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App of the Week: Space Settlers

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With all the talk of the recent Russian Meteorite, all things space has become the talk of the day. If, like us, you’re fascinated by all things “up there”, then there should be a space on your iOS device for Space Settlers.

A free game for iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini and iPod Touch, Space Settlers is one of those games that keep you coming back and having a little play. The premise is to build your own fort in space and challenge others for theirs, but there’s much more to it than that.

With Space Settlers you can upgrade pretty much everything, but upgrades take time, which is why you’ll find yourself constantly coming back for more – to check if your Tech Centre has been upgraded yet, if you’ve been accepted to join a Legion or to see if you’ve mined enough Dark Crystal to build that Large Laser Gun you’ve been wanting for your Chariot.

A very helpful lady will be your assistant to get you started, guiding you through the necessary steps to build your own Base. This takes time, as you need to mine the relevant natural materials from your planet – Dark Energy Crystal, Tritium and Dark Matter – before you can upgrade various parts of your fort, which is why you’ll find yourself constantly checking back, eager to get upgrading.

You can of course use real money to buy up the raw materials you need to get going faster, with a store offering you the chance to spend anywhere from $1.99 through to $99.99 for  varying amounts of the most useful resource in the game; Dark Energy Crystal. In the Store you can also trade your Crystals for equipment in order to strengthen your armoury, including Chariots and weaponry.

Once your fort is built you’re encouraged to build Chariots in order to take on other gamers’ planets, which if you succeed in doing, you’ll be rewarded with those vital Dark Energy Crystals, and more.

Space Settlers is an online-only game, and as such you’ll be able to interact with other gamers through the chat system, make buddies and join Legions to meet new gamers. We found the chat system extremely useful for getting helpful hints and tips, which got us past those tricky first few steps when learning the game. You can add gamers to a Friends list to keep in touch and keep up with what they’re doing in the world of Space Settlers, and there’s also an Enemies list if you want to track down those who have attacked your planet for future revenge.

A brand new mode called Land of Challenge invites users to try their hand at winning accessories and add-ons to beef up their chariots, ready for war. New maps have also just been added, along with raising the level ceiling to 60, which gives you an even higher target to aim at.

For a free game that’s based online the graphics are very impressive, with great detail in all animations and parts of your fort. We spent most of our gaming time with the iPad Mini, on which the game looks excellent and is very easy to play thanks to the screen size, and we also tested it out on the iPhone 5, where the graphics really shone thanks to the Retina Display.

Considering how vast and detailed the game is, we were a little shocked to find it free in the App Store. Hopefully it’ll stay that way, but you wouldn’t find us grumbling at a 69p asking price. If you’re a fan of Sci-Fi and online strategy games, Space Settlers is definitely worth a try.

Space Settlers: