Flying Dino has finally released their ambitious online deathmatch arena game called iMech. We first heard about the project back in March during GDC, and had seen a near complete version at WWDC.
iMech is a 3D, over-the-shoulder style combat game that puts the player in control of one of three different mech vehicles to engage in online battles of up to eight players per game, across five different randomly selected maps. While a single player tutorial and practice mode is provided, the core of the game is online multiplayer. At present there are 3 server locations: U.S. West Coast, U.S. East Coast, and Europe.
At the players' disposal are five different weapons: machine gun, laser, flame thrower, missiles, and mines. Each player's mech features shields and a jetpack boost feature (to make quick jumps through the environment) that share energy — so boost sparingly.
Control is handled via dual on-screen sticks with a tap to switch out weapons. The game offers an in-game chat feature where users tap to select a positive, negative, or neutral comment, with a second tap to select from a short-list of quips from each category. The controls work pretty well and are easy to get accustomed to. Left stick offers movement, while right controls view and shooting. By default shooting is automatic when you hold down on the right pad, but can optionally be invoked by double tapping.
Our WWDC preview video shows how the game handles, while this new trailer is provided by the developers:
Matches are short timed rounds in which the individual with the highest number of kills wins. Server match ups are very simple at this point and simply fill up to 8 players per "room" with overflowing simply going into another room. So you may play against anywhere from 1-7 other players. Other gameplay modes such as capture the flag or a team mode would be welcome additions to mix up the play, though would understandably require a large installed base to support.
Without an extensive single player mode, you are dependent on network conditions and server geography for the quality of your online play experience. When all works well, the game delivers a fast paced deathmatch experience that's somewhat simple but fun to play. The aggregate of responses from the early adopters show some mixed network results and even across play sessions on the same server, we've had both excellent and laggy experiences.
The game, however, seems to have captured the attention of a number of our forumgoers who are trash talking and coordinating battles in the discussion thread.
App Store Link: iMech, $2.99