N.O.V.A HD. – Next Generation Gaming with the Galaxy Tab

N.O.V.A HD. – Next Generation Gaming with the Samsung Galaxy Tab

The 20 man (and-women!)-strong team of Samsung Mob!ler’s have each been gifted a Samsung Galaxy Tab and we’ve been putting it through its paces over the past week or so. Our first task has been to check out the gaming potential that the Galaxy Tab has to offer, and I’ve focused this post on N.O.V.A. - the outstanding 1st-person shoot ‘em up style game from Gameloft.

I must say from the outset that I framed the Galaxy Tab as a mini-computer/multi-media/internet/email/phone sort of device, i.e. not something I would play games on so much; maybe just some basic freebie stuff. However N.O.V.A has surpassed my expectations and blown my mind open to just what the Galaxy Tab can offer.

With graphics and gameplay on par with (if not greater) that that of a PSP, the Galaxy Tab and  N.O.V.A make quite the match. Bringing back memories of the classic N64 Goldeneye, the game comes alive on the Tab’s 7inch TFT HD display. It runs smoothly with no lagging or glitches. There’s an ominous storyline throughout the game, and you get to watch a series of videos and radio messages as you follow the story of a retired marine called back into duty following a surge of alien invasions.

Gameplay and Controls

Whilst there is a degree of repetition throughout, N.O.V.A makes for a challenging and entertaining game. The controls are intuitive, simple to grasp and really put you ‘in to’ the game.  There is a virtual touchscreen analogue stick that moves you about and the direction you ‘face’ can be controlled both via the touchscreen (anywhere on the screen) AND controlled gyroscopically with the Tab’s accelerometer. This means you can look around the game environment by moving the phone up and down and literally point and shoot the bad guys. With buttons to fire, reload, throw grenades, switch weapons as well as well as a host of other interactive (and customisable) features, N.O.V.A can really suck you into the game. With the gyroscope in full action you’ll look like quite the crack –pot playing this on the train or bus, but just think how much fun you’d be having at the same time!

Extra features

There’s various little extra ‘bits’ to N.O.V.A that begin to explore just what potential gaming on the Galaxy Tab could be like. Whilst these are not fully developed, they show a lot of promise. Some of them include:

- There are mini ‘hacking’ games, which are essentially little puzzles that you work through and unlock ammo/progress in the game.
- There are some cool features where you have to interact with the environment in a really intuitive way. This could be sliding an arrow to make the lift move, or spinning/moving parts of the walls/doors to open them. I guess you have to see this live… Check out the video!!
- Multi-player mode – Connect over wifi and play death matches with strangers across the world or just play with your friends over a local network! This is an amazing facet to the game, very fun and very addictive!


There’s a lot of ‘wow’ factors to N.O.V.A, as I’ve advanced through the game it opens up various new tasks, weapons, and  ‘missions’ from sniping to drive-by’s.  I just didn’t expect this level of gaming to come from a tablet. Really impressed.
There’s still a degree of repetitiveness to the game with the same sort of ‘baddies’ appearing and attacking you in the same predictable way. It thus becomes a bit too easy sometimes. There’s a good amount of detail given to the terrain/environment, although this could easily be expanded upon and is largely wasted.
All-in-all, this is a game you just have to see in action! Better still, head down to a Mobile shop and put it through your paces yourself! You will be impressed and I just can’t wait to see what else is in store for the Samsung Galaxy Tab!

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