EP0CH is a rail shooter released by Uppercut Games. For the uninitiated, rail shooters are where the player's path through a game is strictly defined and players have no control over the forward progression, but instead focus exclusively on shooting and dodging with the progression the level/game occurring once the screen has been cleared of enemies, lasts only until more enemies arrive (at which point it stops to let combat commence), and functions more like a cut scene when it does occur.
They're typically played in 3D, with the most famous arcade versions being House of the Dead and Time Crisis. While EP0CH is played in third person, it easily fits into this category and depends on swiping gestures for controls. What it has for a story comes across on the lean side, while its action offers lots of exploding robots, and upgradeable weapons and armor available for the player.
The story for EP0CH is one of a civil war breaking out among the robots that guard and serve the city, and during this inter-android conflict, the princess turns up missing. Players assume the role of a lone-wolf robot that is seeking out the princess to protect her. The progression of the story is piece-mealed out in between levels, and served up as intercepted messages and emails from various parties in the city, be they elected officials, personal friends, rebels, news outlets, etc, with each offering a different perspective on what's happening. Sadly though, very little of the story turned out to be of any interest, and I found myself quite indifferent to the plight of the missing princess. That's not to say I didn't enjoy the action though, so I suspect the story was an afterthought to the game, or just an excuse to blow up robots. If you're looking for the latter though, that's the strength of EP0CH.
As an aside, the game isn't completed in your first play-through. Like it or not, players can only begin the game on easy. Medium difficulty isn't available until the game is completed on easy. Hard isn't available until medium is completed, and so on. The story is then stretched out over the multiple play-throughs, so the story is far from complete after the game is finished on easy. So the same ten levels (that all look similar to begin with as EP0CH is set in a war torn, urban environment) must be completed multiple times. They appear the same (or near enough) during each play-through, with the variety almost exclusively being found in the quantity and quality of opponents faced at each stop. As for a soundtrack, there isn't much there either. Not that it's poor mind you, it's just largely comprised of simple and repetitive tunes that often seem to feature synthesized keyboards.
Being a rail shooter, EP0CH is fairly simple in that regard. Your robot protagonist appears behind some obstacles and trades shots with the other enemy robots behind their respective barriers, with their barriers being placed a short distance away from yours. As the enemy robots target your robot, you swipe to the left or right to dive from barrier to the next. Players can choose to duck down behind a barrier (which offers more protection) or stand up to attack and thus expose yourself to being attacked. At every "stop" where combat occurs, there are always three barriers (behind which you try to dive to your left or right often enough to prove a difficult target to hit). From the middle barrier, players can dive to the barrier on either the left or right side by swiping in the desired direction. When stationed behind the left or right barrier, players can either dive towards the middle barrier with a horizontal swipe, or swipe upwards to jump in an arc to the opposite end (say, from the far left to the far right, passing over the barrier in the middle). Mastering the "where and when" to jump or dive really makes or breaks how you fair in the game. Attacking is quite simple. Players simply touch the robot they want to target, and the player's robot begins to shoot automatically. This continues until one of the robots (either the enemy or player's robot) is destroyed, or the player selects another target. The target selected will continue to be shot at, even after performing a dive. In short, players are really only responsible to pick targets, and dodge attacks. That's it.
Yet somehow Uppercut Games managed made that kind of fun, simplistic as that is. There are three types of weapons available to players: a firearm, grenade, and rockets. All of these are available to players to use, and all of them are up-gradable with a panoply of choices. At the end of each level, a single piece of scrap is recovered that upgrades a weapon, armor, or bonus ability (such as faster healing, a holographic clone to draw fire away, etc). There's no limit to how often each of these can be used, they simply need to recharge after each use. Cash for additional upgrades, along with intercepted messages and experience points, are also acquired at the end of a given level. In between levels, players can review the aforementioned messages, change out their armor and weapons, and purchase or sell upgrades.
On the whole, EP0CH is a mixed bag. What passes for a story is weak and boring (and even some of the visuals) but I'd be lying to say the same about the action, even if it gets a bit repetitive. If the back story is of little consequence to you and/or you're just looking for simple, mindless action, check out EP0CH.