Monster Gila, creators of Ignite [$1.99 / Free], recently sent us an early preview build of their upcoming space shooter, NovaRift Arena. Right now the state of the game seems like little more than a framework for something that could really turn in to a cool multiplayer game built around a physics engine that takes in to account the different functions of your ship's components and as you take damage your ship will perform and handle differently.

For instance, lose a thruster in the heat of battle and you're going to have problems steering. If one of your gun takes too much damage, you'll have to hope some of your other offensive abilities are still intact. Included in game are four different types of ships to choose from, each of which both perform differently and come with different weapon load outs. In the build of the game I've been playing, online multiplayer doesn't seem to be working yet, but the local arcade mode is a lot of fun, especially as you get to the more difficult waves of enemy drones.

On its initial release, NovaRift is said to include an online deathmatch mode where players will face off in a timed deathmatch to see who can get the most kills. In the future, Monster Gila plans on maintaining the game through content updates, adding team deathmatch modes and additional ships. Designed to be easily expandable, new players are said to be able to expect "a lot of new content" after the game's release.

The developers plan on launching the game with two different versions, a free one where players can play for 30 minutes online or try out most or all of the single player arcade levels as well as a paid version that offers unlimited online play. NovaRift is still in development, but I can see a lot of potential for a great online multiplayer game if the community picks up following the game's release.

  • Boarder2

    They may as well have just straight ripped off VOID:
    http://void.beautifulpixel.com/

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

      So... VOID is the first game you've seen that has gameplay like that? Ah, to be young again.

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan
      • Bruce

        Hehe - my first thought was of Spacewar as well.
        Never heard of this 'Void'; guess I'll have to check it out.

  • Boarder2

    They may as well have just straight ripped off VOID:
    http://void.beautifulpixel.com/

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

      So... VOID is the first game you've seen that has gameplay like that? Ah, to be young again.

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan
      • Bruce

        Hehe - my first thought was of Spacewar as well.
        Never heard of this 'Void'; guess I'll have to check it out.

  • MilesO'Toole

    The cinematics look great. How is that done? In house, or do they hire some outside agency to do the cinematics?

    • http://www.analogretro.com/StarRangers/ LeeHP

      "For instance, lose a thruster in the heat of battle and you're going to have problems steering. If one of your gun takes too much damage, you'll have to hope some of your other offensive abilities are still intact."

      Brilliant! Oh wait - The damage feature is already implemented in "Star Rangers" for iPhone & touch. (Damaged systems can be repaired by docking at a starbase.)

      Star Rangers ship damage:
      • If you loose you engines your ships thrusters will still power you up to a throttle setting of 3. Plus your warp engines can let you make quick jumps within a sector or get you to a starbase for repairs. Damaged engines will not provide constant speed and your velocity will fluctuate.
      • If your subspace radio is damaged, enemy ship icon movements may not update on your Galactic Map but tapping on any sector may indicate where ships have moved to in the text at the top of the map.
      • Damaged shields will flicker in yellow. Taking a hit when they flicker on might save you...if it occurs when they flicker off then not so good...
      • Damaged torpedoes will still fire but the reload time will slow. You can also loose one side but still fire with the other, sometimes.
      • Long Range Sensors can suffer from various problems when damaged but will still provide some use.
      • A damaged computer can prevent target tracking and lock-on, and Auto Nav functions in the Long Range Sensors can be lost.

      A major update is in the works for Star Rangers, and following that will be a multi-player upgrade.

      -LHP

      • Bruce

        I've tried the Lite version. It's essentially a recreation of the old Atari 8-bit Star Raiders game, but the feel is not quite the same. I didn't think all that highly of it - but if there is a major update I will try to check that out...

  • MilesO'Toole

    The cinematics look great. How is that done? In house, or do they hire some outside agency to do the cinematics?

    • http://www.analogretro.com/StarRangers/ LeeHP

      "For instance, lose a thruster in the heat of battle and you're going to have problems steering. If one of your gun takes too much damage, you'll have to hope some of your other offensive abilities are still intact."

      Brilliant! Oh wait - The damage feature is already implemented in "Star Rangers" for iPhone & touch. (Damaged systems can be repaired by docking at a starbase.)

