Last month, indie developer Ryan Mitchell and his studio Banshee Soft released Mission Europa into the App Store. Combining a deep RPG experience with a first-person shooter, Mission Europa is really unlike anything currently available for a mobile platform like the iPhone. Now you can get a taste of this with the recently released lite version of Mission Europa.

The complete game is spread across 5 episodes and 170 missions, with 50 different levels to explore and at least 50 hours of gameplay. There are a ton of different armor types, equipment, combat skills, and weapons to customize your character with, not to mention an item and equipment creation system that expands that even further. Beyond the impressive single player offering is an online battle arena where you can take your created character into battle against players from all over the world, adding what amounts to endless replay value to the title.

Strictly speaking in terms of content and depth, Mission Europa is unmatched, and the fact that the entire game was built from scratch by one person over the course of 2 years is an insane accomplishment to say the least.

Unfortunately, the complexity and scope of the game also means that Mission Europa will only appeal to a certain kind of player. This would be a complicated game on PC or consoles, and the fact that it’s on a mobile platform and squeezed onto a tiny screen only compounds this issue. The screen is incredibly cramped with control and HUD elements, and the menus and general user interface feel clunky to use. We wanted to enjoy Mission Europa when it came out, and invested many hours trying, but found we could just never get into the game.

That’s not to say everybody will have those feelings though, as Mission Europa certainly does have an audience. It has one of the most popular threads in our forums which is always abuzz with discussion of the game, as well as a very active item trading thread where players can swap different items and equipment from the game. Ryan has also been extremely active in our forums and on his own website taking suggestions and feedback about the game in order to shape the best experience possible.

Because opinions on Mission Europa have been polarized and it is a very niche title, it’s great to see that a lite version has been released so you can decide for yourself if it’s your particular cup of tea. Mission Europa Free Edition [Free] contains the first 2 levels of the game and over 2 hours of gameplay, which is more than enough time to see if you would enjoy the full game or not.

If you do like what you see, the full edition comes in 2 flavors - Mission Europa Standard Edition [$3.99] which is the base game with additional episodes available as IAP, and Mission Europa Collector’s Edition [$9.99] which includes all episodes and access to every level right of the bat as well as the ability to wear enemy armor. Either way, I’d definitely suggest at least downloading and trying out the lite version of Mission Europa, as it’s an impressive offering as a mobile title and provides more content than practically any other game in the App Store.

  • SMP

    That seems like a niche game to me.

  • Anonymous

    Good call. Well-written Jared.

  • Mike

    Why couldnt he have made an ipad version?

    • Guest

      Ipad wasn't even made yet 2 years ago. Also do you want to re-write 85,000 lines of code?

      • massive

        If you're a half-way decent coder, you don't have to rewrite the whole game. Just the graphics portion. And if you're a competent coder, you have already developed graphics and interfaces that scale to different devices from the start.

  • Sevren

    This game is such a huge accomplishment and a complete blast to play - I highly recommend picking up any of the three versions to take for a spin - you won't be disappointed!!

  • Bigred447uk

    I have invested 85+ hours in the game and IMO it's the best thing on the AppStore bar nothing ! I have over 800 titles including all the big name hits and this is by far the deepest and best game I have played. I would go so far as to say it is one of the best games I have played on any system.

    Anyway off back to collecting complete armour sets in M.Europa now. The coming update includes a 25% bonus now due to player feedback. (and that was MY idea !)

    (EatTheRich in game)

    • Gee Lampa

      People excuse everything in the world, citing "depth" as the redeeming factor that exonerates the thing.

      Well, it looks like a whole lotta killin' s**t to me, w/ nothing in the way of stealth or creative gameplay. Scads of weapons and items don't equal "depth" to me, nor does a colossal array of levels.

      I mean, a cesspool is "deep"; that doesn't mean I want to play in it!!

  • Teknikal69

    I fully agree I couldn't get into the game either in my opinion it's overpriced and has many game breaking crashes. This is a game you really should try before you decide to buy.
    Maybe eventually as the bugs get weeded out it may be a worthwhile purchase but I personally think it's very unfinished and unpolished although I admire the attempted scope and deepness and hope it gets there.

    • EastsideStompers

      Agreed. I just tried the Lite, and the first thing that happened was it crashed on me. I'm sure there is much to enjoy here, but I'm not prepared to put up with overly buggy games, especially ones that are so large.

  • pye

    yea same i found the game hard to get into, i did try over and over. the look of it doesnt help, the graphics are crapy and unpolished, plus the constant crashes, this game crashed maybe more than any other app ive owned.

    i gave up deleted it.

  • Realist

    This game is terrible, the only reason anyone cares about it is because of a vocal minority of about 12 people on the TouchArcade forums who also dogpile the comments on every site that posts about the game. I'm sure they'll do the same here once school gets out today.

