Freeverse's space conquest game Warpgate [$4.99 / Free] and the high resolution iPad Warpgate HD [$7.99 / Free] both recently had free versions appear on the App Store. If you've been on the fence, you really should give the free version a try, especially with the recent 1.2 update that added save game portability via the Plus+ network.

When Warpgate HD first launched along side the iPad, we loved the game in our review, and later found the only differences between the iPhone and iPads version of the game were minor UI differences. Here's what you're getting in to in the Warpgate universe:

Obviously set in space, Warpgate is host to a gigantic galaxy map that you slowly explore through a seamless set of campaign missions. Once you complete the initial tutorial, and start in on the "real" game, procedurally generated missions begin appearing that have you flying places, delivering things, getting in to battles with other ships, and other objectives. Because of this, the game never technically ends.


Warpgate is remarkably open, so much so that if you're the kind of gamer that requires a rigid goal structure with a concrete "end" to a game, it might just drive you crazy. The end goal of Warpgate is whatever you want it to be. If that means grinding up reputation with the space pirates and piloting the biggest, baddest battleship in the entire galaxy, killing everything in your path, you can. Or, on the opposite side of things, you can be completely lawful and play your cards so you're in good standing with all the factions of space. ...Read More

One of my main concerns from our initial review was the inability to manage your save game data. Since Warpgate is a game you can keep playing for a very long time, not being able to secure my game data from the horrors of iPhone syncing and updating SNAFU's after potentially investing weeks of playtime in to the game made me very nervous. Warpgate 1.2 not only adds online save game storage via the Plus+ network, but these game saves are also portable between devices and versions of the game.

If you own the game for both the iPhone and iPad, all you need to do is open the game's options screen, upload your game save on one device, then do the same thing to download it on to the other device and you will be right where you left off. What's even cooler, is that if you download the lite version for either the iPad or iPhone, you can upload your game save, buy the full version, download it, and keep all of your progress.

Unfortunately, because of the size of the Warpgate game save files, automatic online game save storage like many other Plus+ games simply isn't realistic. According to Warpgate producer Bruce Morrison, Warpgate game saves can grow to upwards of 500 kilobytes once you get farther in to the game. In comparison, Flick Fishing, another Freeverse game that handles all of the Plus+ game save data automatically only uses around 5 kilobytes to save everything it needs.

Warpgate's implementation of online save storage is a little ugly, but it works. It's really great to be able to play my same game on both my iPhone and iPad, and the ability to roll your progress in the lite version straight in to the paid version is really cool. If you haven't yet, you really should give Warpgate a try, or at least download the free version. Aside from being a fun space conquest game, it also looks really great on the iPad.

App Store Links:

  • noah

    500kb? What sort of textual information has to be saved that's half a meg? Sheesh!

    • http://www.freeverse.com haveblue

      Not just textual information- literally every bit of the state of the world is serialized. Every ship, including their AI state, the particle systems attached to them, the missiles and laser bursts and other projectiles from a nearby fight, everything. We dump the entire scene graph with NSCoder, that's how we can put you back at exactly the same place you quit, rather than merely the last place it was convenient for us to write a minimal progress record.

      This feature was designed before synch support was made available to us, and the rest of the game was built around it.

    • http://www.freeverse.com Hippieman

      Literally the Universe.

      Warpgate saves the entire contents of the game world. Everything, commodity prices, ship loadout, other ships in the systems. Even the rotation of the planet.

      This is all designed so when you quit the game and return, it is how you left it. No menus to navigate. Total pick up and play. So the save file is large.

  • http://www.callboxlive.com Stan Winstone

    Warpgate is decent enough but I don't see why it gets so much attention on this site...

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Because Eli likes it a lot?

      • Eli Hodapp

        It's not like I'm alone on that either, Warpgate had both a massive anticipation thread in our upcoming games forum which turned in to a bunch of people loving the game in the actual release threads when it finally came out.

    • JC

      This is a great game and deserves the attention it gets.

    • Herman Munster

      I agree. This game is pretty average.

  • noah

    500kb? What sort of textual information has to be saved that's half a meg? Sheesh!

    • http://www.freeverse.com haveblue

      Not just textual information- literally every bit of the state of the world is serialized. Every ship, including their AI state, the particle systems attached to them, the missiles and laser bursts and other projectiles from a nearby fight, everything. We dump the entire scene graph with NSCoder, that's how we can put you back at exactly the same place you quit, rather than merely the last place it was convenient for us to write a minimal progress record.

