Sentinel 3: A review

Sentinel 3: Homeworld is the third in the Sentinel series and I also think it’s the best. The game is a sci-fi tower defence style game. All maps have fixed paths, so it’s up to you to place the towers on the available areas. You click and hold on a tower on the bottom left of your screen, and drag it into position. If it is highlighted by a green area, it means it can be placed there; otherwise it is red.

If you aren’t familiar with this series, the first Sentinel had four maps with Assault and Endurance modes only. With Sentinel 2 came the addition of two extra Campaign maps (in-app purchase) and another fifteen missions. This time, Sentinel 3: Homeworld has fourteen maps, which include twenty levels in Campaign mode, fourteen maps in Endless mode, and six in Classic mode. That’s a lot of gameplay!

Because this is the third game in the series, I can imagine that Origin8 would have a huge pressure on them to create a new game that was just as good as the others and would not disappoint loyal players of their series, as well as trying to attract new fans. I think they have accomplished their mission. Check out this bad boy in the video below…

I have found that a lot of games try to cash in on a best seller and produce a substandard second version, which is obviously made just to reap cash benefits, but that is clearly not the case with this game. The game has been well considered, planned, designed and loved. They have packed in all the best bits and added more to it. This does mean a slightly steeper learning curve if you have never played the game, but it is worth it and it goes through the stages to teach you.

Some of the features of the game as listed on their site include:

  • A completely new campaign featuring 20 levels
  • A powerful new commander unit which can level up and gain new abilities as you play
  • Over 20 unlockable turrets, orbital ship weapons, automated drones and abilities at your disposal
  • Customize your weapon loadout in the Armory to match the demands of the mission
  • Stunning graphics & fx, with full high-resolution Retina display support
  • Endless modes for all maps with online highscores
  • Classic mode allows you to compete for scores in a pure skill-based game mode
  • Support for social gaming networks for achievements, global scores, friends and more using OpenFeint and GameCenter
  • View strategic layouts from the leaderboards – see how the best players think (OpenFeint required)
  • New exclusive music by the creators of the Sentinel 2 music – Specimen A
  • Completely reworked and revamped game engine

That all looks impressive, but what does it all mean in terms of game play? Let’s have a look…

There are 20 new levels in the game. These are not all unique, but there is enough variety to keep you busy for a long time. Some levels have a really simple path and others have four areas where the aliens can attack from, so the difficulty has a wide scope within the game. I was very impressed with how many varied levels they did include in this version. Within these levels you can play on easy, medium, hard or psycho. Good luck with psycho by the way.

New commander unit. This is fantastic and one of my favourite things about this version. You now have a commander unit that will help you protect your gates and kill your enemies. He can be levelled up and you can buy upgrades for him such as the ability to move to other gates (he jumps to them really quickly if you need help) and he can even help to repair gates. This is a great addition to the game and gives you an additional strategy factor as you can decide where the commander unit is best placed to help with the killing.

Over 20 unlockable turrets, orbital ship weapons, automated drones and abilities at your disposal. This is changed in version 3 of the game. You now customise which weapons that you will equip in the armory. You have a management screen so you use credits (which you get once you complete levels) to buy weapon slots. You then equip a weapon in the slot. You need to have a bit of forward thinking here, because initially you won’t have enough credits to just go grab every empty slot / weapon as it comes out, so choose carefully.

This version also brings us full retina support so it is crisp and clear and the graphics are stunning. There are nice little animations throughout the levels, which means you can really get into the game. All the maps have unlockable endless mode as well, so once you have mastered the level, you can just go crazy!

Another thing that wasn’t in past versions of the game is that there are special gates on some levels that are “stores,” so if these gates remain standing you get additional money generated from it. This is a good idea, and you really work hard to protect that gate as long as possible. Also, as with previous versions, the less money you spend, the more money you make because you get interest on the money you have left at the end of each round. This is a great way to be sure that what you place is absolutely necessary and does require tactics. This always adds an interesting dimension to the game.

Overall, I think this is easily the best in the series and worth the cash. They have added some amazing features — the commander for a start is a lot of fun — as well as terrific graphics and sounds. I have already easily spent hours playing the game, and it is no where near the end of the campaigns or levelling everything up. It has a lot of scope, a lot of game play, and it will keep us occupied and wanting more. Macgasmic!

You can buy Sentinel 3 : Homeworld for $2.99 from the App store.

Chatty Canadian in the UK. Dancing queen in my head. Digital Communications Lecturer. Mac computer fan. Mac makeup fan. iOS developer. Popcorn eater. Was producer & host of quirky app review show Apps & Hats.