Anthelion PDA Game ReviewAnthelion: Galactic Alliance 1.1 by PDAMill is a classic space shooter Pocket PC game.
It follows the Wing Commander tradition if you remember the 1990 classic arcade game.
Anthelion was developed in 2003, but is yet to show its age. My focus is usually towards recent games hot off the development press.
As such, my curiosity got the better of me and I'm glad it did.
I smoothly glided and destroyed quite a few enemy ships with no problem on my 400 Mhz device.
There are flawless frame rates with no stuttering ... no mean feat considering the kind of software rendering performed.
400 Mhz processor speed is pretty much the PDA standard at the time of this review.
If you think about it, the optimal performance on this game for PDA makes sense.
My iPaq 4150, which is at the end of its product life cycle, was considered state of the art in the later half of 2003. If anything, the game engine would have been optimized for less powerful PDAs than mine at the time.
Small wonder that Anthelion runs like its on steroids.
Game IssuesMy only issue, if you can call it an issue, is the difficulty level. Just try the 'hard' setting and you'll see what I mean.
Once your ship blows up, its pretty much over. Just fly straight while in someone's crosshairs and you will see what I mean. Death will be imminent.
This will make you even more determined to make your way through the missions without making crucial mistakes, however.
Mission InfoThere are 16 large missions, and trust me, it will keep you busy.
By the way, there are no cheats
available for this game. Just thought I would let you know just in case you got the urge to hunt for Anthelion cheats.
The developers didn't code them into the game.
This is a nice lead-up to my other issue with Anthelion: once your ship blows up, you have to restart the mission. An in-mission save game point would have been nice.
It looks like PDAMill decided that this would detract from gameplay time, presumably.
It's still a heartbreaking experience when you defend a friendly space station from 8 enemy ships and then the ninth one takes you out!
This is tempered by autosaves as you complete each mission.
If it wasn't for this saving grace, I could not possibly recommend this game. Anthelion would have simply been a masochistic exercise in futility if that were the case.
Weapons and 3D Game EngineYou can cycle through a series of weapon types. The weapons, ranging from guided missiles to
lasers, sound and look very authentic.
Anthelion's game engine is very, very good. The more I played it, the less it seemed like just another Wing Commander clone.
Take a look at these Wing Commander screenshots for a look at its rather dated graphics by comparison.
There are unfortunately no options to map ship movement and actions to hardware buttons.
The default configuration, however, is solid and intuitive. I'll post this in my strategy guide page for Anthelion soon, along with more mission details.
All in all, Anthelion is superb. Stellar, smooth graphics, an ongoing plot (almost unheard of in action games for PDA), excellent sounds and musical scores make this a worthwhile download.
You can grab the Anthelion trial version if you'd like to see a sample of this spectacular 3D engine.
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