So anyone who hangs around Weber's forums will know he's branching out and alongside the upcoming comic, he's making a movie and more recently, brought out a game on the iPad the other day. This is that game.
I gotta be brutally honest, i'm not a massive fan of the presentation of the version of Harrington's universe; its a little..hokey? dated? I had hoped for a bit more sophistication to the look and feel of things but sadly, it was not meant to be.
On the plus side, the cheesy graphics hide an absolute cracker of a game. Running along the lines of the game FTL, it basically pits you in one on one combat aginst various enemy vessels as you travel from jumppoint (mission) to jumppoint.
Like the Honorverse combat you will have read about, you have impeller stress bands and sidewall defenses you can rotate between to bring to bear, sidewall penetrators to put the hurt on the enemy and, straying from the formula somewhat, a wide variety of other missiles that target more specific things like enemy weapons and defenses.
You can chop and change your missile loadouts on the fly to suit the current target. Do you take his sidewalls down first? Go for his countermeasure tubes or point defence clusters? Just as you start getting a handle on things and coming up with the right attack, the next target changes all the rules and makes you work out a new queue all over again.
The radar strip at the bottom is an excellent piece of game design, where you track the incoming missiles and fire you various countermeasures at the appropriate time, with lasers/antimissile missles working better against some attacks than others. It starts off very easy but before long, you start getting challenged with timing your defenses and sidewall rotations, counterattacks and weapon loadouts.
Then we come to the crew and ship itself. Here its very much like FTL, where you have to repair your damage, upgrade components and level up systems and crew alike. It pretty deep. Destroying enemy ships gives you salvage (used for upgrades, repairs and missile loadouts) and loot of several rarity levels to enhance your ship beyond normal upgrades.
There is, of course, a marketplace where you can pay to skip the (so far) fairly unobnoxious time limits placed on upgrading components and crew. This has the potential i suppose to be a problem but until I get further into the game, i cant confirm that one way or the other.
On the flipside, its a FREE download and there's quite a bit of game here that's deserving of at least a couple of quid being sent their way...
So far, its pretty epic and, with the caveats about the upgrade timers, something I highly recommend.