Written by Joe Ahart // Edited by Andrew Busch // Banner image courtesy of Chance Game Studios
Whenever I play games on my phone, I always remember back to when Doodle Jump was the biggest deal in the world, and looking at the contrast for games today amazes me. Seeing games come so far never fails to impress, and The Last Hope serves as a perfect example for one of these impressive games. Developed by Chance Game Studios, this indie game brings many aspects to the table that remind me of AAA titles, much of it incorporated into impressive graphics and unique art design.
What impressed me from the start was the effort put into the world building. Though the story is simple (robot attack on a space station), I wasn’t expecting a deep lore from the game anyway. The studio works well with the iOS platform to make sure they bring you into the world, but not to overwhelm you with information and unnecessary filler.
The gameplay is very simple; you move your character with the left virtual joystick, and then aim and shoot with the right. There are a variety of robot enemies which you face, including close and far range, bosses and simple grunts. The variety keeps the game fresh and challenging as you play through each level. The arcade-style gameplay works well on a smartphone, and once again does not make it too complicated or cause you to lose interest. At times, it was difficult to control my character, but due to the platforms limitations it doesn’t prove to be a huge issue anyway.
The art design and music are the best aspects of the game, making it truly stand out from other titles. Each level has a unique environment with cool new enemies to fight, as well as a different music score to accompany them. Set on a space station, you go to different sections ranging from sewer sections to prison blocks, all with different layouts and textures. The constant variety makes it less of a grind and more of a journey.
The upgrade system is another simple feature with which you buy new items to use in game. Kill robots, get parts, use parts to buy guns and power ups. One issue I had with this, however, is that upon dying you lose all parts you gained that life. Many of the items tend to be a bit pricier, so working up to getting them becomes a grind after a while.
Despite some simple flaws, The Last Hope is a very well rounded game that incorporates its elements very well. In terms of a buy, borrow or pass, I would say it is a buy for sure.