      Star Rangers ship damage:
      • If you loose you engines your ships thrusters will still power you up to a throttle setting of 3. Plus your warp engines can let you make quick jumps within a sector or get you to a starbase for repairs. Damaged engines will not provide constant speed and your velocity will fluctuate.
      • If your subspace radio is damaged, enemy ship icon movements may not update on your Galactic Map but tapping on any sector may indicate where ships have moved to in the text at the top of the map.
      • Damaged shields will flicker in yellow. Taking a hit when they flicker on might save you...if it occurs when they flicker off then not so good...
      • Damaged torpedoes will still fire but the reload time will slow. You can also loose one side but still fire with the other, sometimes.
      • Long Range Sensors can suffer from various problems when damaged but will still provide some use.
      • A damaged computer can prevent target tracking and lock-on, and Auto Nav functions in the Long Range Sensors can be lost.

      A major update is in the works for Star Rangers, and following that will be a multi-player upgrade.

      -LHP

      • Bruce

        I've tried the Lite version. It's essentially a recreation of the old Atari 8-bit Star Raiders game, but the feel is not quite the same. I didn't think all that highly of it - but if there is a major update I will try to check that out...

  • Robert

    Wow that looks so boring. Looks more like a stationary turret then a fighter. Hey need to move the background to give the illusion of speed at least

  • Robert

    Wow that looks so boring. Looks more like a stationary turret then a fighter. Hey need to move the background to give the illusion of speed at least

  • HelperMonkey

    So some of their gameplay elements have appeared in other games... It still sounds like a much fresher experience than any of the online FPSs out there, which all happen to have nearly identical basic elements.
    My first FPS experience was with Castle Wolfenstein in the early '90s, which featured a first-person perspective with your gun visible in front of you as you ran through corridors shooting bad guys and collecting ammo boxes and health kits... Should I reject any game that uses those same ideas? Are they worse games because of it?
    I think NovaRift could bring some good, interesting variety to online gaming on iDevices. It personally appeals to me more than a FPS or a racing game.

  • HelperMonkey

    So some of their gameplay elements have appeared in other games... It still sounds like a much fresher experience than any of the online FPSs out there, which all happen to have nearly identical basic elements.
    My first FPS experience was with Castle Wolfenstein in the early '90s, which featured a first-person perspective with your gun visible in front of you as you ran through corridors shooting bad guys and collecting ammo boxes and health kits... Should I reject any game that uses those same ideas? Are they worse games because of it?
    I think NovaRift could bring some good, interesting variety to online gaming on iDevices. It personally appeals to me more than a FPS or a racing game.

  • dumas1000

    Meh. Just because a game impliments online doesn't neccessarily mean that it's worth playing. I concur with Robert. This just doesn't look fun. Galaxy on Fire/ StarPagga (only marketed properly from the very beginning, so that people are aware that it exists) type of game online than this. I wish StarPagga hadn't failed so horrifically online. It's hard to believe that someone would create an online game of that magnititude, only to have nobody play it. Even to this day, that still baffles me.

  • dumas1000

    Meh. Just because a game impliments online doesn't neccessarily mean that it's worth playing. I concur with Robert. This just doesn't look fun. Galaxy on Fire/ StarPagga (only marketed properly from the very beginning, so that people are aware that it exists) type of game online than this. I wish StarPagga hadn't failed so horrifically online. It's hard to believe that someone would create an online game of that magnititude, only to have nobody play it. Even to this day, that still baffles me.

  • http://Inginious.BlogSpot.com Inginious

    Man, I want Descent to comeback on the iPhone... InterPlay? remember?
    http://www.interplay.com/games/descent.php

    • Lazlo Nibble

      That's EXACTLY what I was hoping for...looked like it in the cinematic...then BAM! 2-D gameplay. Dammit!!

  • http://Inginious.BlogSpot.com Inginious

    Man, I want Descent to comeback on the iPhone... InterPlay? remember?
    http://www.interplay.com/games/descent.php

    • Lazlo Nibble

      That's EXACTLY what I was hoping for...looked like it in the cinematic...then BAM! 2-D gameplay. Dammit!!

  • Phantomlord

    I want to see a game like Galaxy on Fire with multiplayer except actually have it updated/supported instead of just putting out a product and letting it twist in the wind. That game could have been great with a co-op mode like Freelancer for the iPhone.

  • Phantomlord

    I want to see a game like Galaxy on Fire with multiplayer except actually have it updated/supported instead of just putting out a product and letting it twist in the wind. That game could have been great with a co-op mode like Freelancer for the iPhone.

  • Chad

    Sounds like they just want to piggyback of search results for NOVA

  • Chad

    Sounds like they just want to piggyback of search results for NOVA