      This feature was designed before synch support was made available to us, and the rest of the game was built around it.

    • http://www.freeverse.com Hippieman

      Literally the Universe.

      Warpgate saves the entire contents of the game world. Everything, commodity prices, ship loadout, other ships in the systems. Even the rotation of the planet.

      This is all designed so when you quit the game and return, it is how you left it. No menus to navigate. Total pick up and play. So the save file is large.

  • http://www.callboxlive.com Stan Winstone

    Warpgate is decent enough but I don't see why it gets so much attention on this site...

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Because Eli likes it a lot?

      • Eli Hodapp

        It's not like I'm alone on that either, Warpgate had both a massive anticipation thread in our upcoming games forum which turned in to a bunch of people loving the game in the actual release threads when it finally came out.

    • JC

      This is a great game and deserves the attention it gets.

    • Herman Munster

      I agree. This game is pretty average.

  • Lukeb

    I was bored within minutes of playing, but it seemed like a decent space-trader game. On the technical side, the choppy rotation oft he the large 3D model in ship-view mode (seemed like 15-20fps) caused me wonder if that was an iPad limitation or an optimization issue. Anyway, at least I got to try it out.

  • Lukeb

    I was bored within minutes of playing, but it seemed like a decent space-trader game. On the technical side, the choppy rotation oft he the large 3D model in ship-view mode (seemed like 15-20fps) caused me wonder if that was an iPad limitation or an optimization issue. Anyway, at least I got to try it out.

  • Alan

    I love this game. I didn't know what to expect when i got it but it really draws me in... for up to hours at a time.

  • Alan

    I love this game. I didn't know what to expect when i got it but it really draws me in... for up to hours at a time.

  • Crunc

    Downloading the free version. I wish more games offered a trial. Also, I really, really wish Apple would change the App Store so that developers could release games as a free download, but with a paid unlock. You can do that, but what doesn't happen is having the price listed as the unlock price instead of being listed as free. I.e. free download and demo would become standard, with paid games being listed for their unlock price. Only games without paid content would be listed as free.

    • noah

      So you basically want the Free to Play, but which have In-App Purchases to be listed under the PAID category instead of being put into the FREE category?

      What about games like We Rule, where their In-App Purchases range from $1 to $50?

      Or are you suggesting an entirely new category of Trial Apps? (Free for a week or until a certain level, then requiring the user to Purchase the full app?)

      • Crunc

        I mean like Xbox Live Arcade. You can download any XBLA, Indie or Games on Demand game for free and run it in demo mode (it's a standard feature of all download games on the Xbox 360), and have the option of unlocking it. The key things here are twofold. 1) all games have free demos and 2) all games are listed as a pair: the demo, and the full version. Sort of like this, visually:

        Warpgage:
        demo: free
        full version: $4.99

        So you only see one main listing for Warpgate, not two. When go into that listing you see the demo and the unlocked price.

        When you download the demo its exactly the same file as the full version and you can unlock it in-game. Or you can buy it up front and download it unlocked already.

  • Crunc

    Downloading the free version. I wish more games offered a trial. Also, I really, really wish Apple would change the App Store so that developers could release games as a free download, but with a paid unlock. You can do that, but what doesn't happen is having the price listed as the unlock price instead of being listed as free. I.e. free download and demo would become standard, with paid games being listed for their unlock price. Only games without paid content would be listed as free.

    • noah

      So you basically want the Free to Play, but which have In-App Purchases to be listed under the PAID category instead of being put into the FREE category?

      What about games like We Rule, where their In-App Purchases range from $1 to $50?

      Or are you suggesting an entirely new category of Trial Apps? (Free for a week or until a certain level, then requiring the user to Purchase the full app?)

      • Crunc

        I mean like Xbox Live Arcade. You can download any XBLA, Indie or Games on Demand game for free and run it in demo mode (it's a standard feature of all download games on the Xbox 360), and have the option of unlocking it. The key things here are twofold. 1) all games have free demos and 2) all games are listed as a pair: the demo, and the full version. Sort of like this, visually:

        Warpgage:
        demo: free
        full version: $4.99

        So you only see one main listing for Warpgate, not two. When go into that listing you see the demo and the unlocked price.

        When you download the demo its exactly the same file as the full version and you can unlock it in-game. Or you can buy it up front and download it unlocked already.

  • Crunc

    And a followup (wish I could edit), this would also make this transferring from Lite to paid version thing completely unnecessary - the free demo and the paid version would be the exact same download. No need to transfer anything - the save file's already there.

