Space Station: Frontier HD ($4.99) by Origin8 is a real time strategy game combined with tower defense set in space where you need to mine asteroids to earn power. Each level presents a different challenge from mining a certain amount to surviving for a specific length time. You have mines and all types of weapons at your disposal with their own strengths and weaknesses to defend your space station.
The game itself: Space Station Frontier HD provides the same challenge as it’s iPhone brethren, but now on a bigger scale with a more intuitive UI. This game may require the most strategy of any game in the App Store as you have to plan out what asteroids to mine, what weapons to use, while placement is most important of all. There are various types of enemy ships and the asteroids are scattered around requiring branching paths of power nodes to reach them.
The enemies attack the power nodes which are the weakest, and then leave your mines and weapons without power, and useless. If you like challenging games that make you think, then Space Station is right at the top of the list. The iPad UI gives you a bottom bar to drag the item you want on the screen like in tower defense games. The iPad version also allows you to play in portrait or landscape.
There is a campaign mode with 15 levels as well as a deluxe storyline of why enemies are attacking you, and why you’re out in space mining crystal. As you’re progressing in the campaign you will need to go to the shipyard to upgrade your weapon types as well as buy repair drones and increase the power of your station. You will strategically need to spend your credits on the right weapons or you will get stuck in campaign mode.
Also included are three types of endless survival modes with different objectives including basic survival, mining, and protect. OpenFeint is included for online high scores and achievements. This app has the intrinsic replay factor where you will want to play every level and survival mode irrelevant of other features other apps rely on for replay.
The game is beautifully designed from the detailed space backgrounds to each of the intricacies in the items you use as well as the enemy ships. The animations are extremely deluxe with all the varying weapons fire and explosions depending on what is destroyed. The included soundtrack is great to listen to with a subtle space theme that just fits.
Space Station: Frontier HD is one of the best strategy games for the iPad as it amps up the challenge, and required strategy. It looks amazing on the bigger device, and takes full advantage of the added screen real estate. Space Station: Frontier HD is a should buy for $4.99, and even higher if you’re a huge RTS fan.
If you own the iPhone version: If you already own the iPhone version you will find nothing new in the iPad version in terms of content. That’s not to say you won’t find anything new as the interface as well as the perspective makes the game much better to play as you arrange your mining and defenses. The HD version really is a big difference in the visuals category, and it’s one of the starkest contrasts around.
The iPad version looks better, and plays better, but you’re still looking at and playing the same levels. If you’ve beat this game on the iPhone there’s no reason to get the HD version.
If you only own an iPad: If you only own an iPad hopefully you know that certain game genres can really benefit from the larger screen and real time strategy and tower defense are two of those. Space Station: Frontier HD is a unique combination of both, and is a great experience on the iPad. If you like strategy games this is probably the best on the iPad currently.
If you never bought the iPhone version: If you never bought the iPhone version, we definitely recommend it. It’s now $2.99 instead of $4.99 as the iPad version is $4.99. There is tons to do in the iPhone version with the same exact content of 15 campaign levels and three survival modes. This is a great and challenging game for the iPhone/iPod Touch.