One game I don't think gets the recognition it deserves is Epoch [$2.99] from Uppercut games. It basically re-imagined the cover-based shooter for a touchscreen platform, and did it with loads of style. Instead of taking the oftentimes cumbersome approach of virtual controls, Epoch automates much of the actual shooting mechanics of a 3rd-person shooter. It guides you through its various combat scenarios and your main weapon fires automatically, leaving you to focus more attention on diving to different cover positions and determining the best times to pop up and take some shots.
It does this elegantly too, with an intuitive set of swipe gestures that make you feel like you're making your character dance in and out of hiding. With a host of upgradeable weapons and armor to choose from, as well as a cast of enemies each with unique attacks, Epoch is a highly strategic affair rather than a mindless blast-a-thon, and a satisfying one at that.
You can read more about what we liked in Epoch in our original review, as well as the details of a very nice update that hit a couple of months later. Not much has been happening with Epoch since then, though, aside from an iPad Retina Display update that made the already impressive game look even better.
That changed last week however when Epoch received a huge new update. One of the chief complaints about the game originally was that it was too short, taking just an hour or so to initially work through the campaign. Harder difficulty levels and grinding credits to fully upgrade your arsenal extended the life somewhat, but even those challenges were met eventually.
The brand new Arena mode in this latest update aims to fix that. It's a survival mode that has you taking on endless waves of enemies, gradually increasing in difficulty until they finally get the best of you. There are 3 different arena maps to unlock and play, along with a Jetpack Joyride-style mission system to give you further goals to shoot for and earn some extra XP while you're at it.
Finally, there's new Game Center leaderboards for Arena plus the ability to send challenges to your friends, as well as new achievements for both Arena and Campaign. Epoch has also been given the 4-inch widescreen treatment for the iPhone 5 and 5th generation iPod touch, and needless to say, it looks awesome. If you haven't checked out Epoch yet then you can currently snag it for just 99¢ in celebration of this new update, and so far I've been having a blast playing the new Arena mode.
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