Screen-shot-2009-10-09-at-2.38.35-PM-300x230If you were a PC gamer in the mid 90's, the very mention of Command & Conquer likely brings back memories of massive battles, elaborate bases, the cumbersome Westwood Online multiplayer, and best of all- The game coming with two discs to give one to a friend to play against without having to buy a second copy of the game. Westwood was eventually acquired by EA, and through numerous sequels and spin-offs there have been over 30 million copies sold across the franchise.

Command & Conquer Red Alert [App Store] like the other games in the Red Alert family takes place in an alternate universe where World War II never occurred thanks to some time traveling trickery by Albert Einstein which resulted in the Soviet Union rising to power due to the Allies never developing nuclear weaponry. Unfortunately, the iPhone game doesn't do much to convey this fascinating game setting, but other games in the series that do a better job of this are worth checking out if you're an alternate history fiction fan.

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The controls in Command & Conquer Red Alert work shockingly well. I consider myself real time strategy fan, but there are not only few of these games on the App Store, but even fewer that have controls that make for fun gameplay. The user interface has remained constant since the preview we did early last month:

The screen is framed with all kinds of interface elements, and while seeming slightly cluttered, everything works well enough and I never felt like the controls were getting in the way of what I wanted to do in the game. The battlefield can be zoomed using standard pinching gestures, and to change your field of view you can either swipe your finger around the screen or touch the mini map in the top right corner.

Lining the right side of the screen are all the buttons and menus for building your base as well as training units. Just like the PC version, units can be queued up to train multiples at once. Placing a new building in your base is as simple as tapping it from the "build" menu, at which point a grid appears on top of the terrain and your building can be placed with familiar green and red highlighting indicating valid placement.

Once you've got your army built, you can organize units in to three squads assigned to the three buttons on the left hand side of the screen. To select units, you can either tap them to select individual units, or by tapping a button on the bottom left corner of the screen you can drag a selection box around units on the battlefield. From there, another button on the bottom of the screen allows you to assign your current selection of units to one of the three buttons on the left side of the screen.

The graphics and sound in Command & Conquer Red Alert are absolutely phenomenal. Everything is rendered in beautiful 3D graphics, and some of my favorite tracks from other Red Alert games have made their way in to the iPhone version. In these two categories, the game excels.

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However, like most games from long-standing franchises that wind up on the iPhone, Command & Conquer Red Alert is substantially trimmed down. On one hand, this is without a doubt among the best RTS games available on the platform, but on the other, the game is very minimal and when I step back from my incredibly fond nostalgia of the Red Alert series, it seems like a $9.99 vessel to sell downloadable content packs.

The amount of content the game itself comes with is disappointing, to the point that I didn't mention it in the preview as I was fairly certain they were going to add more in to the game when it was finally released. Unfortunately, it has remained the same. Without looking to the in-game store, the content in Command & Conquer Red Alert is limited to two brief campaigns which feel more like tutorials and two skirmish maps you can play against an AI opponent.

IMG_4002The single $0.99 DLC pack which is available with the launch of the game offers six additional skirmish maps and a couple extra units. In the future EA plans on releasing a free update to add local multiplayer via WiFi or bluetooth, but currently you're stuck playing these maps against an AI controlled army that has no difficulty adjustment-- likely creating gameplay that will be boring to veterans of the genre and frustrating to newcomers.

So in the end, how much you enjoy Command & Conquer Red Alert will largely depend on what you expect out of the game. For an iPhone game, EA does a great job with the controls and stellar music and graphics make watching and listening to the game much more fun. Unfortunately, the game does feel remarkably bite sized, with neither very much content nor much replay value without buying more maps via DLC. And launching a $9.99 game with a $0.99 DLC just doesn't sit well, especially when the downloadable packs don't feel as optional as they should be.


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

We generally try to avoid discussing game pricing, as everyone feels differently on what is and isn't an acceptable price for a game. It just seems to me, that if you're launching your game at the top-end of the App Store pricing spectrum, it shouldn't require an additional DLC pack for gamers to feel like they're experiencing a more complete game-- especially in a Command & Conquer game which historically have come with an unbelievable amount of maps.

