uniwar-screenshot-4Javaground's turn-based stategy game UniWar has been released to the app store at an introductory price of $0.99 [App Store]. We exclusively previewed this game at GDC 2009.

The game is a turn-based strategy game which offers what appears to be remarkably deep level of gameplay as well as unlimited online replayability.

The game is centered around grid-based maps in which your goal is to take control of the enemy bases. For each base you control, you earn more resources per turn. These resources can be used to buy additional units. Units vary in a number of statistics and special abilities.

Different capabilities include mobility, attack strength (ground, aerial, aquatic), defense strength, ability to capture bases, ability to attack after move and more. An example of one of the special units is the "Engineer" which can not attack or defend but can re-program enemy mechas to join your army.

The game lists the following features:

  • 3 races, each with varied units
  • 50+ maps to choose from with up to 8 players
  • Play up to 20 games at once
  • Team play allows 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4
  • Campaign mode with 21 missions
  • Play modes: Multiplayer online, VS the phone A.I., VS friend on same device (hot seat) and campaign mode
  • Worldwide Global Ladder
  • Email notifications when it is your turn
  • Cross-platform game. Play your friends even if they have another phone model.

One big strength seems to be the offering of multiple types of gameplay options that will prevent you from getting bored:

Campaign mode acts as a tutorial to start and walks you through 21 different missions to complete very specific tasks. Early tasks show you how to move, attack and build and you progress from there.

Solo mode allows you to pick a map (most are locked to start) and simply play head-to-head against the iPhone's AI. The gameplay alternates moves between you and the iPhone until a winner emerges (bases captured).

Multiplayer Online is what adds unlimited replayability to the game. As a turn-based game, the online play is designed to be done asynchronously. That is, you can have up to 20 games running simultaneously and you can simply check-in at your convenience to make your next move. Your move is uploaded to Javaground's servers and transmitted to your opponents when they check-in on their side.

Javaground walks through the online play and basic mechanics of the game in our GDC video:


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

Even given our short time with the game, it feels solid, stable and a bargain at only $0.99. If you have any interest this sort of strategy game, it's hard to believe you'll be disappointed. Early impressions from other TouchArcade members are being recorded in this discussion thread.

App Store Link: UniWar, $0.99 (introductory price)

  • http://jessewonderclark.com Lankershim

    must... have...

  • http://jessewonderclark.com Lankershim

    must... have...

  • Adams Immersive

    Looks like it takes full advantage of the iPhone's screen real estate, unlike some cross-platform mobile games.

  • Adams Immersive

    Looks like it takes full advantage of the iPhone's screen real estate, unlike some cross-platform mobile games.

  • http://appleotaku.com Apple Otaku

    Reminds me of those strategy games found in Japanese war magazines.

  • http://appleotaku.com Apple Otaku

    Reminds me of those strategy games found in Japanese war magazines.

  • http://jessewonderclark.com Lankershim

    should... have... waited...

    Ah, who am I kidding? I would have bought it anyway.

    So, this is just a first take, but this feels pretty clunky. At this point, I'd call it a far second place to Reign of Swords.

    In fact, thinking about it makes me want to go play Reign of Swords again. It's not a good sign when a game makes you feel like playing a different game...

  • http://jessewonderclark.com Lankershim

    should... have... waited...

    Ah, who am I kidding? I would have bought it anyway.

    So, this is just a first take, but this feels pretty clunky. At this point, I'd call it a far second place to Reign of Swords.

    In fact, thinking about it makes me want to go play Reign of Swords again. It's not a good sign when a game makes you feel like playing a different game...

  • Jelaludo

    Great game! I played a lot of a browser turn-based game called "weewar", and it's great to have something similar on the iPhone.

    Positive :
    - more polished than weewar
    - the interface is very responsive, the graphics are quite pleasant
    - the multiplayer vs other humans rocks...
    - great replay value, especially if you can get your friends to join
    There must be some solid support behind this to run the servers.
    - 0.79EUR (.99$) is a very low barrier to purchase
    - you can play vs the computer to get used to the units and the maps
    - my 5 year old son keeps wanting to play "the game with the monsters" and it's amazing to see a young brain taking strategic decision!

    negatives :
    not much... maybe the in-game chat is somewhat clumsy, but I'm not sure how it could be made better given the iPhone's keyboard and screen size

    My uniwar name is Jelaludo, don't hesitate to challenge me to a game
    (let's play the first ones unrated, to get a feel for the maps)

    "May God have mercy upon my ennemies, because I won't"
    --General Patton.

