Pike and Shot [$19.99 (HD)] is out now on iOS from strategy vets Slitherine. This port of a PC game has made the transition very well. I bet you saw the price tag on this game, but let me be the first to tell you it's worth it. If you are wondering what the balance between quality and quantity is for this title, the balance is that it comes with heaping amounts of both. A host of features, in depth combat, historical narratives and a clean visual style make this an amazingly well rounded premium game.

In Pike and Shot, you will take on the role of army commander in a variety of game modes including campaigns, asynchronous multiplayer and even user created scenarios. The game focuses on 1600's style combat featuring the old "stand in a line and take turns shooting at each other" strategy. As silly as it seems in hindsight, there was still a large amount of strategy involved in battles of that time, and the game does a solid job of imparting to you what they were and how to utilize them in game. Extremely detailed tutorials will ease you into this game even if you have never played a war game before. Victory on the battlefield requires a certain percentage of the enemy army to be routed. Getting the enemy to break rank and run is extremely satisfying, especially when you can align your charges to create a domino effect of collapsing enemy troops.

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Each unit you control in game has strengths and weaknesses. You could sit and shoot an armored enemy turn after turn with nothing to show for it, but if you treat a light unit to the same attention, you might see it scattering very soon. Some units excel on charge impact and others do better in prolonged melee combat. Others yet can althogether dodge away from charging enemies to bait a charge. Most strong units are costly and you only get a certain amount of currency to employ extra troops each fight, but they do pack a large punch that I usually cannot help but splurge on.

If you are expecting a hex grid for this game, you might be disappointed to find that it is laid out on a square grid. This is probably the biggest departure from standard strategy games. I don't mind this, especially since it's actually an octagonal grid in disguise. Units can aim diagonally to charge and shoot, which means the angle of attack isn't nearly as limited as you might initially assume. The Octo grid works well for this game. It is very head-on and, well, it just makes sense given the battle strategy of the time period.

Visually, the game offers a clean if not spartan experience. The UI is compact and intuitive, but the maps and terrain are regrettably similar. While it is more interesting that staring at a grid, Pike and Shot does little to break up the rolling country side you fight the majority of battles upon. Our forum thread has had some concerns surface in this regard as well. Walls and barriers do offer some diversity on the strategic side of things, I just wish it had rolled over a little more into the graphical side of things. One other thing you might expect to be in the game is a fog of war mechanic. It makes sense to me that it is not included. This is, after all, a large amount of men standing in open fields gunning each other down at times at point blank ranges. I enjoy the fog mechanic when it shows in a strategy game, but it's absence here is understandable.

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As a game in the $20 price bracket, it's expected that Pike and Shot come fully loaded with it's async multiplay and multiple campaign scenarios as well as skirmish options. I think that is kind of the general feel of the game. The majority of the game only achieves what is expected and doesn't break the mold. It does, however, fit the mold very well. One thing I do really enjoy is the domino effect feeling of rolling through the flank of an enemy army. It actually reminded me greatly of my days playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle on the table top. Much like Pike and Shot, WFB also primarily functions on the rank and file approach to stand and shoot warfare. Just like Pike and Shot, a WFB flank charge was often devastatingly delicious.

It is funny that for less than the cost of taking someone to a movie you could get this game, but it is still considered a high price for an app. With that said, I don't think you could go wrong if you are even slightly interested. The game has strategic depth and lacks the cracks and wrinkles of many of its competitors.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • PoloBaquerizoH

    Slitherine gem games, this one is a must have for any War Strategy fans

  • Luciano1084

    Still mastering BA2.. Really, really, really tempted though

  • gmattergames

    Not going to challenge the level of quality of Slitherine titles, but i do question their value. The cost of going to the movie analogy does put things in perspective, or does it? How about this, if this were a new car, how much would it cost based on comparable market price points? An even better comparison would be, how does this stack up to other $20 titles? Not easy to compare, since there are so few. Is our perception of its value impacted by its price?