If you can get around feeling nickel and dimed buying what seems like something that should have been included in the initial version of the game, Command & Conquer Red Alert is great. Unfortunately, with how little content is included, I'd suggest waiting to see how the multiplayer updates pan out.

App Store Link: Command & Conquer Red Alert, $9.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • pinchies

    Bah. Warfare Incorporated has multiplayer now with FREE downloadable maps. This just leaves a bad taste in your mouth! Updates had better include some free stuff.

  • pinchies

    Bah. Warfare Incorporated has multiplayer now with FREE downloadable maps. This just leaves a bad taste in your mouth! Updates had better include some free stuff.

  • kita

    Looks good but ill wait for the price to come down :) Too many app purchases lately and I'm not welling to shell out 10 bucks no matter how good the game is :(

  • kita

    Looks good but ill wait for the price to come down :) Too many app purchases lately and I'm not welling to shell out 10 bucks no matter how good the game is :(

  • LOLCATZ

    Definately worth the asking price to me, (possibly because I'm a hardcore RTS fan)

    I just couldn't get in to Warfare Inc. or QC, everything was too slow, and the AI sucked.

  • LOLCATZ

    Definately worth the asking price to me, (possibly because I'm a hardcore RTS fan)

    I just couldn't get in to Warfare Inc. or QC, everything was too slow, and the AI sucked.

  • blackHorse

    Will consider buying it when it hits 0.99$ or 0.00$.

  • blackHorse

    Will consider buying it when it hits 0.99$ or 0.00$.

  • Big Albie

    Honestly, the game is fine, and pricing is always subjective. I have no problems with paying for DLC if the game is good. And in this case, C&C is.

    • LOLCATZ

      I'm with you on that one Albie

  • Big Albie

    Honestly, the game is fine, and pricing is always subjective. I have no problems with paying for DLC if the game is good. And in this case, C&C is.

    • LOLCATZ

      I'm with you on that one Albie

  • iHuff

    Reckon I'll end up getting it as I've played most other C&Cs over the last 15ish years - but not until I've completed Robocalypse - which is still scratching my iPod RTS itch right now. Shame about the lack of longevity here though. I hope future DLCs might include new campaigns too as skirmish against AI is OK but I prefer to feel there's some point to what I'm doing.

  • iHuff

    Reckon I'll end up getting it as I've played most other C&Cs over the last 15ish years - but not until I've completed Robocalypse - which is still scratching my iPod RTS itch right now. Shame about the lack of longevity here though. I hope future DLCs might include new campaigns too as skirmish against AI is OK but I prefer to feel there's some point to what I'm doing.

  • Bulk Slash

    I'm a bit disappointed the review didn't mention anything about the stability and performance problems of the game. From reading reviews on the App Store it manages 30fps on a 3GS, but on my 3G it's closer to 10fps most of the time.

    Plus the game crashes out a lot, which is annoying as it loses all your progress when it does. This morning I had to reboot the phone because it wouldn't even reach the title screen, something I've never seen with any other iPhone game.

    As for the DLC, I bought it and it was instantly unlocked, which seems very suspicious to me. I suspect it was included with the game all along and was just unlocked rather than being new content they have created.

  • Bulk Slash

    I'm a bit disappointed the review didn't mention anything about the stability and performance problems of the game. From reading reviews on the App Store it manages 30fps on a 3GS, but on my 3G it's closer to 10fps most of the time.

    Plus the game crashes out a lot, which is annoying as it loses all your progress when it does. This morning I had to reboot the phone because it wouldn't even reach the title screen, something I've never seen with any other iPhone game.

    As for the DLC, I bought it and it was instantly unlocked, which seems very suspicious to me. I suspect it was included with the game all along and was just unlocked rather than being new content they have created.

  • http://appsandstuff.weebly.com/ Addicted2waffle

    I bought fifa 10 from ea when it got released. And i want this game as well, but i wount buy this game unless there is a price reduction.
    I bought warfare about a year ago, and that game rocks, now finaly with online multilayer!!

  • http://appsandstuff.weebly.com/ Addicted2waffle

    I bought fifa 10 from ea when it got released. And i want this game as well, but i wount buy this game unless there is a price reduction.
    I bought warfare about a year ago, and that game rocks, now finaly with online multilayer!!

