Back in early December, Gameloft revealed the latest entry in their series of highly inspired takes on established franchises called Starfront: Collision, a real-time strategy game that takes more than a few cues from Blizzard’s insanely popular Starcraft series. After hitting a slight delay from its intended release date last week, Starfront: Collision [Free] is now live in the App Store. Like Gameloft’s previous release Sacred Odyssey [Free/HD], Starfront can initially be downloaded for free and provides a short taste of the game, with a $6.99 IAP to unlock the full version.

Typical of many RTS games, Starfront features 3 playable races who are all in a battle over the rare resource Xenodium that is found on the planet of Sinistral. There is the human race known as the Consortium, a hostile alien race called Myriad, and a sentient robot race called the Wardens. The full version of Starfront features a 20 level campaign that is split into 3 sections which has you playing as a different race during each one.

Additionally there is a skirmish mode with 7 maps to play on and a multiplayer mode that features both local and online play for up to 4 people. Unfortunately, since the game has only been out for a few hours I haven’t been able to find an online match to test it out. Hopefully in the coming days the servers will fill up as more people buy the game. While a decent sized campaign and a skirmish mode are nice features on the single player front, strong multiplayer is what will really give Starfront longevity.

One of the biggest issues with RTS games on the iPhone is being able to have controls and UI that work on such a small screen. I’ve only spent limited time with Starfront, but it seems that they’ve nailed it pretty well on this front. Navigating the terrain and setting up any of the 8 different structures is a snap. There are 10 different unit types for each race, and for the most part they are easy to control. It can be a bit difficult to select certain units because they appear so tiny on the screen, but there are some nice advanced features like assigning units to groups for quick selection or creating a selection box by pinching the screen with two fingers. With a bit of practice and some forethought, navigating and commanding your army isn’t a problem.

A game like Starfront is really hard to judge off of brief impressions, since it will take many hours of play to determine how balanced each race is and stress test the online multiplayer servers. That said, my first impressions of Starfront are really good. We’ll definitely put the game through its paces in the coming days, but seeing as it’s free to download initially I can definitely recommend checking it out. Just be aware that it’s a 680mb download and requires a 3rd generation device or above.

The free version of Starfront gives you access to 4 tutorial levels that do a wonderful job at explaining how to play, and the first mission of the campaign. A $6.99 in-app purchase will then unlock the remaining 19 campaign levels, skirmish mode, and multiplayer. There are a ton more impressions rolling into our forums which have been largely positive, and there is a dedicated thread to finding online opponents and discussing strategies. I like what I’ve seen of Starfront so far, and it’s worth trying out the free version if you’re a fan of real-time strategy games.

  • Fredrik Jackson

    I kinda like Gamelofts new system. It saves place on the App Store and gives us the opportunity to try out the games before you buy it.

    • Superbobo75

      I do not agree with. This system introduces disorder into the AppStore. Demo's
      just a demo (lite). All these discount schemes, etc. will be for nothing, because
      since all applications will look as free.

      • thebleeptruth

        Agree. It will be difficult to track price drops or freebie sales because apps such as these will always appear as free. I think if it really does come to a point where the App Store is too cluttered, they should just add another chart called Lite Apps. That way we can now have Paid, Free, and Lite/Demo.

      • Anonymous

        Okay so herre's the thing...

        This is crap for price drops, sales... they don't have as much flexibility.

        The thing it DOES do is protect against piracy. Doing this, it makes it virtually impossible to pirate.

        But the cons outweigh the pros, this is a crappy move and takes away from the standard.

        The one thing that I appreciate about Apple IS a standard. I know what to expect. I know how to track sales, but that's not possible with moves like this.

      • Fredrik Jackson

        Yeah, you're right. I thought Gameloft had a new free game, but it was just a trial. They should at least've put "trial" or something behind it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/isaac.cady Isaac Cady

    I need to not be dyslexic.

    • thebleeptruth

      The review did not say that multiplayer is strong. Basically what it's saying is that they were unable to test the multiplayer that much due to theoretically the lack of online players. It continues to say that they believe a strong multiplayer is what WILL give Starfront longevity.

  • Superbobo75

    PS: The icon is robbed of Mass Effect.

    • PyroDecimo

      The whole game is robbed off Starcraft, including the name of the game, so there's not much to say. =.=;

      • Guest

        Robbing is all Gameloft can.

        Unfortunately.

    • Anonymous

      Looks more like Two Worlds than ME.

  • gee

    finally a starcraft look alike, i been waiting for this forever...good job gameloft.
    ...the in-app purchase...not soo good tho..;;thumpz upp =p (^_^)

  • Shadow443

    gameloft first class,better than red alert,even better than my psp,keep up the good work...

  • Ryan McKee

    When will the iPad version be available?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Werner-Ruotsalainen/685558551 Werner Ruotsalainen

      Noone knows. In 1..4 weeks, I think.

    • Anonymous

      I can't imagine enjoying this on an iPhone. iPad is the only way for me.

      • Anonymous

        I'm enjoying it...

  • Guest

    Quit copying games Gameloft!

