iCombat: a true gem

iCombat is an addicting top-down tank shooter game based on the 1977 Atari game called “Combat“. You are a single tank trying to defeat the rest of the tanks in each screen-sized level. Whether you wish to play in Campaign mode, Freeplay mode, or battle against a friend over wi-fi, iCombat is a fun game for all ages. The game is revamped with new items such as grenades, rockets, invisibility, and shields. If you like the first couple of levels, chances are you will be addicted to the game for all 50 levels. The App Farm has brought back an old classic to a new device, with new and exciting features. Read on for the full review!

“One of the most underrated games. A true, hidden gem.”

Price: $0.99 USD

Developed by: The App Farm
Version: 1.2.1
File size: 9.2 MB

Gameplay & Controls

The objective of iCombat is to defeat all other tanks in each level. You can do so by using normal missiles (which can bounce off one wall before exploding) and mines, or by collecting and using grenades and rockets. There are also collectible defensive bonuses which are shields and invisibility. With 50 levels in Campaign mode, you are probably going to be addicted if you like the game from the start. There are Easy, Medium, and Hard modes in which the opponents become progressively smarter and more accurate. Another mode is Skirmish mode. In Skirmish mode, you can select any level you wish to play, as well as the difficulty. Practicing on hard will obviously make campaign mode easier for you in the Medium and Easy modes. The last mode of gameplay is wi-fi battle. You probably guessed it, that means you and a friend can play one vs. one over a wi-fi connection.

There are different powers of opponents. Most are normal powered, just like you, while others have stronger shields and weapons. Some have the ability to bounce their missiles off walls multiple times, which can get quite hard to dodge in harder levels. Overall, there is a good mix of opponents, so you won’t get bored of playing against the same tanks. After dieing three times in one level, you lose. You have two replay chances, so in the end, you have a good shot at advancing to the next level.

Controlling your tank can be done in two different ways. The first, is by tilting your device to make use of the accelerometer. The second, is to use the d-pad which is placed in the bottom left corner. Control type can be set in options on the main menu, or in the pause menu of your game. I strongly advise using the d-pad as you have more control to where your tank goes. The accelerometer is not as responsive as it should be so the d-pad is almost a must if you want to do well. To shoot a missile, simply tap somewhere on the screen, or line up your shot by dragging your finger from your tank to where you want to aim. When you release, your shot will be fired. You have infinite shots as well as land mines which can be laid down by tapping the mine button in the top right corner of your screen. The mines will detonate with a pinch of your fingers, enemy contact, or time-detonation.

When you collect any bonus items, they will appear in the top left of the screen. To select and use one, simply tap on it. After activating grenades or rockets, all you need to do is aim like a normal shot, and they will be used. Grenades and rockets have a larger area of explosion, making them more powerful. When you activate invisibility or shields, they will immediately be in effect so no further controls are needed for them.

Presentation & Graphics

Overall, iCombat is presented quite nicely. The menus have a rugged font and navigation is very easy. As for in-game graphics, it has a nice semi-3D feel to it. Hopefully you aren’t expecting professional graphics as seen on the Xbox 360 and PS3. If you aren’t, then the game will look quite nice. The game has effective shadowing around walls and barriers which gives it a nice feel. The tanks leave behind small tracks which is a nice touch in my opinion. The explosion animations could be better, but I think they go well with the game.

Extra Info

Audio- The menu music has a very military-like feel to it with a steady snare drum beat. I wish it had the same colonial style music as the Wii ported version of Combat, but this does just fine. In game, the music is relatively fast-paced. It seems like a mix of industrial and electronic music, but I’m not an audiophile. As for the explosions and sound effects, I think they are nicely done. Nothing is too drastic or overdone, which is good. The missile have a nice *tink* when bouncing off the walls, and as I said, the explosions are pretty good. A downside on the audio of this game is that it doesn’t allow you to play your own music. A quick fix for that is downloading “Backgrounder” in Cydia, and playing your music from there while turning off the in-game music.

Replay Value- The replay value is very strong. With 50 levels on a fun game, most people will likely be addicted. The App Farm has created a great remake with new features that won’t disappoint. There are also personal and global high scores if you feel the desire of competition. I have not personally tried wi-fi mode, but if it is anything like the Wii “Combat” port, it is probably very fun. If you are still unsure about purchasing iCombat, check out iCombat Lite for free to see if you like it.


Gameplay/controls: 50 levels, multiple modes, a variety of weapons and oppents. Accelerometer and D-Pad controls.

Graphics: Everything is themed well. Shadows are nice, tank tracks are cool. Explosions are decent.

Audio: Included music goes very well with the game. You can’t play your own music without Backgrounder.

Replay value: The game is addictive! High scores and wi-fi mode included.

Replay value: $0.9 for a well-done, revamped port. Would pay $5.99+ for this gem.

Overall: Excellent. Hidden greatness, lots of fun.

Want to test it out before buying?
Try the lite version or play the flash game.

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