I wrote earlier that Balance of the Planet for the iPad would be played in real time instead of being turn based. What this means is that once the game is started it can proceed with its initial settings from beginning to end without user intervention. That wouldn’t be much of a game so at any time the user can make changes to the game parameters to achieve their desired outcome.
The controls at the top of the screen are used to control the game’s real time progress
The individual controls themselves are pretty familiar for those who’ve played real-time-strategy (RTS) games in the past, games like Dune II, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, StarCraft, and Age of Empires. If you’re not a aficionado of the genre here’s how tapping on the various icons would affect the game’s real time progress.
The dateline to the right of the controls shows the start and end dates of the game. In the free version of the game the dates would be fixed but in-app purchasing one of the add-in scenarios could give the gamer the option of setting the start and end dates.
The progress bar timeline between the start and end dates shows where you are in the game. As the game progresses the indicator moves from left to right. Once the game ends you can “scrub” the indicator to the left, from Jan 2114 to Jan 2014, to review the games history and possibly learn things you did right or wrong, information you could apply to future games.