20
Mar
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Since the dawn of mobile gaming, a handful of genres have struggled with the transition to tiny screens, while still keeping usable controls. Oil Rush is Unigine's attempt at one of the most daunting categories, real-time strategy. The game doesn't come with just another slightly different control scheme, it's equipped with a full storyline, high end graphics, and voice actors! Oh yeah, and a pretty high price tag...

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Set during a post-apocalyptic war in which a nuclear weapon has melted the ice caps and flooded Earth, the remaining inhabitants fight to control any last remaining oil reserves. Players are introduced to the story by beautiful cinematics and skilled voice actors, with the main character and narrator sounding like a raspy Malcolm McDowell. It's hard to shake the feeling that this game is inspired by Waterworld, a feeling that is only reinforced by the presence of airships, small gun boats, and jet ski riders with automatic weapons.

Gameplay is pretty straight forward, players order their units to move by drawing lines from one platform to another with the goal of taking control of each new base. If two opposing soldiers cross paths, an elaborate AI-driven battle takes place in real time and without the need for micro-management. The platforms, factories which automatically produce more units, may also be upgraded with their own weapons to fend off attacks. Naturally, Oil Rush also builds on an old RTS staple, the Tech Tree, to upgrade units and learn special abilities.

Players should begin with the campaign for an introduction to the controls and guidance on game mechanics, but quick games can also be launched on an assortment of skirmish maps. Each level has different missions and requirements like collecting a certain amount of oil or defeating a boss. Unigine obviously wanted to make the experience flexible and immersive, much like we would get from RTS games on a desktop. A recent DLC for the desktop version has added a much larger tower defense style; hopefully the same expansion will find its way to Android soon.

GAME FEATURES

  • Breathtaking 3D graphics of superior quality never before available on mobile devices
  • Unique and varied environments: the twilit Antarctic, flooded jungles, sunken cities, Asian villages, great canyons, ruined industrial zones, and more
  • Massive battles, furious enemies, raging attacks!
  • One game, many mission types: capture-'em-all, save-the-hero, tower defense, survival, oil retrieval, rescue, defeat-the-boss, and more
  • Strategic depth due to different attack/defense weapons with multi-level upgrade options
  • Tech tree with rich array of super technologies, including nukes, napalm, submarines, and convertiplanes
  • Campaign more than 10 hours long and packed with 16 challenging, story-based missions
  • 15 quick game maps for battles with up to three AI opponents
  • 18 music tracks delivering unique fusion of heavy industrial groove and electronic ambient/breaks

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One of the most distinctive features of Oil Rush is the graphics - full 3D models, rendered waves, and lots of animations. This title is really meant for high performance devices, even my Nexus 4 experienced some noticeable glitches and visibly slowed down during large battles. I wouldn't say this is bad enough to impact gameplay, but it detracts from the overall experience. The Play Store description includes a list of compatible hardware and a note that the game is exclusive to Snapdragon S4 chips and Adreno 225 or 320 GPUs. However, the game's website precedes that note with the additional words "For six months following release ...," implying future support for other hardware and possibly a temporary exclusivity deal with Qualcomm. Here is the complete list of currently supported devices:

  • ASUS PadFone
  • ASUS PadFone 2
  • ASUS Transformer Pad
  • Google Nexus 4
  • HTC Butterfly
  • HTC Deluxe
  • HTC Droid DNA
  • HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE
  • HTC Evo 4G LTE
  • HTC One S (MSM8260A / MSM8960 versions)
  • HTC One XL
  • LG Lucid 2
  • LG Mach
  • LG Optimus G
  • LG Optimus Vu 2
  • LG Spectrum 2
  • Lenovo IdeaTab S2110
  • Motorola Atrix HD
  • Motorola DROID M
  • Motorola DROID RAZR HD
  • Motorola Electrify M
  • Motorola Photon Q
  • Samsung Galaxy Axiom
  • Samsung Galaxy Express
  • Samsung Galaxy S III LTE
  • Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G
  • Samsung Galaxy Stellar
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab II (MSM8960 version)
  • Samsung Galaxy Victory
  • Samsung Stratosphere II
  • Sony Xperia AX
  • Sony Xperia GX
  • Sony Xperia SX
  • Sony Xperia T
  • Sony Xperia TL
  • Sony Xperia TX
  • Sony Xperia V
  • Sony Xperia VL
  • Sony Xperia Z
  • Sony Xperia ZL

A demo of Oil Rush is available, which includes the first few levels of the campaign and 4 skirmish maps. The full version is available on the Play Store for $7.99 or as an upgrade from the demo via in-app purchase. It adds the full story, 16 missions, and 11 additional skirmish maps. No other IAPs are present at this time, but paid expansion packs seem likely in the future. The price is certainly high enough that this title won't be an impulse purchase, but I seriously recommend that fans of the genre try out the free version and keep an open mind.

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • jonathan3579

    As much as I hate exclusivity like this, I'm glad to finally be on the receiving end with my Nexus 4. Hopefully Qualcomm gets more "high-profile" games out there for us to enjoy and bask in the exclusive sun.

    • ProductFRED

      Eh, but it's just annoying because more powerful or just as powerful devices get left out. Like me with my Galaxy S3 i9300 (Exynos Quad, same as Note 2). This thing could run the game without issue. But no, Qualcomm goes the Nvidia route and pays developers to include code that checks the chipset in the phone.

      • Jeff Fuentes

        This is what irks me I wonder if a simple build.prop edit could make it run or if its hard coded into the application

      • Michael Lee

        Not just checking the chipset. It's most likely optomized for the S4, so you'll likely get better performance out of the chipset. If that's not the case, however, then shame on them!

        • Iulian Arcus

          I think what they're doing is only distribute the game on devices they tested, for QA reasons, especially because they're using a new engine. In the market you can select the specific registered devices to distribute to. The N10 should have been there as well if it was running on the same chipset.

    • Michael Lee

      Plus, it's most likely optimized for Snapdragon S4 devices!

    • http://twitter.com/robinashe Robin Ashe

      Given compatibility issues, this seems like an acceptable exclusivity arrangement (like Tegra only). Of course it's like saying a game is nVidia only or AMD only on Windows, but that's kind of what it was like before Direct3D ruled.

  • http://www.facebook.com/szijpeter Peter Szij

    dat voice acting

  • MarkParrish

    Interestingly, EA's Origin has the PC version of this game on sale now for only $4.80. http://store.origin.com/store/ea/en_US/DisplayProductDetailsPage/productID.246945400

    • http://twitter.com/robinashe Robin Ashe

      Was tempting, but then I realised I have a huge backlog of PC games thanks to GOG's Christmas sale, and I'm still trying to flesh out my Android collection.

  • atlouiedog

    I've had this on Steam for months but haven't had a chance to play it. It's the sort of game I like on a touch device so maybe I'll give it a shot on my phone first and see how it works out as a game for the train.

    edit: And it's not displaying correctly on my Photon Q. The video is compressed onto about 2/3 of the screen. It's on the list, but maybe it doesn't play well with my phone's resolution?

    • http://www.facebook.com/avesolt Tamara Melnikova

      atlouiedog, I'm on UNIGINE team. Could you please send a letter to android-support@unigine.com with more detailes about this problem that we can solve it?
      We'd be very grateful if you provide us with detailed description of the situation when this "compressed video" shows up (at the begining of mission, at the middle of mission, all the time, etc), also we need to know version of the game you play, your Android version. Also screenshots could help, but it's optional. Thank you in advance! =)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Juan-Dela-Cruz/100003751626410 Juan Dela Cruz

    "This app is compatible with your Xperia Neo." -As google playstore said

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