Category Archives: Strategy

Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] has already proven to be a smash hit for Nintendo, at one point topping even Clash of Clans and Game of War in the App Store's Top Grossing charts. That said, the combination of a well-known brand and Nintendo's name almost ensures that any release from the company will make a mark in the charts. What Nintendo has yet to pull off is keeping an app there. Though Fire Emblem has slid a little bit, it's still doing quite well. In hopes of keeping that fire burning, Nintendo has sent out a notice detailing a few changes coming to the game in the next few weeks...

If you've been interested in checking out the strategy RPG Demon's Rise [$7.99] but have been hesitant about dropping the money on it up front, then today (or technically, yesterday) is your lucky day. Developer Wavelight Games have released a brand new free version appropriately called Demon's Rise Free [] which will give you access to the first nine campaign battles for the low, low price of nothing. Then, if you like that initial taste, you can simply unlock the full game through a one-time IAP and have access to the full enchilada. In this case, the full enchilada is a whopping 85 campaign battles of monster slaying fun...




Amir Rajan, developer of the mobile version of A Dark Room [$0.99] and followups including The Ensign [$0.99], is back with a new game, called Mildly Interesting RTS [Free]. The idea is that you have a kind of Galcon-esque RTS game, where you're trying to defeat the enemy by attacking different nodes on the map, sending more units to win the node. It's got a very simple interface and look that recalls the very stripped-down A Dark Room in a way...

Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] is a lot of fun, but there are definitely a couple of things about it that can be a bummer. One of the biggest things is how maddeningly hard it is to rank up a star ranking on a hero. Moving a hero up from the four-star "almost useful" rank to the five-star "I'll keep them" rank requires grinding of two different items, and neither is particularly easy to come by. From now until the end of the month, however, Nintendo is making it a little bit easier to stock up on one of them...

The free-to-play Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] is finally upon us, and it's not as bad as some feared it would be. While the game certainly takes cues from other social RPGs like Puzzle & Dragons and Monster Strike, it's not nearly as hard on players as some examples of the genre. Still, if you're new to Fire Emblem, strategy games, or social RPG mechanics, there is a lot to take in here, and the game isn't always that good about explaining things. With that in mind, I've put together some tips and advice that should help you find your feet. Unlike the characters in Fire Emblem Awakening, right? Ha ha, we have a lot of fun around here. Don't worry, my advice is better than my jokes...

'Fire Emblem Heroes' First Impressions - Went Free to Play and Lived to Tell the Story

I'm a pretty big Fire Emblem fan. That used to be a small group, but it's gotten to be quite large of late based on the success of the recent Nintendo 3DS releases. I know some fans aren't happy with the changes in the series that brought about that success, but I'm thrilled because I don't have to worry that Nintendo is going to smuggle it away to whatever closet or crawlspace they've locked Advance Wars up in. Fire Emblem Awakening was basically the last chance for the series, and was designed to be an epic last hurrah if things came to that. As I sit here today several years later, Fire Emblem is bigger than ever. So big, in fact, that Nintendo selected it to be one of their first mobile ventures. You really never know...

In virtually every respect, Empire of Angels 4 [$9.99] is a completely average SRPG. The latest in the line of a twenty-year-old series from well-known Taiwanese publisher Softstar, it doesn't stray far from what you've likely seen in a lot of other games in this genre. You'll go from point to point on a map, advance the story, fight some turn-based battles using an ever-increasing group of units, level up your team, and move on to the next challenge. Units can come in a variety of job classes, which define what moves they have at their disposal. Battles are broken up by cut-scenes that move the story along, but the meat of the game is left to the combat...

