Stargate SG-1: Entropy Syndrome
Sneak, shoot, and hack your way to victory in this engaging action/adventure licensed title from Skyzone.
Stargate SG-1: Entropy Syndrome showed a lot of promise as a solid adventure game when I saw it at GDC earlier this year, so I'm quite happy to report that the finished product delivers on all counts. The folks at SkyZone Mobile have put together a satisfying pick-up-and-play experience that makes good use of its license without alienating those who aren't familiar with series.
As an isometric-view adventure game, Entropy Syndrome consists of seven missions that will you put you in the shoes of your favorite characters. Jack O'Neill's missions have you teamed-up with Samantha Carter as you puzzle your way through the level. Everything you need to do is mapped to one of five keys (the directional pad and the "ok" button), and every single interaction is extremely intuitive. Computer hacking is represented by memory-matching or mahjong minigames, right and left directional arrows balance you as you cross a chasm, and moving boxes is as easy as building up a meter by rapidly pressing "ok." Small shooting sequences also appear in which you must press one of the five buttons at the appropriate time. Success results in hitting your opponent or dodging their incoming shot, and makes for a nice break from the puzzles. A sneaking level also shows up in the later missions, something I wouldn't have minded seeing more of considering how much fun it turned out to be.
The other mission style will have you controlling Teal'c as he runs through rubble-strewn city streets fending off crazed (and armed) cultists. Your weapon fires automatically when you are lined up with enemies, so all you have to concentrate on is weaving through the level and jumping over pits. While these aren't quite as engaging to play as the O'Neill missions, they are satisfying and work quite well as simple action sequences.
The graphics are quite good for a mobile title; there are lots of little touches in the levels that show the developer really cared. Dialogue chunks are sadly nothing more than pictures of the characters and text, but the on-screen, animated representations of Teal'c and O'Neill are solid (with the exception of a slightly goofy sneaking animation).
The story is somewhat forgettable, never explaining terms like Goa'uld or Ori, but someone better versed in the storyline from the TV show may find more to enjoy. Fortunately, the rest of the game is so solid that an understanding of the writing isn't remotely necessary to enjoy Entropy Syndrome as a mobile title. It's a little on the short side, but with three difficulty settings and a hall of fame scoreboard there is certainly incentive to replay the missions. Largely a realm dominated by puzzles and simple action, this title makes the argument that adventure games have a home waiting on mobile devices. Here's hoping more developers step up to answer that call.