    • DotComCTO

      Be grateful that someone is bringing these games to the iOS platform. Or not. Just don't buy the games if you're so incensed over it. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the portable versions of some of my favorite games...and you can sit there and wait for the original publishers to make solid, mobile versions of their games. I'll have fun while playing while you're waiting.

      • Superbobo75

        But it does not work like that. I think that very soon someone can think of Gameloft
        stealing from other gaming companies. Would not be the last time and I only
        Apple has a new rule that if someone is trying to free riding, which is
        I think the case and Gameloft. Yes, they make great games, but I have lately
        feeling that a lot of things just take it from someone else and give it a beautiful
        graphics.
        Sorry for poor English.

      • Anonymous

        I'll be grateful when they get good.

      • DotComCTO

        Personal opinion. I agree that not every Gameloft translation is good, but there are some that have been nicely done (IMHO). Still, I'd rather have someone making a solid effort than not have it at all. There's no way Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, etc are porting some (or any) of their games to the iOS platform.

      • Anonymous

        Of course it's an opinion, I wouldn't be commenting if I didn't have an opinion. Mine is thus: Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony wouldn't port their games to this platform because they work better on other platforms. The iPhone just doesn't cater to something this big... yet. Until then it's best left to the likes of Angry Birds and other misc physics puzzlers.

      • Anonymous

        I don't know. Starfront is pretty darn good. The UI is very well thought out.

    • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

      You must be new here.

  • EastsideStompers

    Yes, finally a good starcraft-esque game for us folks who haven't the time (or will) to dedicate countless hours of our lives being slaughtered by pro's, but still want to experience some of the fun: )

  • yasw

    Looks great, but I am not buying until an iPad or universial version is announced

    • DotComCTO

      Gameloft has been pretty good as of late with bringing the HD versions of the game out a lot more closely timed to their iPhone releases. For example, Sacred Odyssey HD was released 7 or 8 days after the iPhone version.

  • Vinzclortho37

    Gameloft's new IAP strategy is golden... it saves any progress you make in the "demo" for use in the whole purchased game. I honestly can't see anyone but pirates and freeloaders having anything bad to say about this new system.

    Gameloft copies big name games and brings iOS gamers the reasonable facsimiles that Sony, Blizzard, Nintendo, Microsoft, etc. don't seem willing to. If these companies put some time into developing for iOS, Gameloft is in trouble. Until then, I say bring on the copies! I'd LOVE to see what they would do with a copies of Pokemon, Mario Galaxy, Alan Wake, Ninja Gaiden, Mass Effect, etc.

    BTW... Gameloft deserves some recognition for Eternal Legacy. It holds the distinction for being the first Gameloft "copy" that was better than the source material. FFXIII was unplayable trash, but Eternal Legacy was a semi-engaging RPG. Go Gameloft!

    • Anonymous

      As has been stated before:

      - Inability to track sales prices
      - Injection of confusion to the standards set in the marketplace
      - Losing control of a game purchase to Gameloft, NOT apple.

      If I buy an app through Apple, I KNOW that if there's an issue, I can get recourse. Who knows with this sort of shady practice with Gameloft? It moves away from Apple's jurisdiction.

      Me no likey.

      • Marsha

        it does NOT move away fro apple's jurisdiction... apple handles all in-app purchases and is responsible for all of them. it is the same exact thing as buying it from the market as a paid app.

  • Mamoon65n

    I've never played a real time strategy game like Starfront: Collision but can someone tell me is it kinda like Plants vs Zombies

    • Adams Immersive

      It's actually a lot like Doodle Jump.

      • Mamoon65n

        How is it like Doodle Jump? Thats not possible.

      • Anonymous

        They're being mean. At least Adams Immersive actually explained it a bit.

      • arakasi

        While its game mechanics are eerily similar to Doodle Jump, I think that overall, the game is pretty much just Angry Birds rebranded.

      • DotComCTO

        I disagree completely. This is much more like Donkey Kong than Doodle Jump or Angry Birds.

  • Anonymous

    I shall be waiting for an iPad version, RTS seems like such a no brainer on the platform I'm surprised it wasn't released this way from the beginning. I'm pleased that first impressions are looking good though.

    Also though, the IAP thing, I've nothing against it perse but damn it sure makes tracking price drops in an easy way impossible. And before being called out for being cheap, hey, I rarely buy console games at full price unless it's something I deem worthy of getting the collectors edition for, why wouldnt I wait for a sale for iOS titles as well?

    • Samuraipeter

      I also use apps like Appshopper to wait for sales, and I forsee them tracking in-app price changes as well. I'm pretty sure I will still find out about in-app price changes here on Touch Arcade!

  • ~PARRANOYA~

    If I buy this version does that also mean I can get access to the HD version for the iPad or would i have to pay twice?

    • Daniel S.

      You'd have to pay twice. Buying the iPhone version of, say, Sacred Odyssey does not get you an in-app purchase of Sacred Odyssey HD. I own both devices, and can confirm this.

      Another reason why I go out of my way to support those who make Universal versions of their apps...

      • ~PARRANOYA~

        Darnit! Thanks for the reply....guess I will wait for an HD version. I you might have swayed me on the universal app idea!

  • friend

    Starfront how we get the full version:

    http://www.gsmfans.com.br/index.php?topic=126405.0