There are quite a few options for RTS fans available on the App Store, all of varying degrees of quality. Typically they suffer from one of two different problems. Either the complex nature of the game is too convoluted to be effective with a touch screen interface, or the entire experience is too stripped down and lacks any substance in order to accommodate accessible controls. Although there has been some strong entries in the genre, it doesn't really feel like anyone has got it “just right” yet.

That all changed last month with the release of Land Air Sea Warfare [$4.99] by developer Isotope 244. LASW gets it “just right”, offering a full console-like RTS experience with brilliantly executed, easy to use touch screen controls. The only features lacking in LASW are a proper single player campaign and multiplayer. That first issue is somewhat of a non-issue actually, as the amount of options available for play is just ridiculous. There is endless replayability due to the randomized maps and the amount of customization available in this game. In saying that it lacks a campaign, all that really means is it lacks a cohesive storyline to play through. If this is something that you look for in an RTS, then you may feel disappointed with LASW. If all you need is solid, highly configurable battles against an intelligent and scalable AI, then LASW will more than fit that bill.

As for multiplayer, it's not included in this current release but remains an option for the future. If you're looking to get your battle on against real life human opponents, you may look to the multiplayer-focused Armada: Galactic War which we previously reviewed and found to be excellent. It's conceivable that owning each title will fulfill all your offline and online RTS needs for a long time to come. A list of ideas for future updates to LASW has been posted by the developer in our forums, and includes a bevy of balance tweaks and performance optimizations. The game is really solid right now though, and only stands to get better through updates.

While it's tough to detail every last element of a game as robust as LASW, if you're already a big RTS fan, I'll offer you this advice – go buy this game right now. You need it. You'll love it. It's a truly excellent single player RTS affair. If you're on the fence, you can download a demo of the game on your Windows/Mac computer from the Isotope 244 website to get an idea of what it's like. Also, the game's forum thread has been overflowing with positive remarks since release. Forum member steelfires nicely summarizes the game with a review in our User Review section as well. Or, you can do like so many of us have done at times, and just click that Buy Now button with reckless abandon. I don't think you'll be disappointed. A game the caliber of Land Air Sea Warfare doesn't come around all that often on our devices, and surely should not be missed.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Cameron

    The graphics and icon are extremely unattractive.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Wow: you read that review, watch that video, and that's all you can come
      up with? You must be a real hoot at parties...

    • http://www.hbdia.com IzzyNobre

      You are kidding right? The graphics are excellent and the gameplay, even more so. The game looks and feels a lot like Total Annihilation and to have that kind of depth in a portable game is simply amazing.

      Can't think of any other game more deserving of the asking price.

    • http://www.isotope244.com Rasterman

      LOL, thats what I spent most of today doing, creating new icon ideas. I did a bunch of them, but after looking at them I don't really like any of them except for one, a cool picture of the Magna Lase!

    • JCat

      Next stop: Eye specialist.

    • http://www.isotope244.com Rasterman
  • http://doesnothaveoneyet ultimo

    Finally This thang gets a Front page cover @ TA!

  • Munkie!

    About time... Great game, do not hesitate to purchase it.

    Munkie!

  • Reaganomics

    This is the essential RTS for any fan of the genre. I'm blown away by the details this game has...from the animations to the voices to the unit upgrades. It has it all!

  • tahner

    Is this a proper review or a shill? BUY IT NOW BUY IT NOW BUY IT NOW. Might as well be a press release.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Play the game and you'll understand where he's coming from. Besides, the game came out a full month ago -- kind of late for shilling.

    • Jared Nelson

      The title doesn't say "Review" for a reason. It's not meant to be a proper review, although we had one planned - it just fell thru for various reasons. This game has been out for a month now, so this is more of a "Hey check out this awesome game" article to expose the game to people who don't frequent our forums.

      If you do frequent our forums, you would see that it's one of the more popular game threads and the general consensus is that it's a "must buy", which TA agrees with.

      Plus, if we were shilling the game it wouldn't make much sense to mention one of LASW's direct competitors (Armada). :rolleyes:

      • Sookie

        That video demo does the game very little favors.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        You mean because seeing that many units being handled at the same time with no performance hit tends to bum people out?

      • Xurkey

        Square, he makes a good point the video offers very little information about the game. You just see many units on the screen, awesome, but tell me more about the game.

        Learn to comment.

      • http://www.isotope244.com Rasterman

        The video is more of a promotional trailer than a tutorial. I will be making a full tutorial video in the future, if you would like more of a tutorial please see izzynobre's video

        iphone gameplay video/tutorial
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2qCMY66B6Y

        desktop version gameplay videos
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU_o8Ur_Ad0
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzXI-LgymTo

  • Meanpooh

    Gotta purchase this. It will be my portable Supreme Commander.