    • God's Grundle

      I look at the value of games by how much joy they bring me compared to paying for extra sauce packets at McDonalds. At my McDonalds, packets of barbecue sauce cost 30 cents a pop. It's really nice when you eat your nuggets to have a bountiful amount of sauce and can have each bite absolute slathered, so I rate additional sauce packets very high as a product that brings great joy to my life.

      iOS games, I'm not so sure. Is this game able to stack up to roughly 67 packets of McDonalds barbecue sauce? That's nearly half a gallon of the good stuff. Do you have any idea what I could do with that? How does this game even compare? Again, I'm not trying to challenge the level of quality of Slitherine titles but we live in a world where McDonalds sauce packets don't exactly grow on trees and when you're on a fixed income you really need to choose your battles.

      As far as whether or not this game is worth as much as going to a movie, well, I'd have to ask which movie as certain movies provide a far greater value proposition than others. For instance, the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy features a run time of 144 minutes. That represents a far greater value than going to see Hercules which only runs 98 minutes. That's 46 minutes you're getting screwed out of. Do you think the ticket price is any less? Of course not.

      • Jake7905

        You lost me at McDonalds....

      • Stormourner

        I'm lovin' it

      • TooMassive

        You had me at sauce packets

      • coolpepper43

        My god! Your McDonald's is ripping you off on sauce packets. I like to think of everything in terms of bacon. I would usually get bacon on my burger and never really think of the extra costs. It's usual about a dollar for bacon. Every game .99 cent game I get, I think to myself I sometimes pay more than that for just bacon on my burger.

      • reverand79

        Save yourself... McDonald's is poisoning you slowly... Seriously. Cmon man, your comparing the value of happiness to bbq sauce? For the sake of your heart bro, start eating healthy and make an attempt at leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Your post is very disconcerting... If your healthy and occasionally indulge yourself in this filth I'm sorry for being presumptuous. But if all your doing is "slathering" poison on top of more poison while being sedentary playing vids... Holy smokes guy. Don't wait till your fingers and toes start to turn black and rot off before changing your lifestyle. Do it now!

      • coolpepper43

        My bacon post now makes me feel dirty.

      • jForsythe

        Mustard sauce man mustard sauce.

  • Eseres

    Im not against devs charging these kind of prices on a premium game at all. For as long as its cheaper as a digital copy than an actual physical copy. The cost of the packaging design and production and all the other contents in the box costs money to produce. These costs should and will disappear when you buy and download a digital copy, and thats a good thing. I know some people might rage against a game at this cost, but the devs need food on their table as well. I much rather pay this kind of money for a proper game once, than getting it for "free" and be forced to spend money and get ads slapped in my face forever. I hope to see more of this in the future. With all that said, and with all that I have against freemium games, there is still a market AND need for these games as well. I have played a few freemium games that were actually pretty great, but mostly I have ran into paywalls, and thats what ruins those games for me. I could have written a lot more, but Im going to stop here 😀 I will check this game out as soon as my paycheck arrives though 🙂

  • dancj

    An octagonal grid? But octagons don't tessellate.

    • C. Stubb

      An octagonal grid could be square tiles with diagonal and axial movement, thus allowing eight moves from a single tile.

      • dancj

        That's a square grid that allows diagonal movement.

      • Andrew Fretz

        It's octagonal because you can not only move diagnoally but also face in diagonal directions. This is important for firing and charge line of sight arcs.

      • dancj

        That's still a square grid. I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • Lickzy

    No pay wall? No problem!

    I'll pay top dollar and be in there like swimwear. F*%# IAPs and Ads.

  • DemoEvolved

    Anyone that despises f2p and wrote a comment about premium apps being the right way to price a game needs to buy this game. Even if you hate war games. In other news king is working on a $49.99 single buy Frogger clone that should be next on your list.

  • Papa Deuce

    No game is worth $20 to me on mobile.

    • dancj

      I agree - thought I'd include any platform.

  • mtsasnak

    After buying their Frontline DDay and not being able to play it because of its crashes, I just want to know if this game has any bugs. I am quite willing to shell out the money, but after the Frontline DDay experience of piss poor tutorial, no instructions, bugs, and crashes, I want to know that what I am getting is a finished working product.

    • Andrew Fretz

      It runs very well on my ipad 3. No crashes, detailed tutorials.

      • mtsasnak

        Thanks!

  • Jim Shorts

    Easily worth 67 packets McDonald's barbecue sauce.

Pike and Shot Reviewed by Andrew Fretz on . Rating: 4.5