Ever since the onslaught of free-to-play titles on the App Store, a vocal group of mobile gamers have been crying out for the return of premium, fully priced experiences for iOS. Steins;Gate ($23.99), which has released today for iPhone, is certainly one of these, but not purely as a result of its astonishing $24.99 price tag. Being a port of the visual novel title that took the Xbox 360 and a host of other consoles by storm back in 2009, Steins;Gate tells a story about hypothetical time travel within a complex world governed by realistic scientific guidelines. While time travel has tended to be used as a throwaway sci-fi trope in recent years, developers 5pb and Nitroplus have used this core mechanic to create an experience that challenges your relations between the characters and how their fate plays out through the manipulation of time. With the option to play as 6 different characters, all of which have multiple endings, and over thirty hours of gameplay, Steins;Gate is an immense experience that is reflective of its immense price tag.
We first brought news of Steins;Gate back in 2014, where we heard that it was being localised, and it’s going to be interesting to see the reaction that the game will have amongst a new western audience. The biggest issue will ultimately be the cost of the game – for once, it’s cheaper to simply buy the PS3 edition (or equivalent) rather than on the App Store. Furthermore, there is confusion as to whether a HD version for iPad will be released as well, as surely for the cost of entry, universal support is a requisite. Despite this, similar titles such as the brilliant Ace Attorney series have found a cult following outside of Japan, so there certainly is a desire for games in the mould of Steins;Gate, and its critical acclaim only reaffirms how fans of the genre should play the title at some point, regardless of platform. Steins;Gate is out now on the App Store, and already has lots of positive feedback on our forums, so be sure to join in the discussion and share your impressions with our community.
Update: A dedicated iPad version titled Steins;Gate HD ($23.99) has just released on the App Store for the same price as the iPhone version, $24.99.