    • Xurkey

      What an awful rts that was.

  • Matt

    Would of liked some kind of campaign and multiplayer. This would be the best game ever if it had those. as it is now it feels kind of empty. Still a very well made game though.

  • http://appstoreblog.com.br Nick

    Looks great. I can't wait for the iPad version!

  • Barack

    OMG! Finally a front-page review!

  • Fruho

    Great to see this article, but disappointed by the lack of detail it goes into. It provides links to everything important though. If someone really wants a lot of details about this game, they should really check out Steelfires review. I sincerely hope this game gets the traction it deserves

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Peter Lettieri

      Yeah I'll wear that one. I originally had plans to review it, but it was such a comprehensive game, coupled with me running headlong into law exams at the time, that I kept putting it off. Jared graciously picked up my slack, and I'm just stoked that he's given it the attention it deserves.

  • randomdude

    This is an awesome game! By far the best RTS out there! Go buy it

  • steelfires

    Yeah! My review is mentioned.

  • backtothis

    It was nice of them just to take the time of doing this either way, since it must be very busy here right now.

    And like fruho says, check out steelfires review, mines coming very soon (tomorow maybe) as well, sorry got interrupted by Phoenix wright. I haven't even bothered playing my other new games due to PW.

    But yeah, listen guys, coming from a long time rts fan, this is it
    for the idevice at the moment.

    • steelfires

      Nice to see that as well. Glad to see my gift coming to some use.

      • Cifuang

        maybe when this game gets multi, which hopefully it will... backtothis will be as extreme with it as Armada :P

  • Xurkey

    An RTS with no online play, what's the point?

    Oh and that Armada game, complete crap.

    Come on Touch Arcade we can do better now.

    • Jared Nelson

      To play the computer.

      Care to elaborate on why it's crap?

      Please enlighten me on what would be better.

      • Xurkey

        Online play for starters. If it gets online I would get it.

      • TheFamousEccles

        As long as the AI is good, online is unnecessary.

    • Xurkey

      I guess some people would only want a.i. play because they could never beat a real person.

      Learn to play, and online play is neccessary.

  • araczynski

    looks too hectic to be any fun, maybe i'm just not into the rts equivalent of bullet hell.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      The video shows accelerated gameplay. You can have things run at normal speed.

    • Reaganomics

      Lol, some people can't be pleased. It's their loss and our gain.

      • Cifuang

        Not hectic at all... check out izzynombre's review on youtube, no different than starcraft. If you can't micro then it's your fault, not the games.

  • TheFamousEccles

    The fact that people are complaining so much about this proves the theory that you can't please everyone.

    • Xurkey

      Or it's not as good as it could be? Online play for starters would help.

  • backtothis

    Xurkey deserves to be burned.

    • Xurkey

      Care to explain?

  • Reaganomics

    I bet these are developers writing this negative feedback.

    • Sookie

      And recommending their own games. BTW Nazi Zombie sucks even at .99 cents.

      • Reaganomics

        ROFL.

    • Xurkey

      So everyone who dislikes a game you like is an angry developer out for revenge?

      Learn to comment.

  • MrMuesli

    So, where are all those people from the Starcraft post weeks ago adamant that for RTS you NEED a keyboard with hot keys? LASW seems to work just fine as far as I can tell.

    • Reaganomics

      Exactly. Loosers.

  • Robert Stone

    Is there a game like this but instead of tanks/aircrafts/boats, it's different alien species armed with various weapons?

    That would be a visual treat.

    • Xurkey

      StarCraft: Brood War...

  • GG

    Doesn't look too bad, but in order to play an rts correctly you really do NEED hotkeys.

    Even Blizzard recognizes this. After all, they added challenges in Starcraft 2 that teach players how to use hotkeys by disabling all on-screen UI to get them ready for online competitive play.

    • http://www.isotope244.com Rasterman

      This is true for online play, when being fast matters, but if you are playing AI you can set the game to a slower or faster update rate to match the speed of your play, so how fast you can issue commands is irrelevant. I also tried to make the game more about higher level strategy than micro management, (no farms to maintain, infinite build, queue multiple factories at once)

  • RjMacready

    If ever there was a game perfectly suited to the retina display this is it, any word on whether or not the dev is gonna upgrade to os4 and include a high Rez graphic set? If that's the case I'd buy this in an instant

  • Malkom K

    Schweeeet!

  • http://twitter.com/tonyh118 Tony Holder

    Excellent game but a campaign mode would be great

Land Air Sea Warfare Reviewed by Jared Nelson on . Rating: 4