  • Jelaludo

    Great game! I played a lot of a browser turn-based game called "weewar", and it's great to have something similar on the iPhone.

    Positive :
    - more polished than weewar
    - the interface is very responsive, the graphics are quite pleasant
    - the multiplayer vs other humans rocks...
    - great replay value, especially if you can get your friends to join
    There must be some solid support behind this to run the servers.
    - 0.79EUR (.99$) is a very low barrier to purchase
    - you can play vs the computer to get used to the units and the maps
    - my 5 year old son keeps wanting to play "the game with the monsters" and it's amazing to see a young brain taking strategic decision!

    negatives :
    not much... maybe the in-game chat is somewhat clumsy, but I'm not sure how it could be made better given the iPhone's keyboard and screen size

    My uniwar name is Jelaludo, don't hesitate to challenge me to a game
    (let's play the first ones unrated, to get a feel for the maps)

    "May God have mercy upon my ennemies, because I won't"
    --General Patton.

  • Mythbuster

    One big negative point: Just one AI level!

    I think settings for "easy, normal, hard" should be a must have!!!

    I am disappointed.

    • http://www.equatior.com cyber

      if the singleplayer is too easy for you, just play online. that is much harder :P

      • Mythbuster

        Bad point! I play on my iPhone during traveling to work. In the train there is no WiFi and most time no 3G.

        And do not forget: Without the ability to adjust the AI there is always a problem: If the AI is smarter, then beginners will have no chance to unlock other maps and they have no chance to progress in the campain.

        If the AI is like now or weaker better players are bored very fast. So in my opinion without a level setting fuction the game is just half good as it could be!

      • yacoub

        Totally agree, Mythbuster. AI difficulties would be appreciated.

      • WeirdingWay

        No 3G? Haha, guess Edge wins again. I always have Edge. Even when hiking in the middle of a forest. For a game that's asynchronous, you don't need high speed interner.

      • swingingwake

        You realize that the iPhone 3G drops to Edge if it can't find the faster network, right? It's nothing to gloat about.

      • Chad

        So then why does he need new AI again? Edge works fine for this sort of game.

  • Mythbuster

    One big negative point: Just one AI level!

    I think settings for "easy, normal, hard" should be a must have!!!

    I am disappointed.

    • http://www.equatior.com cyber

      if the singleplayer is too easy for you, just play online. that is much harder :P

      • Mythbuster

        Bad point! I play on my iPhone during traveling to work. In the train there is no WiFi and most time no 3G.

        And do not forget: Without the ability to adjust the AI there is always a problem: If the AI is smarter, then beginners will have no chance to unlock other maps and they have no chance to progress in the campain.

        If the AI is like now or weaker better players are bored very fast. So in my opinion without a level setting fuction the game is just half good as it could be!

      • yacoub

        Totally agree, Mythbuster. AI difficulties would be appreciated.

      • WeirdingWay

        No 3G? Haha, guess Edge wins again. I always have Edge. Even when hiking in the middle of a forest. For a game that's asynchronous, you don't need high speed interner.

      • swingingwake

        You realize that the iPhone 3G drops to Edge if it can't find the faster network, right? It's nothing to gloat about.

      • Chad

        So then why does he need new AI again? Edge works fine for this sort of game.

  • http://www.peitsch.de Sebastian

    At this price and with no real Hexagon-Games on the iPhone yet this is a must-buy until somebody comes around and port Battle Isle, Panzer General or History Line 1914-1918 to the iPhone.

  • http://www.peitsch.de Sebastian

    At this price and with no real Hexagon-Games on the iPhone yet this is a must-buy until somebody comes around and port Battle Isle, Panzer General or History Line 1914-1918 to the iPhone.

  • NJPodder

    10.1 MB? Of course it's 10.1 MB, why would they let me download it and play it before I get home tonight or back to a WiFi hotspot? lol.

