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Eliminate on iPhone is a serious gamer's game. This simple but slick first-person shooter combines Role Play elements with hectic firefights for some brilliant multiplayer action. Whether played on iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, this is a great challenge and really impressive.
I first saw Eliminate on a rundown of mobile apps on The Gadget Show. Since it was free, I thought, "What have I got to lose?" It looked like a fairly decent first-person shooter so I decided to give it a go.
The story behind Eliminate is that you are an employee of Arsenal MegaCorp, employed to test out new armours and weapons. You receive credits based on how well you do in the death match test sessions, which can be used to buy new weaponry, armours, or upgrades to the items you already own. If I'm honest, I didn't really expect much of a back story for a mobile phone FPS but it's a clever way of explaining why you're doing what you're doing, and of explaining the lack of a story once you actually get into the game.
Eliminate is an online shooter, so you gain credits when you're playing with other humans. There is an offline practice mode against bots but you don't get anything for that other than a chance to hone your skills. So if you do want to play you'll need either a WiFi or 3G signal, otherwise it's offline only for you.
Makes it even better for those times when you're trying to sneak a quick battle in during the day.
I was about to try and think of when I play Eliminate, but if I'm honest it's 'always'. I think I might be addicted. I haven't timed a death match but it feels like they last around five minutes. So if you have a short time to spare you can load up and get a quick game in. A recent addition is the co-op game mode too, which lasts three minutes.
Co-op sees you teaming up with another player to rid a test facility of malfunctioning robots. You gain credits and equipment from your kills here and, as I mentioned, the game is three minutes long. That makes it even better for those times when you're trying to sneak a quick battle in during the day.
My kids are both too young to play this sort of game - they're still at the stage of picking the right shape from a selection of many [http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2009-12/04/child-friendly-iphone-apps.aspx], but my dad is a different story. He has loaded Eliminate onto his iPod Touch and we're loving being able to play against and alongside each other. The only downside is that he lives in Essex while I life in Fife, and there isn't a voice communication option. So while we are able to play, we're no actually able to talk while we're doing it. We've resorted to phoning each other once or twice after a game!
The controls are fairly standard for an First Person Shooter - the left thumb moves you round, the right thumb turns you, and you can either tap the screen to fire or choose to fire automatically whenever you have someone in your sites. I chose to go for auto-fire as I was pants at doing it manually! If prefer you can also reverse the controls. The option is called "left handed" but I am and still play with the controls on the default setup.
It's a decent, free FPS on a games platform I always carry with me.
The only downside to Eliminate is, I think, more about the platform it's on than anything else. The iPhone is just a little too small for me to hold comfortably in my hands as a game controller. I get Gaming Claw after a while and have to stop for a bit. That's alright though, because there's an in-built system to prevent people from just playing all day and bumping up their stats.
Each game takes a bit of 'energy', and you only get recharges at set points during the day. You can still play if you run out of energy, but you won't collect credits if you do. If you like you can recharge using 'power cells', which can be bought using real-world cash but, to be honest, I wouldn't see the need myself. Running out of energy is usually a good indicator that it's time to take a break before my fingers drop off.
I absolutely love Eliminate - it's a decent, free FPS on a games platform I always carry with me. It's easy to pick up and play when you don't have much time, and the ability to play with family members in other parts of the country is a very welcome addition. And best of all, the basic game is free; you only pay if you want to play beyond your energy limit. Now go get it, and I'll see you in the arena!
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