    • Bigred447uk

      I wonder why people like you can't except that some people live this game and can't live and let live ? I don't hate on games I don't personally like because I am broad minded enough to see that others find merit where I don't.

      I'm forty years old and love this game. It makes me wonder what is lacking in your life that you have so much vitriol and can't live and let live ?

      Anyway I sincerely hope you can grow up and achieve a more enlightened open-minded attitude for your own good.

      • massive

        Why don't you grow up and accept that there can be contrary opinions to yours? Do you want all user reviews published or only the glowing praises from fanboys? This site isn't called I'm 42 and I hate it. So what? I'm wondering what's lacking in your life that you have so much vitriol towards contrary opinions. Why can't you live and let live?

        Personally, I like reading all reader reviews, positive or negative because they all help me to decide whether something is worth purchasing. And as this game has a premium price, I think it's fair to judge it on that level.

      • MisterDrgn

        To be fair, Realist was not reviewing the game in any sense. He was just making a personal attack on people who like it...

  • Sevren

    Wow!! I can't believe that this game has caused so much harm and done so much wrong to the good folks here at Touch Arcade - the hate from these comments is pretty amazing - you'd think we were talking politics or religion! Are we not all gamers here anyway? If not, then I'll find a new website to read.

  • Anonymous

    Can anyone tell what the hell is going on in this "game"?

  • Sevren

    I was being sarcastic, btw!

  • spidey

    commendable that one guy did it... But the game would have been so much better if he had managed to get a team to do it. I am sure there are challenges to getting people on board for such a major project. But the work obviously was too much for one person. And two years is a lot of time. He probably went through atleast 3 generations of iphones during the development cycle itself! I feel for the effort. But that itself is not going to make a game a best seller.

  • Doom

    I can't believe there are so many narrow minded hateful people out there..this game has more content that 120 of the .99 cent bird games that are reviewed daily on this site..I personally can't stand them but you don't see my bashing posts left for their review..the funny thing is this developer will probably take all your criticism and make this game even better..I challenge you to find any other game company more responsive..this is why he has such a following..he actually listens to for Ryan I thank you for the input!

    • Scott Colbert

      Who cares how much content there is when the interface is clunky, there's more bugs than a roach motel, the AI is awful, it crashes regularly...etc. I wanted to like the game but in the end whether it was one person or 100 who made it-it's just not a very good game.

      your comment is akin to a restaurant reviewer eating a bad meal full of rancid ingredients, but gives it a good review anyway because the portions were so big.

  • John

    The game really isn't so crowded, no more so than zenonia or many other games on the iphone. Of course it isn't one of EAs recent forays into HUD minimalism(see Dead Space, Fight Night, Mirrors Edge), but everything is very functional and easy to get used to. The graphics engine while not pretty, is smooth even while hectic, and the style does a very good job of conveying the twisted environments, and harken back to late 90s PC shooters and N64/Dreamcast era graphics. I guess 3D has to either be realism or cell shaded to be appreciated.

    Either way, I am not praising this game because only 1 dev made it, I like it because it is immensely fun, and has the same appeal as a KRPG, but mixed with system shock/sci fi dungeon crawler FPS. Not everyone will like it, but that is why it is priced so high, the people who do like this type of game will buy it no matter what, and it is better that the others don't buy it to save the ratings.

    • Scott Colbert

      3D doesn't need to be either realistic or cell shaded to be appreciated. It should however not look like a rainbow threw up.

      • Gee Lampa

        Exactly!!! I'd prefer old-school polygons w/o textures, to horrible, ugly textures that were applied by someone with absolutely ZERO sense of color, design or composition.

  • massive

    Tried the lite version. The interface is a mess and not much improved from Necromancer Rising. Bragging that this steaming pile was done by one man is nothing to be proud of. It's not a badge of honor if your graphics and UI suck. The visuals are so ugly that it's hard to see what's going on. The stiff character animations are grotesque for all the wrong reasons. More is not better. Better is better.

    For someone who was supposedly a veteran of the games industry, this dev doesn't understand that presentation and polish really matter. The dev should get over his ego and hire some competent artists and animators. If you invest a year in something of this magnitude, it's criminal not to. Also, it's a buggy mess. Crashes repeatedly. It's the epitome of how NOT to create a game.

    The legion of fanboys only serve to vindicate the dev's delusion and martyrdom complex. Actually, they all seem to exhibit this, fanboys and dev. The dev seems to equate "more" with "fun." Hint: size doesn't matter. Fun matters. I really wanted to like this game, but cannot due to the horrible visuals, clunky interface, steep learning curve, and game crashes. To be fair, there are moments to enjoy when you take down enemies and the atmosphere is generally creepy. However, the premium price tag is not justified.

    • Gee Lampa

      The other point that flies right over the heads of the "graphics don't matter" crowd is that the "gameplay over graphics" creedo is fine, just so long as you aren't trying to create a 1st-person environment which, by its very NATURE, is aimed at replicating that which the eye might see, were the gamer actually in the game-world. In short, the concept of FPS's demands the suspension of disbelief.

