics with incredible detail, depth, and texture.

Yes, there are other mobile games that boast impressive 3D worlds (thank you, Unreal Engine), but there's more to it than that--the combat scenes are also ridiculously awesome-looking, and full of cool animations and lighting effects.

Even your blade ripples the air as it swings (because, you know, you're so fast at blade-swinging and stuff).

The environments are also relatively different, so it's not like the developers just built one awesome world and hoped we wouldn't notice for four chapters. While the graphics, and especially the effects, are something you kind of have to see for yourself, trust me--you'll completely forget that you're playing a mobile game.

Gameplay is on point: It's not just Implosion's graphics that are console-worthy: This game is basically the whole package. The game's controls are intuitive and easy to use, and not once did I feel like I was missing out on screen real-estate despite the on-screen controls. To move your War-Mech, you use a dynamic virtual joypad. Just tap and hold anywhere on the left side of the screen and slide your thumb to move in that direction (the missions are primarily top-down, so it's easy to tell where you're going).

The joypad is particularly well-done, because it allows for extremely smooth and precise omni-directional movement, while still being movable itself. It's easier to use than static virtual joypads, which can sometimes obscure enemies in the lower left portion of the screen.

You can attack in multiple ways: Your standard attack (a blade slice) is performed by tapping the large "strike" button in the lower right corner of the screen, or by tapping anywhere on the right side of the screen that's not a button. There are four action buttons, which start out empty but quickly fill up with special moves, such as evasive maneuvers and launching attacks. You also have a ranged weapon (a gun), which you can use by tapping anywhere on the right side of the screen (that's not a button) and holding. A sight will appear under your finger (you can use this to aim) and your gun will fire off rounds automatically for as long as you're holding your finger down.

Rayark does an excellent job of blending mobile game mechanics with console-like strategy--fighting in Implosion is easy on a basic level, because your standard attack propels you toward enemies and you don't need to worry about keeping ammo up (your gun refills when you cease using it), but you'll need to learn your way around when to use the special moves and different attacks if you want to succeed. The game is exhilarating in a totally hack 'n' slash way, but it'll also keep you on your toes.

So worth it: A $10 price tag on a mobile game is enough to turn away most people--I get it. But for a mere $10 you get a heck of a game, and a heck of a lot of gameplay.

Implosion's campaign takes you through four chapters, and each chapter has eight to ten levels, including a boss level. The first couple of levels in Chapter One are tutorial levels--and they'll lull you into thinking that you'll make it through this game in an hour or two. But no: The game gets tough real quick, especially if you're playing on Hard mode. (There are three modes: Easy, Hard, and Expert, which unlocks once you've completed the entire campaign.)

The campaign isn't the only thing to focus on, though--after all, you do have a War-Mech battle suit to think about. As you play through the campaign, you'll earn badges by completing secondary missions. Your earned badges will grant you rewards, such as increased stats or unlimited ammo.

During your missions, you will also pick up loot (weapons, etc.), which you can then equip. You will also level up as you go along, increasing your stats and your special skills.

Once you've earned enough badges, you'll unlock Crimson, a female War-Mech with her own set of skills and equipment. If you're even slightly interested in customization and character builds--there's more than enough to keep you busy here.

Developer: RayarkPlatform:  iOS (Universal)Price:  $10


Sarah Jacobsson Purewal

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