  • araczynski

    ah, the EA experience, never fails to fail, but the sheep keep on buying, so why would they change.

  • araczynski

    ah, the EA experience, never fails to fail, but the sheep keep on buying, so why would they change.

  • SteveJ

    Robocalypse has a pretty extensive set of campaigns and both local and online multiplayer which works great! I haven't played any of the others on the iPhone, so I can't compare, but Robocalypse is a great game that you should consider

  • SteveJ

    Robocalypse has a pretty extensive set of campaigns and both local and online multiplayer which works great! I haven't played any of the others on the iPhone, so I can't compare, but Robocalypse is a great game that you should consider

  • Simon

    The App Store link posted does not work in the UK, please replace with
    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=333223358&mt=8

  • Simon

    The App Store link posted does not work in the UK, please replace with
    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=333223358&mt=8

  • http://www.gabrielerizzetto.co.uk Gabriele

    I'm a little surprised no-one's mentioned the path-finding issues - tell a group
    of tanks to change directions and one will immediately just sit there and spin on its axis before moving, leaving it far behind when the tanks reach somewhere hostile.

    Generally a good effort from EA, I love the graphics and the audio, but this is just veneer atop a rather limited game that needs both content updates and patches at this point. Almost there, but not quite somehow.

    • Imad Qamar

      Yes, you're right abt the path finding issue... and seriously its extremely irritating. Plus, it has framerate issues on my iPod 1st Gen... so over-all its been a bad experience for me :(

      • http://www.gabrielerizzetto.co.uk Gabriele

        It works great on my 2nd gen Touch (faster processor) - I can definitely imagine it lagging on a slower device. I really hope the pathfinding issues are addressed in an update, it really grates after a while.

  • http://www.gabrielerizzetto.co.uk Gabriele

    I'm a little surprised no-one's mentioned the path-finding issues - tell a group
    of tanks to change directions and one will immediately just sit there and spin on its axis before moving, leaving it far behind when the tanks reach somewhere hostile.

    Generally a good effort from EA, I love the graphics and the audio, but this is just veneer atop a rather limited game that needs both content updates and patches at this point. Almost there, but not quite somehow.

    • Imad Qamar

      Yes, you're right abt the path finding issue... and seriously its extremely irritating. Plus, it has framerate issues on my iPod 1st Gen... so over-all its been a bad experience for me :(

      • http://www.gabrielerizzetto.co.uk Gabriele

        It works great on my 2nd gen Touch (faster processor) - I can definitely imagine it lagging on a slower device. I really hope the pathfinding issues are addressed in an update, it really grates after a while.

  • PeterM11

    Well I personally love it and think it's well worth the $10

  • PeterM11

    Well I personally love it and think it's well worth the $10

  • deadcobain

    Ok... Excelent buy, with no doubt for me, a red alert and C&C extreme Fan, but i'm having a little issues here...

    In game Purchases gives-me this error:

    "Error 10007: Language not supported for this product"

    Iphone 3G, Portuguese language and game in English.

    What could be doing this to me?

    • Chrifay

      You have to change the language of you iPhone to english, and then it will work.

  • deadcobain

    Ok... Excelent buy, with no doubt for me, a red alert and C&C extreme Fan, but i'm having a little issues here...

    In game Purchases gives-me this error:

    "Error 10007: Language not supported for this product"

    Iphone 3G, Portuguese language and game in English.

    What could be doing this to me?

    • Chrifay

      You have to change the language of you iPhone to english, and then it will work.

  • http://www.hbdia.com IzzyNobre

    I've been an extreme C&C fan since I played the demo for the first game over 10 years ago. Red Alert was always my favorite; I never cared much for the 3D iterations of the game, but I kept an open mind and I was
    excited for this. Bought it as soon as I came home from work.

    And I'm a bit disappointed. The game is too short for that price tag, and the gameplay just feels too watered down. The maps are too small, also, and not having online multiplayer is inexplicable.

    I don't mind paying more for extra content at all, in fact, I bought the extra maps before I even played any missions. I just wish this felt more like Red Alert, as opposed to Red Alert Lite.