Epic Expansion Pack 'Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion' Set to Launch in March as a Standalone App

Back in November, mobile tacticians around the globe were delighted by the launch of classic strategy epic Rome: Total War [$9.99 (HD)] marching down to the App Store. Despite being over twelve years old, The Creative Assembly's take on the real-time tactical battles of the the Roman Republic (and a whole host of other accurately depicted armies from the time) still holds up incredibly well today, and Feral Interactive's porting job managed to keep the intricate strategic commands working perfectly on the larger touch screen of the iPad. Fans of the series will undoubtedly rejoice in the fact that the developers are continuing to bring more entries in the series to the App Store, as today Feral have announced that Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion - the critically acclaimed first expansion pack for the original title - is set to launch as a standalone app on the iPad this March...

This past November Netmarble opened up pre-registration for a new PvP game set in the Star Wars universe, and following a fairly brief soft-launch period that game, Star Wars: Force Arena [Free], is now available in the App Store. In the game you'll control a main hero from either the Rebellion or the Imperial side, and then develop and use a deck of cards that will spawn your troops. The action plays out on a MOBA-style battlefield, but the actual mechanics are much closer to something like Clash Royale. It definitely seems to find that sweet spot of quick and accessible action that suits mobile so well. ..

I am mildly concerned for the wellbeing of the guys at Foursaken Media, as their unrelenting output of quality games and successive support for their quality releases is surely incompatible with sleep. Only last November we heard of Noblemen: 1896, the quartet's next release and arguably their most ambitious effort to date, and while December hasn't brought with it any new games, Foursaken Media have today released a major update in support of one of their most beloved titles. Block Fortress [$1.99] achieved significant commercial and critical success upon its release in 2013 for its unique amalgamation of Minecraft-esque building with tower defense gameplay, and although it hasn't received any significant content updates since May 2015, a huge new Holidays-themed patch has launched today with a variety of new weapons, equipment and levels, but also some more mechanical changes that have been popularly requested by fans over the years...

The original Fieldrunners [$0.99] was one of the first major indie hits on the App Store, and instigated numerous attempts at emulating Subatomic Studios' success through an abundance of similar tower defense titles. However, the first game in the series released over eight years ago (sorry for making you feel old!), which is a massive amount of time both in gaming as a whole, but especially in the fast-moving market of iOS gaming. Simply creating more iterative sequels like Fieldrunners 2 [$2.99] simply wouldn't work in the App Store of 2016, so Subatomic have flipped the formula on its head for its newest entry in the series. In Fieldrunners Attack! [Free] - which is now available for free worldwide on the App Store - you are now tasked with raiding defensive structures, as well as having to consolidate the gains made from such sieging activities, which sounds like a lot of fun for those disillusioned with typical tower defense action...

Those looking to fill out their collection of great Slitherine strategy games have been feeling pain in their wallets and joy in their hearts these last few weeks. Each week, Slitherine has been putting a different set of games on sale for some very deep discounts. This week, it's the Battle Academy and Frontline series' turn. This is your chance to stock up on some war games and get some practice in before the Great Venusian War of 2021. Er, forget you just read that...

There are few strategy games that deserve the title of a classic as much as the famous Panzer Corps, the behemoth of a strategy game that has so much content you'll never stop fighting war after war. This turn-based game comes with 10 Grand Campaigns, more than 800 unit types divided into 19 unit classes, and a ton of scenarios. Because of all that content - spanning most of the globe - and the $19.99 price for the base game, Panzer Corps isn't the most welcoming game for those who don't already know what it's all about. So, Slitherine decided to give players Panzer Corps Lite [Free (HD)] to help them painlessly dip their toes without having to buy a snorkel...

Crashlands [$4.99] kicked off 2016 with a bang (or, if you'd prefer, a crash) when it launched back in January, and with its incredible attention to detail and interesting amalgamation of action RPG and crafting action, Crashlands is a sure-fire contender for any impending Game of the Year compilations. While the original launch iteration was already outstanding, developers Butterscotch Shenanigans have continued to strive to make the game even better through successive updates that have fixed numerous minor niggles as well as add more substantial features. Today, Crashlands has received arguably its biggest update yet - the Juicemancy 1.2 patch brings with it some major gameplay mechanics as well as support for Bluetooth controllers, which is a suitable excuse for any fans to revisit the game, and a compelling reason for anyone who missed out on Crashlands first time around to experience a true iOS classic...

