Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy until Monday, at least.
Hunters 2 ($0.99, Universal) is a turn-based space strategy game with a whole lot of attention to detail. As a follow-up to Rodeo Games’ first game, this edition builds on all of the features that made the original Hunter game such a great success.
In Hunter 2, you control a team of mercenaries known as “hunters” from a top-down perspective of the battlefield. When you tap on the heads of each hunter, the playing field will highlight the various positions you can move to. To move, you simply double tap the square you intend to move into. If there is an enemy within range of your weapon, they will be highlighted and you will be able to attack them using the same double-tap motion. Within each turn, you can move and attach each hunter on your team multiple times until all of their action points are used up. Taking small, cautious movements throughout your turn proves to be sound strategy. This allows you to attack an enemy that is exposed by forward movement into unknown territory.
The map is dynamic and you can pinch, zoom and rotate to gain a better perspective of the battlefield. Some areas of the map are hidden, since you cannot see around obstructed corners or down dark alleys. This line of sight proves to inhibit running across the playing field haphazardly to achieve your mission’s objective. Movement is also blocked by various obstacles on the battlefield as well as by your own team members. If one of your teammates is standing in the only position through a narrow passage, then your entire team is blocked until they move out of the way. You also cannot attack through your own team members. This makes the decision as to which team member leads your pack an important one.
The game progresses through a series of missions that your team signs up for. Each mission has a varying set of objectives that you must achieve before you can advance. Some missions are as simple as crossing the playing field to get to a specific point. While other missions will have you looking for various objects and protecting important assets or people. It is the variety of missions that keep things interesting. The decisions you make early on in a mission will affect your team’s ability to complete the mission. Sometimes you come to realize that you either selected the wrong hunters for the mission, or your team is not equipped with the appropriate gear.
At the end of each mission, your mercenaries can level up their individual skills in addition to being awarded payment for achieving the objectives of the mission. You can also elect to cash in by selling various equipment your team confiscated. If you find that your team is deficient in a particular skill, or your arsenal of weapons are holding you back, you can invest by hiring and training specialists. You can even build your own weapons. While there is certainly an element of tactical planning when you are on the battlefield, only through long-term strategic planning off the battlefield will you be able to complete some of the more difficult missions.
You can sponsor your mercenaries through in-app purchases, which allow them to be better-equipped from the start. But you can’t buy the skills required to use all of the equipment you buy. Skills can only be earned by completing missions. Adding additional mercenaries to your team for a price becomes necessary as your team members level up and make choices as to which skills they learn. The more mercenaries you have, the more specialized your teams can be for each mission. Building your team’s specialization, customizing weapons of your own design, and selecting missions only your team can complete make Hunters 2 a great way to spend any weekend.