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Xenome, Episode 1 Review

by on September 25, 2014
Details
 
Synopsis

This is a post-apocalyptic iPhone sort of Fallout wanna-be.

# of Players

1

Positives

This was a good makeshift while waiting for Wasteland 2.
Post-apocalyptic on your iPhone.

Negatives

Graphics aren't so hot.
Unsupported.
A little buggy and laggy at times.

Editor Rating
 
Gameplay
B-

 
Graphics
C

 
Sound Effects and Music
C

 
Story
C+

Writer's Score
C+


Bottom Line
 

If you are looking for some Fallout or Wasteland action on your phone, this one may do the trick for a little while. Not the best game ever, but I don't regret playing it.

 

While I am in the post-apocalyptic mood with the recent release of Wasteland 2, I figured I would dust this sucker off for Nine Pound Studios, who developed it. Someone should…I think since it was released, it has been left on the back burner. Chances are that you haven’t even heard of it.

I describe Xenome, Episode 1 as an attempted Fallout 3 imitation for the iPhone. When I first saw it I was excited, as I had already played and beaten Wasteland, the Fallout series and any other game of that I felt was of that lineage. So I grabbed it and was happy to get something on my phone that was one of my favorite genres.

Obviously, given the title there was supposed to be more of this game. I think it was released in 2010. There never was an Episode 2. And Nine Pound also promoted doing an MMORPG of Xenome, which if it was released on the iOS or Android correctly marketed to the right public, I think would have been a huge success. Clearly Episode 1 was not enough of a success as nothing else followed. This is an indie developer, so who knows–maybe something else will come out of this title yet.

Xenome-Episode-1

Gameplay

So, the idea is pretty simple. You are a scientist who wakes up out of a cryogenic sleep and have to battle giant scorpions, factions and raiders in the desert. Okay, it sounds redundant when you say it that way, but there is some originality here. The gameplay is okay–just okay. I found it a bit tedious to travel. The battles were decent enough. I did like the freedom the map offers- although if you venture out too far early on, you’re toast easily. So, the freedom aspect that I liked really didn’t get to be enjoyed until the Scientist isn’t a total wimp.

This game does have a pretty nice function where you gain special abilities that you can use while traveling the wasteland or in battle. I thought it was an original enough idea. Sort of like a Deux Ex meets Fallout type of idea, except instead of altering your character with cybernetics, it’s with genetics.

xenome-episode-1

Graphics

Eh. They are pretty good for a 2010 iPhone game, so I don’t want to be to harsh. Maybe I just had it built up too much when I read about this game for the first time. Picturing a mini-Fallout on my phone did sound good. But when I was done and even when I played, I was definitely left wanting more in this department.

Check the screenshots- it’s pretty decent, but I think this could have gotten a lot more refinement.

Between the gameplay and the graphics, I feel like this game was being rushed to market trying to piggyback the success of Fallout 3. Or the writers and developers just ran out of story and ideas, or reached their limit in ability or something.

Sound Effects and Music

Meh. Again, I don’t want to be too critical for a 4 year old iPhone game, but it is the iPhone–the platform of mobile music. I think it could have taken more advantage of the sound capabilities of the platform.

It did the job, it just didn’t do it a well as it could have.

Xenome Episode 1 shot

Leveling

I think this was actually well-done. I was satisfied, more or less, at my character’s growth and gain in abilities and special skills. Eventually I did get to the point where nothing was a challenge, and with that came boredom, unfortunately. Not like Fallout where it has endless replayability. (Not to keep comparing it with FO3, but hey, that’s clearly what this was trying to follow up).

The leveling just follows everything else in this first episode–it is decently done, but just doesn’t feel…finished.

Summary

It’s not a bad game, but it’s not a great game either. Still, it’s worth a shot if you’re a fan of the genre. It is good idea that had plans for better ideas in the future and none of it really hits the mark like you want it to. But for a buck or two, who can complain? Well, I guess I can. I just thought it was unfinished and wanted more than it delivered.

For a cheap mobile FO3 fix, it may be up your alley.

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