Revolution 60 is unlike anything I’ve played in recent memory. It is a game that is about breaking convention and doing something new.
The game’s scenario, a potential threat to national security, is a trope usually reserved for muscular space marines with their fingers on a trigger. Here, it is left to a tight-knit, elite group of nano-augmented femme-fatales with their own stories and objectives.
The visuals and style are inspired by science fiction instead of realism, and the gameplay strikes a good balance between strategic, tactical, and fast-paced. Revolution 60 is out to do something new, and it has succeeded.
Deep in the future, a small, elite team of female warriors fight for survival. Caught under fire, Agent Holiday, the game’s main protagonist, struggles to make it to the rendezvous. As she arrives, her best friend, Val, is critically wounded by a grenade. Still resisting the enemy, the two, along with Amelia and Minuete, steal a shuttle and make it into orbit, heading to their primary objective. They are caught in a most dangerous mission run by a most unusual client.
High above earth is an orbital weapons platform. Something has caused it to go awry and hover over China, sparking a grave international incident. To handle this delicate operation, a private military contractor, Chessboard, is recruited. Run by a very advanced A.I, the team receives the information and gear needed to complete this operation, including nano-machine enhanced blood and augmentations that increase their combat capabilities. Failure will mean global thermonuclear war.
As I was playing, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the joys of science fiction and the exciting intrigue that comes from it. One movie in particular to which it bears comparison is The Fifth Element, which oozed a stylish and perplexing future Earth. Seeing the interesting, vibrant, and colorful world of Revolution 60, and the gorgeously rendered characters was a hook to keep me pulled in and keep playing. As the story progressed, I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next.
All the characters are well-voiced, with interesting dialogue. Sci-fi dialogue involving the impact of nanotechnology on the human body, futuristic governments, and the stakes created an experience that was hard to pull away from. These elements make for a game that you don’t simply play for a few minutes: you play until you must stop playing, the game ends, or the battery dies.
As you may have noticed, the cast is entirely female, save for most of the enemies you face, who are presumably male. Agent Holiday, her friends, and the villains all evoke unique personalities, each with their own attitudes, feelings, and clever quips about the situation. Their unique designs and facial animations give a very distinct identity to each agent. If players choose the “Rogue” choice, they get to see the witty side of the cast, also. The crew has a degree of courage and confidence that is most satisfying. They aren’t playing into stereotypes or loosely written into the story. They are the stars of the show, displaying confidence, smarts, wits, and butt-kicking. It is this kind of design that makes these characters attractive and interesting.
Perhaps the biggest strength of the game is in its gameplay. I noticed something interesting: in games, when a cutscene happens, there is a momentary lapse, where you can tell that the level is over. Revolution 60 doesn’t do that. During cutscenes, ANYTHING can happen and you must be prepared to use the swipe prompts on screen at any moment. Each movement can decide the fate of an outcome and, of course, Holiday’s destiny. This keeps the game flowing at a good clip, and makes things satisfyingly unpredictable.
The gameplay has several sections. In conversations, Holiday will encounter a choice tree and have to choose a response, Professional or Rogue. Those choices have a big effect on the outcome and the characters attached to you. Between these moments are swipe prompts, some of which give you a chance, others which don’t return if you miss them. There are no paths with which to circle back, either, so once you miss something, you have to press forward. It pays to be attentive, as solving these prompts quickly and accurately yields a higher bonus for proficiency points, and the higher the proficiency points, the better and clearer your choices become.
The combat system is truly something striking and most unique. Simply put, I have never come across anything like it on mobile. I have played a lot of games and what Revolution 60 presents is something most profound, as it strikes a very fine-tuned balance between strategy, real-time action, and tactics.
The combat plays on a grid system. Using the touch-screen, players navigate that grid, in real-time. The goal is to line up with your foe, who is also jumping from grid to grid, and attack him. Holiday’s needler pistol has a close-range blade, making ranged shots or close range stabs possible. Each blow adds to a special attack meter on the lower left-hand corner, and when it hits a certain point, it can be used.
After stunning the enemy in the first row, Holiday can perform a variety of hard-hitting special attacks through swipe and button prompts. If players want a really devastating attack, they can build the meter up to its highest level. Each enemy has a very unique set of attacks, and their unpredictability makes for very intense battles. Each battle earns XP and can be used to build skills.
The game features an explore mode, too. When navigating the ship and satellite, it is best to be observant. The game will prompt players to click on green circles, showing their present, primary objective. Around the hull are data discs and med kits. The data discs contain information on the satellite’s operations and, due to operational reasons, can be given to either Amelia or Minuete. Giving these to either agent boosts your rating with that agent. Medkits are important as you’ll use them in battle, should you lose all your health. They give you a second chance when overwhelmed by an enemy.
The game has a solid, quick tutorial during its opening segments, walking you through all of these game play elements. Another bonus is that, if you are still unsure about purchasing Revolution 60, the game allows you to play about an hour’s worth of it before prompting you to buy the game.
Presentation wise, it’s a game that looks sharp and sounds sharp. The animations are fluid, polished, and fast. The characters move with a vivid sense of motion and depth. The use of colors and details remind me of the hit animated TV show, ReBoot.
As I played I utilized a Jam Bluetooth speaker to best measure sound. It was a good choice as the soundtrack rocked! Orchestral set pieces, and pulsating electronics present themselves at the right times to underscore suspense, chaos, danger, combat, and heroics. The credits track at the end of the game is simply amazing!
The game features multiple endings. Despite high marks, I got the “mission failure” ending. This basically prompted me to fire up the game again and attempt to beat it successfully, especially as I see where I may have gone wrong by the end of the title. The game is a planned trilogy, and it’s confirmed that the choices made in this game will carry over to the next installment.
Revolution 60 is an ambitious title that succeeds. However, there are a few things to note. The game is a high-performance title for iDevices, so it will heat your device up and burn out that battery. Also, as it uses a large amount of the circuitry, be sure unnecessary apps are closed to preserve game functions. The game did occasionally fail to recognize touch or swipe, although this may have simply been because I, a lefty, played it with my right hand. It once crashed and once had a boot-up where the music was cut off, but this was nothing a reset couldn’t handle.
The only real drawback to the game is that it’s brief, at 3 to 4 hours, but the pursuit of a good ending and finishing the game on “girlfriend mode” warrants more gameplay.
Brianna Wu, Frank Wu, Amanda Warner, and the entire team at Giant SpaceKat are to commend themselves. I deeply apologize for this lame pun, but Revolution 60 is a revolution for the app market, and the 2014 games industry.
Its exciting science fiction universe, courageously confident female cast, and engaging story with ceaseless gameplay create a hell of an experience. I highly recommend this to all iOS players, and await the next installment and the next revolution. This team is onto something. Mission accomplished!
Revolution 60 was reviewed using a code provided by Giant SpaceKat. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s reviews/ethics policy here.