A little about me. I rarely expect much out of mobile games and have been adamant they don’t live up to handheld or console games. The platform is great for certain games such as puzzlers, endless runners, and games that allow for planned out movements, but anything using a touchscreen with faux directional pad and buttons, with its lack of tactile feedback, drives me nuts. Another thing that annoys me about any game are Quick Time Events (QTE) that feel as if they are a measurement of twitch, not skill. For players new to controllers (I know a few), they serve as a painstaking reminder of how you don’t have the button locations memorized. God of War and Heavy Rain? Both stopped due to QTE.

Revolution 60, aka Rev60, has challenged these personal “hard truths”; it’s the game I’ve been waiting for that pushes mobile gaming to the next level.

In this story set in the future, you play as Holiday, a member of a special ops team called Chessboard, who is tasked with stopping a nuclear war. Your all-female team launches into space and onto a U.S. orbital weapons platform, which has gone off course and is now pointing at China. While there, you fight the enemies who have set the platform off course and enemies within your own ranks.

rev60-04Game progress is through three systems: conversations with dialogue choices, interactive events that use QTE, and grid combat that combines active attacks with QTEs. Your choices in dialogue and success (or lack thereof) in QTEs alter the story, leading to one of 24 possible different endings.

During conversations, the path to success isn’t always clear, and you must deal with a handful of difficult decisions. Do you sacrifice this person for the cause? Do you side with that one? I sat there on more than a handful of occasions, thinking hard about what may happen if I chose a particular action. Conversations also serve to flesh out the story between events in sometimes comical or serious ways. They’re a treat to listen to, especially since they were able to get some great talent in for the voice actors, including Amanda Winn-Lee, known for her roles in various anime shows and video games.

Interactive QTEs help to engross you into the story, making you feel like you’re a part of what’s playing out on screen. They involve tracing diagrams or tapping buttons in order to do an assortment of things such as hack computers, climb ladders, and crawl through ductwork. You’re usually given enough time to fail once or twice before your timer runs out. Should you have an unsuccessful attempt, you’ll find that it may either be of little consequence, alter the storyline completely, or result in outright mission failure.

These events lead to one of my first gripes. Due to the nature of the game being part “movie” and part player action, there were a few times where I thought I was in a break from the action, watching an event unfold, only to be suddenly asked to complete a QTE. I was using the perceived break to get an itch or pet my attention-craving cat, only to miss something. It caught me entirely off guard and caused a failure. Fortunately, I don’t think any of these rare instances led to a complete game-altering event, but I know I’d have been extremely frustrated if a character died due to this.

rev60-02Combat is on a grid, with both you and your opponent dueling it out on opposite sides of the map. Where you can move is highlighted on the ground, and your weapon needs a few seconds to recharge between attacks. This allows some strategy as you attempt to predict your enemy’s movements while avoiding their attacks. With each successful attack, you build up energy towards a special attack. Special attacks cut into a QTE scene that mimics Holiday’s hand-to-hand blows to your opponent just before they happen. The attacks feel like they have more weight thanks to this system, and it’s a rewarding feeling.

At each level, you’re awarded a skill point that allows you to enhance combat in some way. Attacks hit harder, your weapon’s cooldown is lowered, you gain health upon each successful hit, and so on. My favorite talent was one that allowed me to, at the risk of sustaining high damage if hit while activated, charge my energy meter without hitting enemies. This sped up the game for some of the repetitive fights and was risky to pull off in later, more challenging fights. I admit that I cannot vouch for balance on the talents yet, as I only was able to finish 1.5 playthroughs by press time. For me it seemed obvious which talent I would take, but for someone else, their “obvious” talent may be something else.

While combat in the game is fun, as I said, it does get repetitive. For most of the game you fight the same type enemy soldier, one at a time, whose easy skill set doesn’t change. Occasionally some variety is sprinkled in, but different opponents and true challenges don’t appear until near the end of the game.

rev60-03The game’s pacing never keeps you waiting more than a few seconds for something to happen. Even while walking long, empty corridors, you’re kept interested by discovering paths to explore, medkits to collect, or dialogue with NPCs. But while the pace of events may be spot on, there is little sense of urgency in a situation that’s sold as urgent. You’re on a space station, trying to stop an attack before it happens, all while under fire from an outside source, but you casually walk around the station, even taunting enemies to come find you, slowing down the mission. That outside source (no spoilers) who’s attacking the station disappears after the one scene they’re in with no telling as to why, leaving some plot holes or perhaps leaving some room for story in Rev62 (the affectionate title for the planned sequel).

Rev60 will take a few hours to complete, perhaps over the course of a few sessions. With endings that are sure to make you go, “What?!” “But…” and “Noooo!”, you’re encouraged to play through a few times. For all of your work, you’re rewarded with an extremely difficult “girlfriend mode” (a knock at the Borderlands 2 lead designer) in which even the most basic enemies move much faster and hit much harder.

Good storytelling, badass female characters all around, rewarding combat, and difficult and meaningful decisions that affect the story all culminate in a very fun game that I haven’t been able to stop talking about online and with my friends.

Try out Revolution 60 for free here. If you find you like it, you’ll be able to unlock the full game for $6.

Revolution 60 and Giant Spacekat’s site.

Review: Revolution 60
In Revolution 60, Giant Spacekat plays to the strengths of the platform and pushes story-driven gaming on mobile devices to a new level.
Pros
  • Deep story.
  • Meaningful decision making.
  • Great voice acting.
Cons
  • Repetitive combat.
  • Some surprising QTEs.
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (4 Votes)
7.7

About The Author

Contributor

Sabriel Mastin writes about and creates videos about video games, enjoying the indie side of things most of all. She has many aspirations in life, one of those being sharing the games and the stories of independent developers from around the world.

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  • tcnitsni

    Uh huh, this game looks like trash, and you give it a good review just because you support Brianna Wu because she is a Radical Feminist transexual…. This is why no one respects gaming “journalists”