4th & Battery, the creative wing of developer PopCap Games, has released its second iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch title. It’s a track-based strategy game called Allied Star Police [Free], and its available for the low-low price of $0 just like the studio’s previous work, Unpleasant Horse [Free].
As a whole, Allied Star Police is an OK title as far as free games go. The “build and deploy on tracks” concept works well enough in execution, but the economy over substance approach to the design doesn’t do the game any favors. Then again, this was a special project developed for and produced by a special person in a special studio that specializes in releasing massaged proof-of-concept material. It jives, in other words with the mission of the place.
The special dude, by the way? That would be nine-year-old Owain Weinert. This game was his Make-A-Wish dream and 4th & Battery saw the development through. According to the studio, Weinert was in the office every morning and was allowed to steer the production and development. The studio and Weinert are both pleased with the outcome and with the experience, which makes me really feel like a complete jerk for criticizing the effort.
"I have to say, my brother can't stop playing it, my dad can't stop playing it, and neither can I," Weinert said in a statement. "This started off as a dream of mine, and now my friends and people all over the world can play my creation."
You can expect several more games from 4th & Battery in the near-ish future. The studio is primed to release several a year and across other platforms, too, like the PC and Facebook.
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