It's been a while since Rubicon Development released their excellent turn-based strategy title Great Big War Game [$2.99 / Free] on the App Store, nearly a year and a half in fact, and you may be wondering just what the developer has been up to in that time. If you guessed that they've been working on a sequel called Greater Bigger War-ier Game, you'd be wrong, but they do have another strategy title on the way which is great news. It's called Combat Monsters, and you can see it in action in this brand new "'80s cartoon-themed" trailer.

Oh man, I love that trailer. Combat Monsters will release on iOS, Android and PC, and provide cross-platform play between versions. Some of the bullet-point features include 132 unique monsters across 11 races with more than 50 unique abilities, 70 unique weapons, 28 different armor sets and 42 different spells to cast. Whew, that's a lot of numbers of things. Best of all is that Combat Monsters will be launching this Wednesday, which means we won't have to wait long to give it a spin.

  • gnome9er

    looks fun

  • Rubicon Development

    Thanks for picking this up, Jared. Been a long time coming and I can't wait to see what people think of it.

    "Greater Bigger War-ier Game"
    Hmmm, now you've put it like that.... πŸ™‚

    • Xissoric

      Hey guys, don't know if you'll answer this but I have a question about this upcoming game. Are you going to be able to collect weapons/armor/etc to build your army over multiple games or will it be more of a card strategy game? Thanks!

      • Rubicon Development

        Did my reply disappear or is that just me?

        The short answer is "both"

      • Peter

        Can you tell me the minimum requirements? (supported devices / iOS version)

      • Rubicon Development

        iPad 2 and onwards.
        iPhone 4 onwards + iPod Touch 4th Gen.

        It actually runs on legacy iPad as well, but there's no way to get that through the App Store filter options without having to also include the 3GS which will not run it. Shame. πŸ™

      • Peter

        Nice to know! I'm certainly getting it. πŸ™‚

      • Xissoric

        Thanks for the answer!

  • Jake7905

    Hopefully the freemium pay model doesn't turn this into a Great Big Lame Game.

    • Rubicon Development

      Yeah, that zero pricetag will get a lot of backs up just because, but you will not need to pump endless coin into this and it's really not pay to win. (Despite the fact that I can feel people queuing up to say it is. πŸ™‚

      There are options to buy more stuff quicker, and support us if you're so inclined, but the bottom line here is this: If you buy the coin tripler ($2.99) you will be as competitive as anyone else very rapidly. Pay nothing and you'll get to the same point but admittedly a lot slower.

      We've designed this as a $2.99 game that you can play for free for a bit before deciding to spend money on it. And then when you realise how awesome it is, you can decide to spend more if you choose but without any nagging or paywalls and timers.

      However, what you're buying with the bigger spend is more options in the deck editor to pick and choose strategies for the next battle. But you only need one deck at a time to compete online, so there is no P2W about it.

      If you don't trust the above, well that's an advantage of F2P - you can check it out for free and call out any bullshit if you see it.

      I just wanted to get that out there early! πŸ™‚

      • oooooomonkey

        Sounds like a good system

      • sivad

        Then my hat goes off to your model, because I was very skeptical of the free tag because I'm a huge fan of your war games. Thank as for the closure as I now can sleep better πŸ™‚

      • joaquin_ondamoon

        Excellent! I wish more devs would go with this model. Let me try it out, and give me the option of unlocking the full game, additional scenarios, etc. It seems to me that it's the bigger distributors (yeah, I'm looking at you, EA), that want to milk the crap out of consumers with paywalls and IAP. I'm guessing they're scared shitless that a premium game will fall flat on it's face, and bring them zero return, whereas it's easier to put out a crappy F2P grinder loaded with IAP. Even if it sucks, it brings in cash.
        Look at the top 'free' games on iTunes, and they're all casual throwaway games. [/end rant]
        Anyway, I'm gonna pick this up and give it a try, if only to support guys like this who are actually trying to produce something with substance.
        Kudos, guys.

      • Crimzzen

        So why not just release it as a premium game? If your confident in your product why not just put a price on it and call it a day?

        If your worried about exposure, why not offer it for free with an IAP to unlock the full version?

        Personally it seems like your trying to sell to us that your IAP F2P game is really just a premium game as long as you purchase these IAP...

      • toxiccheese

        Why would the dev let you spend $2.99 on a one time unlock, when they could potentially get you to spend an initial $2.99 plus more $ on other items or coins?

        Honestly, these kinds of prices are really cheap when it comes to mobile gaming. What you get for the money is usually a great value.

      • Crimzzen

        It is possible to live comfortably without being greedy IMO.