  • Crunc

    And a followup (wish I could edit), this would also make this transferring from Lite to paid version thing completely unnecessary - the free demo and the paid version would be the exact same download. No need to transfer anything - the save file's already there.

  • AGP

    Looks great on the iPad? I think it looks like a school project. The graphics are horrible, the frame rate is choppy, the writing is puerile, gameplay is shallow and pacing is glacial, the UI is absolutely horrible - even the mission select "list" is a clear statement that this game was written by amateurs.

    And then there is the "combat." Seriously... I cannot even comment on that.

    I like this site a lot, but damn your standards when it comes to games are so low I keep buying horrible crap and then regret it. :(

    • araczynski

      don't hold back now ;)

      personally i won't support it due to them splitting the two versions rather than selling one with combined builds. or any dev that does that really.

      • Eli Hodapp

        For what it's worth, they explained this on our forums. Developers with ambitious projects like Warpgate had to make decisions about what they were going to do with the iPad far before Apple announced the possibility of universal apps. Freeverse (and many other developers) forked their projects in to two different iPad and iPhone apps, worked on them like crazy for weeks, and when universal apps came along, it wasn't really possible to reconcile the two forked projects in to one universal app to launch in a reasonable time frame.

      • noah

        Concur.

      • http://www.freeverse.com Hippieman

        Gee thanks.

        Sorry we worked so hard to make these games. But keep on not supporting us, and we'll keep on not trying to make new stuff.

      • LHGD

        They are 2 different platforms.

        Do you expect to buy the PC version of a game and get the Xbox 360 version for free? Why not, they are use the same assets for the most part, are built with the same compiler, right? It takes no effort at all to make a new version of something, right? Re-tooling something from one format to another is childs play after all...

        Saying you wont buy something that isn't unified is about the dumbest thing ive heard lately (which is saying something)...

      • araczynski

        @LHGD:

        They are NOT two different platforms. Iphone games work on the ipad, and there are developers who didn't see fit to fleece people by combining an enhanced ipad version into the itouch build and letting the device automatically pick the right one at load time.

        if they can do it, that means its up to the dev whether to milk users or not.

        its just stupid to me, to buy the iphone version, knowing that someday i'll have an ipad. so the dev loses out, at least on my purchase.

        granted, he'll make up for that by all the impatient types that'll buy both.

        shrug, that's fine, if people are willing to bend over, all the more power to them. i'll wait for the HD version sale down the line.

    • http://www.freeverse.com Hippieman

      Exactly what is actually wrong?

      Beyond you just deciding to hate the game. If you are getting a bad framerate, restart your device, you are out of RAM.

      Why don't you like the Mission Log?

      It seems you are just trying to hate on the game for no good reason.

      Do you know a single thing about programing or game design? If you really think Warpgate is amateurish, I challenge you to prove it.

  • AGP

    Looks great on the iPad? I think it looks like a school project. The graphics are horrible, the frame rate is choppy, the writing is puerile, gameplay is shallow and pacing is glacial, the UI is absolutely horrible - even the mission select "list" is a clear statement that this game was written by amateurs.

    And then there is the "combat." Seriously... I cannot even comment on that.

    I like this site a lot, but damn your standards when it comes to games are so low I keep buying horrible crap and then regret it. :(

    • araczynski

      don't hold back now ;)

      personally i won't support it due to them splitting the two versions rather than selling one with combined builds. or any dev that does that really.

      • Eli Hodapp

        For what it's worth, they explained this on our forums. Developers with ambitious projects like Warpgate had to make decisions about what they were going to do with the iPad far before Apple announced the possibility of universal apps. Freeverse (and many other developers) forked their projects in to two different iPad and iPhone apps, worked on them like crazy for weeks, and when universal apps came along, it wasn't really possible to reconcile the two forked projects in to one universal app to launch in a reasonable time frame.

      • noah

        Concur.

      • http://www.freeverse.com Hippieman

        Gee thanks.

        Sorry we worked so hard to make these games. But keep on not supporting us, and we'll keep on not trying to make new stuff.

      • LHGD

        They are 2 different platforms.

        Do you expect to buy the PC version of a game and get the Xbox 360 version for free? Why not, they are use the same assets for the most part, are built with the same compiler, right? It takes no effort at all to make a new version of something, right? Re-tooling something from one format to another is childs play after all...