  • NJPodder

    10.1 MB? Of course it's 10.1 MB, why would they let me download it and play it before I get home tonight or back to a WiFi hotspot? lol.

  • TSP

    It doesn´t let me play my own music, I really hate that!

  • TSP

    It doesn´t let me play my own music, I really hate that!

  • BigA

    I've only touched the sides of this one, but so far it seems like an absurdly cheap price for such a polished game. I guess they are trying to attract a huge lively multi-player community from the get go. Seems like that worked (102 pages or something!). I'm a bit baffled why EVERYONE seems to choose a 3 days turn limits when creating a game. I don't fancy hanging around that long to take a turn!

  • BigA

    I've only touched the sides of this one, but so far it seems like an absurdly cheap price for such a polished game. I guess they are trying to attract a huge lively multi-player community from the get go. Seems like that worked (102 pages or something!). I'm a bit baffled why EVERYONE seems to choose a 3 days turn limits when creating a game. I don't fancy hanging around that long to take a turn!

  • voldemort

    I think an update is coming soon, with the option to choose AI Level.
    It's good time to pick it now, before the price return to normal (8 bucks!!!)

  • voldemort

    I think an update is coming soon, with the option to choose AI Level.
    It's good time to pick it now, before the price return to normal (8 bucks!!!)

  • http://jessewonderclark.com Lankershim

    Hm. I'm surprised at the raves. Maybe people haven't played Reign of Swords? The interface there is much more well-thought out for turn-based mobile play.

    UniWar, for example, has no "next unit" button, nor a warning when you end a turn without moving all units. These are pretty standard (and useful) conventions for this genre.

    Also, there doesn't seem to be a way to get a graphic depiction of an enemy unit's range of motion. You have to go into the info and count it out yourself. Reign of Swords, a port of a game designed for other mobile phones, and therefore presumably less sophisticated, gets this right.

    And etc, etc. The interface in general takes too much work to get around in.

    But I haven't played any multiplayer. Perhaps that changes everything.

  • http://jessewonderclark.com Lankershim

    Hm. I'm surprised at the raves. Maybe people haven't played Reign of Swords? The interface there is much more well-thought out for turn-based mobile play.

    UniWar, for example, has no "next unit" button, nor a warning when you end a turn without moving all units. These are pretty standard (and useful) conventions for this genre.

    Also, there doesn't seem to be a way to get a graphic depiction of an enemy unit's range of motion. You have to go into the info and count it out yourself. Reign of Swords, a port of a game designed for other mobile phones, and therefore presumably less sophisticated, gets this right.

    And etc, etc. The interface in general takes too much work to get around in.

    But I haven't played any multiplayer. Perhaps that changes everything.

  • Aidan

    I personally hated Reign of Swords, it was so clunky and slow plus I hated the graphics. This one reminds me of my favourite game on earth, Battle For Wesnoth.

    I just love the graphics and multiplayer, epic win!!!

  • Aidan

    I personally hated Reign of Swords, it was so clunky and slow plus I hated the graphics. This one reminds me of my favourite game on earth, Battle For Wesnoth.

    I just love the graphics and multiplayer, epic win!!!

  • pablete

    THIS GAME ROOOOOOOOOOOOOCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

  • pablete

    THIS GAME ROOOOOOOOOOOOOCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

  • antonioj

    Lankershim, i gave up of RoS because of lack o polish and clumsy controls...this one rocks!!!

    I hope it will be updated frequently, but right now its my fav iphone game

  • antonioj

    Lankershim, i gave up of RoS because of lack o polish and clumsy controls...this one rocks!!!

    I hope it will be updated frequently, but right now its my fav iphone game

  • Greg

    I long ago made the vow not to buy games on potential rather how they're fun today, I'd rather pay $8 now and know the game is a polished game today than $1-2 and gamble tomorrow it never gets updated, but I'm taking that risk. I figure at the very least this should entertain me

  • Greg

    I long ago made the vow not to buy games on potential rather how they're fun today, I'd rather pay $8 now and know the game is a polished game today than $1-2 and gamble tomorrow it never gets updated, but I'm taking that risk. I figure at the very least this should entertain me

  • ZildjianKX

    I really wish there was a way to switch the buttons to be OS X UI compliment, meaning the confirm buttons are on the right and not on the left like windows... that really bugs me (iDracula is also an offender of this).