        If the games good, it will sell. Look at XCOM or the modern warfare series, etc etc. Premium games with a premium price, I bet the debs made a good chunk of change too. All without cheapening their game or image. The F2P model hurts the gaming industry and makes me hesitant to support any developer who implements it, no matter how noble their cause may be. I dunno about you but I loathe the day when Xbox or PC games are given out for free but loaded IAP, it's already starting, look at DLC.

        I had no problems paying full retail for a game 10 years ago, especially when they were quality and provided more than a few hours enjoyment and weren't loaded with greedy incentives to spend money on this or that. I'd have no problem today dropping the $$$ on a game like that today.

      • Rubicon Development

        >> If the games good, it will sell
        That's a joke, right? I can show you a dozen good games a week that disappear without trace.

        I was trying to avoid this conversation as I'm obviously biased so could never win it. However your suppositions are just flat wrong.

        Without a corresponding drop in chart position, the income from our premium games has quartered over the last six months and is still dropping. It's already below covering the (relatively low) wages of a single team member and it took five guys to make GBWG.

        Money is draining out of premium game sales like an open tap. This is because less and less people are buying premium games now as they want to try before they buy, and I totally get that. Who wouldn't.

        The market has spoken and they want F2P games. It's spoken so loudly that only a mega hit like those you mention is going to make the sort of financial return needed to cover just the costs of developing something the scale of Combat Monsters, let alone allow a reasonable profit.

        All this talk of greed and profiteering is so wide of the mark that it's hard for me to type this out without getting all indignant about it. How I wish the market realities were anything like what you describe.

      • Jake7905

        You guys are obviously just trying to make quality games while also dealing with the (harsh) reality of the mobile market. Your response and pay model clarified that for me. There's a big difference between free-to-play and greedy freemium IMO.

        A good free-to-play game may require a lot of grinding, but the IAP's are geared towards non-consumables and there are no paywalls or timers. A greedy freemium game is designed to require a lot of grinding even with IAP's: the IAP's are all consumable, and there are multiple paywalls and timers designed to manipulate the player into feeding the game a continual flow flow of cash.

      • REkzkaRZ

        @rubicondevelopment:disqus -- glad you spoke up. The whining level on TA about freemium is immense, but then there are a bunch of folks who won't pay $2 for a game.
        I have *ZERO* issue with freemium if it's done right. There are ways to do that. I believe in your ability to do it right.
        I see "do it right" as --> give some of the game for free (ie 10 levels, or 5 characters, or mode X, or whatever) and pay 1 fee to unlock the rest.
        You can also have an in-game currency & some junkies can spend real $ to boost their in-game $. That seems fine.
        The areas I find harsh, as I bet most folks here do, are the 'keep paying to play' model, the $1 per character model, the dual currencies (freemium & premium), and the 'pressure to buy constantly' games.
        Another good way to do it is have ad-driven game w/the 'pay $1 for no ads' model.
        I never blame devs for attempting to monetize their creations. But it's the style, finesse, and 'did you kill the app to get the $' question which is foremost for gamers.
        And then there's the price-point question -- I know video games range now from free to $60+, but most mobile games should run between $2 and $5 IMO.
        If someone is obsessed with a game, make sure there's a simple way for them to pay more & get more...
        For me, most of the 'freemium & pay to unlock' games get me to play the free content & then say "I don't like it that much", & delete. But occasionally I pay & stay to play, and that builds some serious loyalty!!!

      • whitestatic

        I'm diggin' your biz model for this as I think it threads the needle. I'm a huge advocate for letting people try before they buy (and I mean really buy) and your hook for the coin tripler feels like a happy medium. I'm not necessarily the target market for that as I would be just as happy to give you 2.99 up-front based on game footage, reviews, and quite honestly your previous responses on this thread.

        I don't know that I agree that the "market has spoken." I would argue that the market has become diluted with a particular type of pay model and upended consumer expectations. XCOM isn't just about an established franchise per se, they just went after the traditional console/pc gamer (with a traditional game which in and of itself put it in a different category). I don't see people playing XCOM on the train or subway--but I do see a massive amount of people playing Candy Crush.

        Mobile gaming is insanely turbulent right now and I hope you guys continue what you're doing. Personally I don't believe the market can sustain this for very long before there's a backlash. Every single market for every type of industry you can think of goes through this growth period. Mobile gaming is still in its infancy and issues like F2P vs Premium will sort themselves out as it progresses to something closer to adulthood. Finding a way to please both camps, as it appears you have done, is the smartest thing a developer can do (combined with a kick-ass experience obviously).

      • Scot Damn

        "It is possible to live comfortably without being greedy IMO."

        What does that even mean? Think about that.