        Saying you wont buy something that isn't unified is about the dumbest thing ive heard lately (which is saying something)...

      • araczynski

        @LHGD:

        They are NOT two different platforms. Iphone games work on the ipad, and there are developers who didn't see fit to fleece people by combining an enhanced ipad version into the itouch build and letting the device automatically pick the right one at load time.

        if they can do it, that means its up to the dev whether to milk users or not.

        its just stupid to me, to buy the iphone version, knowing that someday i'll have an ipad. so the dev loses out, at least on my purchase.

        granted, he'll make up for that by all the impatient types that'll buy both.

        shrug, that's fine, if people are willing to bend over, all the more power to them. i'll wait for the HD version sale down the line.

    • http://www.freeverse.com Hippieman

      Exactly what is actually wrong?

      Beyond you just deciding to hate the game. If you are getting a bad framerate, restart your device, you are out of RAM.

      Why don't you like the Mission Log?

      It seems you are just trying to hate on the game for no good reason.

      Do you know a single thing about programing or game design? If you really think Warpgate is amateurish, I challenge you to prove it.

  • Bok Choy

    I have to admit, this game looks advanced and amazing... but I still haven't picked it up.

  • Bok Choy

    I have to admit, this game looks advanced and amazing... but I still haven't picked it up.

  • Phil_Lapineau

    I'm really getting into this game now. It really is a portable version of the X-series of games (like X3: Reunion or Terran Conflict). I would even go so far as to call it GTA: Chinatown Wars in space.

  • Phil_Lapineau

    I'm really getting into this game now. It really is a portable version of the X-series of games (like X3: Reunion or Terran Conflict). I would even go so far as to call it GTA: Chinatown Wars in space.

  • Joe

    I didn't like it. I was bored pretty quickly. The game has no character and I found nothing fun about it. I had to turn the "music" off as well because it was so irritating.

  • Joe

    I didn't like it. I was bored pretty quickly. The game has no character and I found nothing fun about it. I had to turn the "music" off as well because it was so irritating.

  • Ben

    What is the difference between the full version and free version? Is it worth buying the full version?

  • Ben

    What is the difference between the full version and free version? Is it worth buying the full version?

  • Isak

    I love it. Give it a couple of hours and it will take you in. Everything from interface to graphics is great, not to mention the writing which tells a remarkably good story and paints the universe. As far as I can tell warpgate is built by professionals.

    I love the combat. That update was frakking great! Mainly the shield boost, but the tilt influence steering are beginning to make sense for real. Okey, it's a little hard but Im getting the hang of it (on iphone).

    One thing I miss a bit is optional harder difficulty levels. After a streak of luck (and skills) I just got too much money and it takes the edge of it for me. I wish some pirate would rob me of all of it and some of my weapons so I could have a hard time again.

  • Isak

    I love it. Give it a couple of hours and it will take you in. Everything from interface to graphics is great, not to mention the writing which tells a remarkably good story and paints the universe. As far as I can tell warpgate is built by professionals.

    I love the combat. That update was frakking great! Mainly the shield boost, but the tilt influence steering are beginning to make sense for real. Okey, it's a little hard but Im getting the hang of it (on iphone).

    One thing I miss a bit is optional harder difficulty levels. After a streak of luck (and skills) I just got too much money and it takes the edge of it for me. I wish some pirate would rob me of all of it and some of my weapons so I could have a hard time again.

  • http://Www.demasseur.me Remon

     Loving this game, but I'm a litte disaponted that is doesn't run smooth on my 3G. Is this going to be fixed in the next update? Or I would have to wait until the ipad comes to the Netherlands 

  • http://Www.demasseur.me Remon

     Loving this game, but I'm a litte disaponted that is doesn't run smooth on my 3G. Is this going to be fixed in the next update? Or I would have to wait until the ipad comes to the Netherlands 

  • Adele jones

    -Ferragamo
    Leisure designer shoes

     
    One
    thing I miss a bit is optional harder difficulty levels. After a streak
    of luck (and skills) I just got too much money and it takes the edge of
    it for me. I wish some pirate would rob me of all of it and some of my
    weapons so I could have a hard time again.

  • Adele jones

    http://www.designershoes4u.net/designer-shoes-ferragamo-leisure-shoes-877.html
     
    thing I miss a bit is optional harder difficulty levels. After a streak
    of luck (and skills) I just got too much money and it takes the edge of
    it for me. I wish some pirate would rob me of all of it and some of my
    weapons so I could have a hard time again.