    Also, I like the control scheme for Warfare Inc a LOT better. That said, I remain a big C&C fan - I'll just stuck to playing it more often on my netbook when I'm out and about :(

  • http://www.hbdia.com IzzyNobre

    I've been an extreme C&C fan since I played the demo for the first game over 10 years ago. Red Alert was always my favorite; I never cared much for the 3D iterations of the game, but I kept an open mind and I was
    excited for this. Bought it as soon as I came home from work.

    And I'm a bit disappointed. The game is too short for that price tag, and the gameplay just feels too watered down. The maps are too small, also, and not having online multiplayer is inexplicable.

    I don't mind paying more for extra content at all, in fact, I bought the extra maps before I even played any missions. I just wish this felt more like Red Alert, as opposed to Red Alert Lite.

    Also, I like the control scheme for Warfare Inc a LOT better. That said, I remain a big C&C fan - I'll just stuck to playing it more often on my netbook when I'm out and about :(

  • Trunkz Jr

    Anyone know how many AI Opponents you can have for a skirmish? This was never mentioned, and I'd only get it if I could play with more then 1 (I always enjoyed playing team battles in Red Alert)

    • http://www.hbdia.com IzzyNobre

      Only 1, it seems

  • Trunkz Jr

    Anyone know how many AI Opponents you can have for a skirmish? This was never mentioned, and I'd only get it if I could play with more then 1 (I always enjoyed playing team battles in Red Alert)

    • http://www.hbdia.com IzzyNobre

      Only 1, it seems

  • deadcobain

    strange thing... i finally managed to resolve the error 10007 (language error) but i just have a map pack to download. Where is the expansion pack? with the empire of rising sun?

    Where is it?

    • Just Helping

      The expansion will come later.
      And i think you'll have to pay another 10$ for it...

  • deadcobain

    strange thing... i finally managed to resolve the error 10007 (language error) but i just have a map pack to download. Where is the expansion pack? with the empire of rising sun?

    Where is it?

    • Just Helping

      The expansion will come later.
      And i think you'll have to pay another 10$ for it...

  • Just Helping

    @ Eli Hodapp (writer of the review)

    I think EA put a map pack in the game because they don't want people to download it illegal. Illegal you have only 2 maps but if you have the legal version you will certainly buy the map pack (means 8 maps).

  • Just Helping

    @ Eli Hodapp (writer of the review)

    I think EA put a map pack in the game because they don't want people to download it illegal. Illegal you have only 2 maps but if you have the legal version you will certainly buy the map pack (means 8 maps).

  • Joe

    This runs like a dog on my 3G. It's slow, the camera is poor and crashes randomly.

    I think I was expecting too much from this iPhone version as frankly, i think it's poor.

    A port of Red Alert 2 would have been much better than going 3D and surely would have provided a smoother running game?

  • Joe

    This runs like a dog on my 3G. It's slow, the camera is poor and crashes randomly.

    I think I was expecting too much from this iPhone version as frankly, i think it's poor.

    A port of Red Alert 2 would have been much better than going 3D and surely would have provided a smoother running game?

  • Rad

    I'm dissapointed by the amount of content for the price and no multiplayer.
    The DLC pack should have been part of the first release.

    EA needs to look at id's example with Doom Classic on how it's done in regards to price and game content.

  • Rad

    I'm dissapointed by the amount of content for the price and no multiplayer.
    The DLC pack should have been part of the first release.

    EA needs to look at id's example with Doom Classic on how it's done in regards to price and game content.

  • precV

    If you want to charge $9.99 for a premium app, that's fine if there is quality and content to justify the price. If you want to have in-app DLC purchases to extend the game, well that's fine also. But DO NOT try to sell me an incomplete game that is basically a shell without the DLC.

    No thanks.

  • precV

    If you want to charge $9.99 for a premium app, that's fine if there is quality and content to justify the price. If you want to have in-app DLC purchases to extend the game, well that's fine also. But DO NOT try to sell me an incomplete game that is basically a shell without the DLC.

    No thanks.

  • Kim

    Does anybody know the solution this game shows just the title of EA screen and finished?
    I am using SoftBank iPhone 3GS 32GB in Japan. But since I have some paypal money in USA, I bought it from US shop in iTunes and copied to my iphone. In this way, other games had no problem.
    What should I do?
    Thanks..

