Sporting an undeniably long name, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs: Mobile Recon, is typical of first person shooters converted into a game for mobile phones. Unlike the recently released SOCOM 3, this is a top down action game. However, there are similarities with the SOCOM franchise in general. Mobile Recon follows characters Bronco (explosives) and Wraith (sniper) as they undertake reconnaissance missions in Morocco.
The missions themselves range from collecting intelligence to covert assassinations and hostage rescues. These are the overarching goals but along the way you’ll encounter bite sized objectives that help keep the pace of the game going. For example, you’ll be asked to move across the whole map to save someone but you might end up having to knock a wall down along the way or take out a sniper before you can proceed. I don’t think there was ever one instance where I was at a loss at what to do.
Mobile Recon also keeps tabs of where you are with automatic saving. Just quit the game or close your phone and you’re assured you can start that position the next time you open it up. Of course, there is a bit of a trade off. You can potentially save at some dead end situations where you’ll die shortly after you load the game.
The graphics themselves are bright and animated very well, including elements in the building. I liked the fact that the characters are large and easy to see. You have audio for the different guns and explosions as well as some voiceovers. And there are a few musical tunes spread over the game.
Mobile Recon is a fun game if you enjoy action titles. Although we’re beginning to see actual 3D first person shooters show up on wireless platforms, this design has long since been the foundation of success in handheld gaming and JAMDAT shows its experience in making good wireless games here. However, the lack of replay and any online connectivity prevents this game from making the transition from good to great.