        XCOM is an established IP so that isn't the same thing at all. Just because a game is F2P doesn't mean it's automatically "evil" or bad. It can be done right, and it seems this one might be. I realize a lot of F2P games ruin game experience, but it isn't a cold and hard rule.

        Again, it's all about the design and execution of the pay model.

      • REkzkaRZ

        Hey, their point was correct -- there's a way to do f2p which is douchey, and a way that is kind and benign.

        The douche method we would attribute to the greedy evil ones -- mobage, EA, etc.

        The finesse method I think would fit for Nimble Bit games, WazHack, etc.

        XCOM was greedy, and then after being around for awhile they cut their price point -- how does that feel for people that just spent $20 on the game? I bet it doesn't breed loyalty, even tho the game is good. (And boy is it good! I played the crap out of that game on PS3. Was disappointed w/end tho.)

      • Scot Damn

        Super solid points there. Regarding XCOM, I personally took advantage of the sale when it dropped down to $10, but I thought the same thing - How do the people who bought it for $20 feel?

        I believe and hope the market will eventually balance out to where the finesse model (nimble bit) will be thee model to go for and not the EA model which is does totally ruin a games experience.

        I'm always ready to support a premium model though.

      • Phoenix24

        I got XCOM shortly after launch at full price and do not feel one bit let down by the recent sale, but I did encourage fence sitters to take the plunge.

        All things go on sale, and if you are unhappy with the initial price don't buy it and wait until you see it at a price you are happy with / can afford.

        If you paid full price for a game and really enjoyed it, I don't see the point of whining later if it goes on sale. The price you pay is part of the experience and if you are initially happy with your purchase then the price is fair. You can't go around in life worrying about what you could have had and looking backwards.

        Initial prices of games are usually the high know there WILL be a sale so you buy it and enjoy....or wait for a sale. End of.

      • REkzkaRZ

        @toucharcade-84d51ec8762cb9a8f7c9b94696e0278c:disqus - I agree, BUT it really hurts if you pay the price and then it goes on sale the next day. πŸ™‚

      • Jake7905

        Thanks for the detailed response, I'll give it an honest try.

  • Suji

    Looked liked a Boardgame/TCG/Strategy/Action-game thingy.

    It showed a lot of the game mechanics, like the cards for equip, probably spells and skills to, the floor has patterns probably buffs and debuffs, turn-based combat as well.

    looks good.

    • REkzkaRZ

      Looks like Star Wars chess.

      If it would really go 3D, I'd so be there!!!

  • Ramaz1234

    Looks good and will probaly pick this up when it releases since it's free but I'm having a lot of trouble putting down Pokemon Y >~<

  • NOEN

    Lol, LOVE the trailer!

  • The Gamer Dude

    Any single player? Or is this just multi?

    • Rubicon Development

      The game shines best in multiplayer in our opinion, but there's plenty of single player to keep people busy.

  • Evolution888

    I hope this works on my apparently ghetto iTouch 4th gen :/

  • ImJPaul

    This. Looks. Gnarly.

  • GameExp3rt

    Trailer seems like an old tv series(0.0 makes me think if developers were on drugs), other than that it looks fun

  • whitestatic

    Please tell me that soundtrack is playing throughout the game.

    • Rubicon Development

      Sadly not, the in-game music is a little less in-yer-face. But if we could get something going to time the crescendo's to in-game action then that would really be something!

      Our aritst is busily making a sing-a-long version, I kid you not! πŸ™‚

      • whitestatic

        Please ask the artist to have a bouncing sword (or some other icon from the game) for the sing-a-long. πŸ™‚

        Also, in lieu of the soundtrack missing from the game, I would settle for a "Big Hair" Armor set (that would be a sweet helmet, not to mention studded leather armor).

      • Rubicon Development


        Will put it on the list, but no promises... πŸ˜‰

  • Rothgarr

    That... song...

  • The kernel

    Instabuy. Rubicon Dev are good devs. This looks to be like it would fill my MOBA and RTS itches both at the same time. I commend you.

  • admo

    Looking forward to trying this on my iphone (small screen, but I always have it with me) and my nexus 7 (big screen, but not always with me and only works for multiplayer when I'm on wifi). I assume it will be on Google Play tonight when this is released on ios, or tomorrow?

    • Rubicon Development

      It will be on google play in about 12 hours, just finishing up a final QA pass on it. Same for PC.

      It's leeching out on iOS already, depending on where you are. It comes out as your timezone hits midnight and officially becomes wednesday. Got a few guys playing already, well exciting!

      • admo

        Awesome! Downloading right now from Google Play. Should release in about an hour on the iOS store in about an hour.

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