      15 years ago, such graphics were an acceptable standard, for the simple reason that current technology couldn't produce better. Now, it's no longer anything but an Edsel in a Ferrari world; perhaps bearing some nostalgic charm, but in no way efficient, any longer, at doing the originally intended job w/ grace.

      • Thisboardisajoke

        Yup, agreed. No way possible to enjoy a first person shooter now a days with dated graphics. No one can, we have all moved on. If FPS games don't have X level of graphical quality they are objectively bad games.

        Could you just please let me know what X is? I'm afraid I might enjoy the wrong game's.

      • Domino5343

        you guys must not be gamers then because playing the game for fun is what we play it for. I like the game and i understand that its not for everyone but saying that its no way possible to enjoy a fps with dated graphics is bull. i still play golden eye on the n64. why, because its fun and a classic. another is example is homefront. the graphics is not as great and because of bugs, the audience diminished but the online play is addicting. Its not about graphics to a certain point.

      • Thisboardisajoke

        I was being facetious. Gee Lampa's comment is one of the single most closed minded things I've ever seen on a "gamers" blog. I honestly wonder who they think they are speaking for... MANY gamers can enjoy games with piss poor graphics, because you know... we play games for the game play. Gee Lampa's pseudo intellectual comments don't negate the fact that millions of gamers play dated games and enjoy them regardless of graphical fidelity.

      • Gee Lampa

        Dated graphics are one thing.... Aesthetic care is another. I mean, look at "Limbo" on XBLA. It's absolutely beautiful. It's not what we'd call next-gen... but it's still artistically deft. Worms II, also. Graphics that feel 15 years old.... but they aren't an eyesore, because some design sense was employed.

        I consider it equally closed-minded to degrade the opinion that graphics DO count.

      • Gee Lampa

        Dated graphics are one thing.... Aesthetic care is another. I mean, look at "Limbo" on XBLA. It's absolutely beautiful. It's not what we'd call next-gen... but it's still artistically deft. Worms II, also. Graphics that feel 15 years old.... but they aren't an eyesore, because some design sense was employed.

        I consider it equally closed-minded to degrade the opinion that graphics DO count.

  • Watchlaar

    Sigh.... OK. Since you can't seem to figure it out yourself, I'll walk you through the process.

    Add "In my opinion" to the beginning of my post.

    There. Now you know what the rest of the world has already figured out. There's nothing objective about my statement; it's what I think. If you think differently, I think you're wrong.

    No harm.

  • H Boothy

    graphics are the least important thing to a proper gamer think about the first 3d fps the graphics where terrible and yet the games were amazing if you could be bothered to get involved in it instead of just tossing it away and saying that its crap
    the ui isn't the best but its usable watch the tutorial video (there's a link in-game) and that should help you if you're confused about the interface it explains a lot.
    game-play i can understand is not for everyone i personally think its the best game on the app store not because it was made buy one man, it could of been made by anyone but because it keeps you coming back for more the game certainly isn't for everyone but people shouldn't toss it away at first impressions
    the dev is doing everything he can to make the game better and fixing all the bugs people report obviously a game with this much content and only one dev is not going to be bug free look at the oblivion series, full of bugs and crashes and was made by a very large team.(still a incredible game)
    at the end of the day the graphics are not going to be improved if you cant stand the imo rather atmospheric graphics (you would know if you played the game and got involved in it) then don't tell other peopl its terrible because the graphics are bad. because the dev is actually a brilliant artist his next game is going to look great, less content for better graphics is what he has said.
    if it crashes say when not just 'often if the ui 'sucks' say how it could be improved by all means be critical but be constructive.

    • Gee Lampa

      I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, then, because my first game system was an Odyssey, and I've had at least 1 current system per generation up to this one (not to mention PC gaming since 93'.) So when you say "proper gamer" you'd better show a little more respect, dawg!

      Fact is, as an artist, I respect aesthetics. So just because an eyesore of a game turns me off, doesn't mean I'm willing to sacrifice gameplay. I'm simply not willing to sacrifice aesthetic quality, either!! It hardly excludes me from the "proper" gamer club. In short, I'm MORE discriminating a gamer than anyone who is willing to overlook failings in half the equation of video games; "video"!

      You strike me as the type I see in comic stores, buying $100 worth of s**t a week off the rack, despite the hideous (or less than stellar) pencils. So indiscriminate! Then comes the battle-cry of the artless; "I only care about the story!"

      So read some Faulkner!!! Why are you buying comics? Half the equation is the ART!

      • Thisboardisajoke

        Rolls Eyes... seriously? I don't even own this game, but your comments honestly sound like a joke. Joke post?!

      • h boothy

        yeh actually starting to think hes just trolling 😉