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Android App Video Review: EPOCH

by Andrew Koziara

EPOCH from Uppercut Games is one of those rare titles that makes cover-based shooting unique and interesting again, through innovative design and a simple but fairly awesome story. It's a great looking game, with a lot of nuance to its combat. Unfortunately, that combat takes a while to rev up, and might bore people at first, but if you stick with it, you'll find this to be one of the most gratifying gaming experiences on mobile.

You are Epoch, a guardian class robot tasked with protecting a princess. Apparently though, you're a lousy guardian and have been sleeping on the job, because you're randomly reactivated in the middle of a war torn post-apocalyptic city environment with loads of other robots that are totally being jerks and trying to kill you. Your only goal is to find out what happened to the princess. It's a tale as old as time with an I, Robot twist, and I like that. The more detailed bits of story are told through intercepted emails, texts, and broadcasts from before all this happened, letting you piece things together from different perspectives.

The intuitive swipe combat is based entirely on avoidance and timing. The cover is the main mechanic here, while shooting is second hand. You only tap on enemies to auto target and fire upon them, but you'll have to roll and leap between cover points to avoid their fire. Soon, enemies are lobbing grenades behind your cover, or slicing through it with lasers, or straight up ignoring it with massive charged blasts, and things get a bit more complicated.

After each shooting gallery style level, you'll be rewarded with salvaged gear, cash, story transmissions, and experience. The gear includes different weapon types, such as corrosive 'damage over time' guns, different grenade types, like stun grenades, plus various special attacks that act like spells with your basic cool-downs. These include different grenade types, missile barrages, and more unique powers like bullet time slow motion or healing. There are tons of weapon and armor choices in the scrapyard, and different load outs make for a very different feeling game.

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The story mode is actually quite short, taking under an hour to complete, but it's meant to be replayed several times on subsequent difficulties. Each new playthrough gives you more pieces to the story, cooler weapons, and more challenge. Aside from that, there is an arena endless survival mode that comes with its own rotating objective system and rewards, which can help you get a leg up on the campaign. The Unreal Engine graphics are some of the best around, not in terms of graphical fidelity, but in terms of aesthetic appeal. This post apocalyptic world isn't drab and gray, but full of vibrant colors, and it's great to look at. EPOCH is totally worth the current five dollar price point. Give it a try. It might just surprise you!

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