One of the things that makes the RTS genre so challenging is the interface, and Gameloft has made a reasonable fist of notoriously finicky RTS controls. Tap on a unit and then tap again to move it, or select from the mini-menu at the screen edge. Squads are equally instinctive to group by using two fingers to enclose them, whereupon they move or attack with ease. It’s about as good an RTS interface as we’ve seen on any touchscreen device, particularly with a fully functioning mini-map to keep tabs on your forces. In fact, it’s so effective and the game becomes so immersive that you won’t even notice it once the action hots up.
And hot up it certainly does, with three alien races each with distinctive technology trees to master and a neat assortment of mission types to try. Admittedly it’ll be the attack missions that are the most fun, but there are stealth and siege missions too which add much needed variety to the mix. Resources are fairly primitive, as you might expect, but with two to choose form (electricity and crystals) even here there’s a nice balance maintained.
Last but not least, there’s a multiplayer component, including 2v2, free for all and a whole mess of skirmishes to get you used to facing real players. You will encounter some pretty tough challenges through the online play option, so get in plenty of practice beforehand as the action does get pretty frantic. But this feature serves to extend further the ilfe of game that already has plenty of life in it. Gameloft are one of the few handheld developers to offer stable servers and competitive online ranking, and their experience in this field only helps to make Starcraft Collision HD a great budget option for the RTS fan.