|Multiplayer:||Yes, pass 'n play or Game Center|
|AI:||Yes, 1 level|
|Universal App:||Yes (there is a single app which works on both iPhone and iPad in HD)|
|Purchase for iPhone:||Use link below to purchase universal app|
|Purchase for iPad:||
GD Star RatingOutpost Luna,
Outpost Luna is the first original game from Ariton, the studio responsible for porting Spaceward Ho! to the iOS. A card-driven action selection game, OL has you competing with 3 other corporations to build cities on the moon. Are you ready to lay the groundwork?
OL starts with a grid of face-down tiles representing the moon – the exact size of the moon varies with the number of players. In your hand you have 6 cards. Since you’re running this operation from Earth, there’s a transmission delay, so you’re always playing cards 2 turns out of phase. You’ll first select 2 cards to represent your initial orders, then select your first order from the remaining 4.
At your command are 3 robots that can move about the lunar surface. Most cards will give you a choice of two actions to order them around, and you can also choose to do nothing if the lay of the land has changed too much between when an order was issued and when it can resolve.
To the right of the lunar surface are a set of blueprints for various cities. Each blueprint requires some combination of buildings and water to complete; each building, in turn, requires resources to construct. You must thus divide your actions between producing and collecting resources, building structures, attacking other players’ robots, and completing cities.
Some buildings and resources have various benefits. Gold, in addition to being a construction tool, can be used to bolster both attack and defense. Factories, necessary to complete some blueprints, will increase production for their tile and any adjacent tiles. Housing units, also necessary for blueprints, will further bolster the defense of any robot on that tile. Successful combat will allow you to usurp a tile, but be careful – failing an attack will cause Earth’s government to get uppity, rendering the would-be victim immune from attack until another attack fails. The first player to construct 3 cities wins.
Outpost Luna isn’t an overly complicated game, but there are quite a few concepts to wrap your head around. The game features an interactive tutorial that guides you through the first few turns of a game; this is a very helpful overview, but doesn’t really go into strategy, so you’ll need to be fairly observent. You can also pull up help for a card at any given time by simply double-tapping it, useful if you need a quick reminder of the functions of its orders. Because the board, the available blueprints, and the available orders are all card-driven, the game has a fantastic amount of replayability. Just note that the random nature of things means you may have to get a few turns in before a longer-term strategy develops.
The game has 1 level of AI. You can play a local game with any combination of human and AI opponents. Multiplay via Game Center is also possible. We had a few crashes trying to set up Game Center games, but once we got one going we didn’t have further issues.
OL is an interesting game. The dual nature of most order cards, combined with the random setups and paths to victory, mean that each game will be different. While there are fewer actions than you might expect in an action selection game, everything works well and is clearly explained in the tutorial. We do wish there was a bit more player interaction – as with many games of this style, it’s too easy to slip into competing games of solitaire; imagine Catan without the trading. With that said, it plays quickly while still providing good strategic options, making it at least worth a look.