  • Kim

    Does anybody know the solution this game shows just the title of EA screen and finished?
    I am using SoftBank iPhone 3GS 32GB in Japan. But since I have some paypal money in USA, I bought it from US shop in iTunes and copied to my iphone. In this way, other games had no problem.
    What should I do?
    Thanks..

  • Ian

    I've been wringing my hands in anticipation for this game for months. Needless to say, from the numerous reports of crashes, to the price(s), to the limited game play options I'll be waiting for performance upgrades and either:

    price reduction
    or
    more maps and game options.

    It's on my AppMiner watch list until then.

    I'm disappointed, to say the least.

  • Ian

    I've been wringing my hands in anticipation for this game for months. Needless to say, from the numerous reports of crashes, to the price(s), to the limited game play options I'll be waiting for performance upgrades and either:

    price reduction
    or
    more maps and game options.

    It's on my AppMiner watch list until then.

    I'm disappointed, to say the least.

  • http://anilv.in Anil

    WTF .... This game is not available in India Store .... Too bad apple too too bad

  • http://anilv.in Anil

    WTF .... This game is not available in India Store .... Too bad apple too too bad

  • Mike

    This is a pretty good game imo.

    But im stuck on mission can never seem to get all three bases destroyed without my base being destroyed, anyone got any help??

    cheers

  • Mike

    This is a pretty good game imo.

    But im stuck on mission can never seem to get all three bases destroyed without my base being destroyed, anyone got any help??

    cheers

  • James

    Quite disappointing, the AI sucks, path finding is bugged, strategy is simple, everything it just too easy, there's not depth

  • James

    Quite disappointing, the AI sucks, path finding is bugged, strategy is simple, everything it just too easy, there's not depth

  • Steve

    I don't understand why the review failed to mention that this game simply will not load on a 3G. I haven't seen it on a 3GS, but having read the reviews on the ap store, the performance is not much better.

    I feel thoroughly robbed by EA. I am a long time aficionado of C&C, and I was duly looking forwards to getting my fingers on this one, but the game is completely unplayable. I manage to load to the playing screen about one time for every three attempts, and even then the game will last a maximum of 10 seconds before crashing.

    I have tried rebooting, using an application I have that frees up memory, and even putting my phone into airplane mode, but there is no change to how gash this application is.

  • Steve

    I don't understand why the review failed to mention that this game simply will not load on a 3G. I haven't seen it on a 3GS, but having read the reviews on the ap store, the performance is not much better.

    I feel thoroughly robbed by EA. I am a long time aficionado of C&C, and I was duly looking forwards to getting my fingers on this one, but the game is completely unplayable. I manage to load to the playing screen about one time for every three attempts, and even then the game will last a maximum of 10 seconds before crashing.

    I have tried rebooting, using an application I have that frees up memory, and even putting my phone into airplane mode, but there is no change to how gash this application is.

  • http://www.iphonbe.com/ NINA

    iphone is fantastic function.Dont use illiegal purpose.Use legal purpose and make satisfied 3G. tank you god

  • http://www.iphonbe.com/ NINA

    iphone is fantastic function.Dont use illiegal purpose.Use legal purpose and make satisfied 3G. tank you god

  • http://www.buyexercisebike.co.uk/brochures.htm Lisa @ Download a exercise bik

    Can you give me a good review on the HTC Touch Diamond for Sprint?

  • http://www.buyexercisebike.co.uk/brochures.htm Lisa @ Download a exercise bike pdf brochures

    Can you give me a good review on the HTC Touch Diamond for Sprint?

  • NewsTroll

    This game is cool but the fact that I finished it in about an hour and a half sucks. The pain of the "forced tutorial" sucks & I finished the last level of Soviets (Defend your base for 10mins) by destroying their whole entire base before the 10mins was up. Its very easy and all I used was 9 planes.... Why not have a 10 map campaign per side?

  • NewsTroll

    This game is cool but the fact that I finished it in about an hour and a half sucks. The pain of the "forced tutorial" sucks & I finished the last level of Soviets (Defend your base for 10mins) by destroying their whole entire base before the 10mins was up. Its very easy and all I used was 9 planes.... Why not have a 10 map campaign per side?

  • Jcparales21

    its an epic game but it crashes alot