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iPad Lounge – Mass Effect Datapad
So Datapad isn’t really a game but then again it has some Tiny Tower influence built-in. The main purpose of this app is to get people to be more connected with the Mass Effect 3 experience. You can view the official Mass Effect twitter and its update, get mail from the Alliance, watch and look at various Mass Effect media, handle your Galactic Readiness, and the best part is view and listen to all of the codex entries. This is a must-have for any Mass Effect fan that has an iOS device. You get to listen to all of the codex entries which really brings to life the universe within in the game. If you’ve never taken the chance to do that, this is the best way to do so. Datapad may not be a game but if you enjoy Tiny Tower to a degree, you will enjoy this.
So the only gameplay founds in Datapad is in the Galaxy At War section. Here you sign into you Origin/EA account and view your Galactic Readiness (players of Mass Effect 3 will understand this). You have a chance here to improve your readiness. How? By sending Alliance ships to the different planets around the galaxy to do missions. When you select a planet, you’ll see what mission is available. Right now I’ll select the Omega Station in the Terminus system. The mission I have will take 6 hours and 25 minutes to complete. Yes, real time. For sending a ship and completing the mission, I’ll be rewarded with 1,125 credits (which boosts your ships) and 0.92% of a Galactic Readiness point. That seems very paltry.
With the credits you earn, you can boost your ship’s Speed (time taken to complete missions), Fleets (buy additional ships), Shielding (reduces chances of a ship being crippled during a mission), or Galactic Readiness Rating (increases rating points earned by missions). So while at the start it seems very tedious, things do get better. I was give 1000 credits at the start so I bought three upgrades into the Galactic Readiness Rating. I went back into that Omega mission and now I would receive 1.15% readiness for nearly six and half hours of wait time.
You don’t have to sit and wait for it, obviously. It will complete on its own but the amount of time necessary for such a small amount of readiness is kind of crazy. This is all you can do game-wise in datapad.
Just like Infiltrator, the menus and sound effects do a great job at making you feel like you’re in Mass Effect. Too bad that is all the menus do well. The buttons don’t work 75% of the time and you will find yourself tapping all over them in order to deploy a ship or go back. Thankfully the Galaxy at War map is large enough so the problem there doesn’t exist but once you bring up a mission, have fun trying to deploy.
The codex entries are read aloud to you and are very clear. It is almost hypnotizing to just click and listen. Maybe just one more entry.
The twitter integration here has been somewhat detrimental to Datapad. Many were able to open this app and see the Mass Effect twitter talking about something only to find out it was another complaint about the ending. More awareness to all this hoopla isn’t good. Things have kind of calmed down since and the twitter isn’t so much recognizing the complaints now that BioWare has issued a full statement.
Aside from the massive codex section, not much is given here. You don’t get to see how your ships are doing until they come back. You don’t see a fancy entrance to the planet or station. The ships just go to the planet, do their business, come back and await orders. Sure you have plenty of planets and missions to do but the time that it takes to get all that done would be months and months of waiting.
Luckily, this app is free! Because if it wasn’t, it would severely depend on the price if I would recommend it or not. However, the codex section alone would be worth a buck in my book. For a Mass Effect fan, you’ll find plenty to like and plenty to be annoyed about. The absurd mission times and low reward make the Galaxy at War section tedious and one I don’t click on very often. I find myself lost in the codex section and even glancing at the media more than deploying little ships. If you have an iOS device and are looking for every way to raise your Galactic Readiness, then this is one of two options for you. Infiltrator gives you more entertainment but Datapad is free so give it a shot.