Marathon 1 (Free) by Soli Deo Gloria Productions, LLC breathes new life into a classic game.
First released for the Mac in 1994, this first-person shooter (FPS) is set aboard its namesake spaceship. The ship has been overrun by hostile aliens and it’s your job to clean house. Leela, the ship’s computer program, helps you along the way with large chunks of text accessed through terminals.
This game appears to have a cult following, so I’d like to make a self disclosure up front: I have neither heard of, nor played Marathon up until this week. All of my FPS experience in the 90s came from PC-based games.
I feel it’s important to bring this information to light because I have no emotional attachment to this game. I’m reviewing this game solely from the frame of reference of someone who enjoys a good FPS (including the classics, such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Duke Nukem 3D).
The game itself is okay. It seems to separate itself from other FPS games by including more of a research aspect to it. The maps definitely have an old school feel to them. However, you can pay to upgrade the standard definition app to HD.
The controls are my main complaint about this app. Other FPS games that were ported over to iOS seemed to have bridged the gap between keyboard and touch just fine. This one doesn’t have that same feel. Your left hand controls movement, while your right hand controls looking by touching the view area and shooting by touching one of the two fire buttons at the bottom.
Enemies would pummel me as I tried to get my character to look up from staring at the floor. Apparently in the settings you can select “tap to shoot,” though this only seemed to work (sometimes) if you tap the actual gun, which is of little help.
This app will certainly appeal to those who played the game back in the day. Those stumbling upon this game for the first time may not be all that impressed.