    That being said, the game is a great value for $0.99. I think I've already got my money's worth after one night with it.

  • ZildjianKX

    I really wish there was a way to switch the buttons to be OS X UI compliment, meaning the confirm buttons are on the right and not on the left like windows... that really bugs me (iDracula is also an offender of this).

    That being said, the game is a great value for $0.99. I think I've already got my money's worth after one night with it.

  • WS

    We definitely need more hex-based games like this.

    A Panzer General port (or any WW2 or other historical era) game is something I (and I am sure many others) I am really pining for.

  • WS

    We definitely need more hex-based games like this.

    A Panzer General port (or any WW2 or other historical era) game is something I (and I am sure many others) I am really pining for.

  • Aidan

    WE NEED BATTLE FOR WESNOTH!!! if you don't know what it is, download it and play it, it's free and cross-platform and definitely the BEST hex-based game EVER.

    but UniWar is pretty frickin awesome I gotta admit, I love the chess with friends aspect of it.

  • Aidan

    WE NEED BATTLE FOR WESNOTH!!! if you don't know what it is, download it and play it, it's free and cross-platform and definitely the BEST hex-based game EVER.

    but UniWar is pretty frickin awesome I gotta admit, I love the chess with friends aspect of it.

  • Chris

    10.1 MB? That's pretty annoying that I have to use WIFI or hook up to my computer when they could have just cut 100k from the app. That's a bit of a fail on their part.

  • Chris

    10.1 MB? That's pretty annoying that I have to use WIFI or hook up to my computer when they could have just cut 100k from the app. That's a bit of a fail on their part.

  • Greg

    I've been playing a game through out the day against my buddy, since you can fire up the app, check on your game and then see his turn then make your move.

    Its a great model, and means I can be playing a game through out the day at random intervals. This game will certainly be made ever better with push notifications as you'll be informed when someone makes their move.

    What this game really could use is teams with variable skilled AI. So far this is the most successful multiplayer game I've played. Lets Golf was good but interruptions would kill a game which doesn't work for the iPhone crowd.

  • Greg

    I've been playing a game through out the day against my buddy, since you can fire up the app, check on your game and then see his turn then make your move.

    Its a great model, and means I can be playing a game through out the day at random intervals. This game will certainly be made ever better with push notifications as you'll be informed when someone makes their move.

    What this game really could use is teams with variable skilled AI. So far this is the most successful multiplayer game I've played. Lets Golf was good but interruptions would kill a game which doesn't work for the iPhone crowd.

  • http://twitter.com/monkeyrotica monkeyrotica

    This seems like a really flexible platform. I wonder how much programming it would take to just adapt the graphics and make this a WWII hex game or an Ultima-style dungeon game or something along the line of the Steve Jackson GURPs games? This one reminds me a lot of his game, OGRE.

  • http://twitter.com/monkeyrotica monkeyrotica

    This seems like a really flexible platform. I wonder how much programming it would take to just adapt the graphics and make this a WWII hex game or an Ultima-style dungeon game or something along the line of the Steve Jackson GURPs games? This one reminds me a lot of his game, OGRE.

  • antonioj

    How about adding facebook connect to this??? would be awesome

  • antonioj

    How about adding facebook connect to this??? would be awesome

  • nlx

    true !

  • nlx

    true !

  • simba

    Could someone help me beat level seven? I've tried so many different strategies

  • simba

    Could someone help me beat level seven? I've tried so many different strategies

  • mobius

    simba here is a tip for you:

    *tip/possible spoiler alert - so I've typed the advice in backwards*
    sesunob niarret rieht dna seniram gnisu yrt

  • mobius

    simba here is a tip for you:

    *tip/possible spoiler alert - so I've typed the advice in backwards*
    sesunob niarret rieht dna seniram gnisu yrt

  • http://www.cihanimparatoru.com cihanimparatoru

    nice game :=))

  • http://www.cihanimparatoru.com cihanimparatoru

    nice game :=))