Super Trooper is an ambitious looking game. It aims to take on the likes of Snails and Worms, but throws in a full 3D engine to boot. When I first heard that this game was making the jump to the small screen I was hopeful, but not without my reservations. Could it be pulled of successfully? Read on to find out as Super Trooper is taken for a thorough workout.
The title screen isn't anything much to look at, theres a picture of a trooper with options below to start a new game, see the credits or exit. If you've saved a previous game you can resume it from here too. There�s also a funky drum laden beat in the background. Nice and militaristic.
Ok, that's enough of the fluff, into the game. Selecting �new game� changes the beat, and gives you a few game parameters to choose. You can choose to play against the computer, or challenge a friend. Below this you can select the level of your AI opponent, the number of troops under your command, the amount of money to buy weapons and whether you want wind. You can turn off the music and sound effects too. This only takes a few moments to select, and then you move onto the next screen where you select the map you'd like for your bloodbath, of which there are a massive 27 to pick.
The following screen lets you arm your team. If you like you can carefully choose all the exact weapons you'd like, getting right down to the last penny. However if you're more like me you'll be eager to get into the game at this point, so luckily there�s an autobuy option, which gives you a random arsenal.
At this point you're into the game, and believe me it was worth the wait! The 3D terrain is truly impressive, and the water is nicely animated rather than the static water you often see. The troops are dotted around the terrain randomly, and are easily distinguishable by brightly coloured headbands adorning their amusingly spherical craniums. If you spin the screen around you'll really be awestruck by the stunning 3D terrain, as will anyone else who happens to hear the explosions and glance over.
At the start of your first turn the screen will be focused on one of your troops, ready and waiting for your first orders. Pressing the left and right softkeys will cycle through the weapon select, aim and fire, move, team status, and options adjustments. As the placement of troops is completely random your first order of business might be to move to a better firing position. Using the right softkey will cycle to the move mode, where you will see a distance bar. There is no time limit in which to take your move, but you can only move a fairly short distance. For a longer move you could always try teleporting, which is done like shooting, except you teleport to the target point instead of it blowing up.
Having moved to a handy location the next thing to do is choose your weapon. With the weapon select mode you can move the joystick left/right to select your instrument of destruction, or alternatively press action to see the full list. There�s a fair bit of choice here. Bazookas, shotguns, grenades and 4 types of cluster bombs varying in destructive capability are all at the fingertip of the discerning warmonger. For those with mild maniacal tendencies there are a number of less conventional weapons to keep you amused. Zappers, lasers, heat seekers, target locking missiles, and nuclear missiles are all there to choose from. There are also suicide attacks and teleport options to select from this screen.
Having decided how best to do away with your enemy your next step is to fire your weapon. This is done (funnily enough) from the aim and fire screen. Moving left and right turns your troop (and his aim) and the up/down buttons alter the pitch. To help you get this right there's a useful minimap in the bottom corner, which is very handy for getting your bearings. You'll also see a little radar picture with an arrow representing your current aiming direction. This corresponds to the minimap, so if the enemy is behind a hill at least you can aim in his approximate direction with some degree of accuracy. If you have wind turned on this will also be represented by a yellow arrow on the radar, so keep that in mind! The other picture shows what height angle your weapon will discharge at. Then hold down the action key to build up the power, which is shown in the leftmost bar. Let go, and its bombs away!
For those with mild maniacal tendencies there are a number of less conventional weapons to keep you amused.
If you�ve aimed right you�ll see a nice pretty explosion engulfing your enemies. You have options to either sit back and watch the shell fly, or have the camera follow the shot in flight. After this the AI will take its turn, and then its the turn of your next troop. You�ll quickly realise that certain weapons are much more effective that others. Grenades and cluster bombs can do serious damage, and also deform the terrain with sizeable craters. Nuclear missiles can often annihilate a whole group of troops at a stroke so tend to spoil the game a bit. The best way to keep the game enjoyable is to limit the credits to 5000. For that money you can get a good selection of the other weapons, but the nukes remain blessedly out of reach.
I found the AI to be a quite competent opponent on the easy setting, whilst still being perfectly beatable. Your smartphone dwelling enemy is quite intelligent about weapon selection, and aiming without going overboard. One slight down point is that they don�t bother to move at all, just turn and shoot. This doesn�t really detriment the game though, so I�ll let it pass.
As I may have already told you the graphics are awe inspiring. Anyone this was shown to exhibited quite a lot of drooling - I think many of my colleagues might be dumping their Nokias soon J! The frame rate on my e100 seemed perfectly fine at highest detail, but this can be adjusted if you so wish. The music is very good, but unfortunately can�t be adjusted ingame beyond on/off, meaning that I was often missing out on its full glory. Sound effects are average � lots of explosions and cries when troops are hit, but not of the greatest quality.
The game really is a lot of fun to play. With an intelligent selection of weapons and a reasonable ability to aim you should be able to triumph in some battles, whilst being challenged enough to not find it too easy. The 27 maps will give you enough variety to keep going for a long time and loading times are pretty reasonable too, meaning you wont have to wait long when you�re in the mood for bloodshed. Unfortunately the home/back buttons don�t work, but if you can�t finish a game in one sitting a press of the * key brings up the options to save and/or quit, for resuming at the next opportunity. Always an amusing option is challenging a friend � just make sure you�re prepared to make up afterwards!
Super Trooper strides far ahead of the current pack of Smartphone games. Not only is a third dimension stuffed in, but it�s pulled off with a bang! The gameplay is lots of fun, and it�s a game you�ll find yourself going back to again and again. Although controls could be improved and there�s a few minor niggles these are far outweighed by the many pluses. It�s also very competitively priced! In my opinion no serious gamer can go without an arsenal featuring Super Trooper!
Stunning 3D engine, with deformable terrain.
Competitive AI to conquer.
All the warmongering fun you�ll need!
Menus a bit rough looking
Controls could be better.
Super Trooper scores 8/10
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