When it comes to strategy games, iOS is a pretty great platform. There are lots of great games in the genre at a variety of pricing levels, so no matter what your budget looks like, you can usually find something good to play. Slitherine makes some great games that tend to sit on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, and let's be honest, they're generally worth those prices. Their commitment to the iOS platform seems to be wavering of late, though, so I don't blame anyone who doesn't want to go all in at the full prices. That's where sales come in, friends, and Slitherine's having a great one at the moment...

In March of last year, Kalypso Media released a refreshing take on the roguelike genre with Crowntakers [$3.99]. By taking elements from turn-based strategy RPGs and blending in some of the most popular elements of roguelikes, they created an experience that was more than the sum of its parts. Also, by including two difficult levels, one where you could take your characters and experience levels with you game to game and one that was truly permadeath and caused you to start completely over upon death, Crowntakers appealed to a wide audience of gamers. We loved it in our review and really the only problem was that Crowntakers was an iPad-only game, limiting the amount of people who could play it. Well, that's no longer going to be the case as Kalypso has announced that Crowntakers will be receiving iPhone support this coming January. Here's how the game will look on the iPhone...

'Demon's Rise 2: Lords of Chaos' Review - And Now, the Other Side of the Coin

More than ever before, a game review these days is often little more than a snapshot of a work in progress. Developers are rarely finished with games just because they've launched, and in certain cases, so much is added after the fact that whatever I thought at a game's release no longer fits terribly well. A fine example of that is Demon's Rise [$7.99], the debut SRPG from developer Wave Light Games. Wave Light worked hard on balancing the game, adding lots of content, and implementing features, taking it far beyond what was in the initial release. In fact, the developer recently updated it again, and will be doing more in the future. It's great, but it also presents something of a challenge when it comes to a follow-up...

It is exceedingly unlikely that Square Enix will ever make another Final Fantasy Tactics [$13.99 / $15.99 (HD)] game, at least in the traditional sense. I don't say that to be a wet blanket, it's just the way that it is. The series that seemingly introduced so many Western console players to strategy RPGs, a genre which has recently seen a serious boom in popularity worldwide, has apparently rode off into the night with its creator, Yasumi Matsuno. The weak reception to the third game in the series, Final Fantasy Tactics A2, probably didn't help matters, and without Matsuno at Square Enix to champion for it, the publisher looks to have lost interest in the brand. There were a couple of free-to-play browser games that didn't really go anywhere, but I suspect that's not the sort of thing that series fans are looking for anyway. What to do?..

'Dungeon Rushers' Merges Turn-Based Strategy With Level Creation, Launching February 2017

Mi-Clos Studios have forged a reputation releasing for high-quality, atmospheric games on the App Store over the years, with Out There: Omega Edition [$1.99] being one of our favourite titles of 2014 (and the later 2015 revamp solidifying such glowing praise). As a result, anything with the Mi-Clos moniker immediately grasps my attention - the recently announced Antioch: Scarlet Bay has definitely piqued my interest, but it's the upcoming iOS port of Dungeon Rushers that has made me particularly excited for what 2017 has in store for gamers on the App Store. Dungeon Rushers - which already released on Steam back in September - combines turn-based strategy with dungeon crawling elements, sprinkled with a whole host of classic RPG tropes such as epic exploration across a whole host of environments and extensive customisation options, and should be releasing on iOS in February of next year. If the launch trailer is anything to go by, Dungeon Rushers should certainly be worth the wait...

'SteamWorld Heist' Review - Stealing Hearts and Minds Around the Galaxy

Last year, I was asked to participate in voting for some dedicated handheld Game of the Year awards. When it came time to submit my votes for the Nintendo 3DS, my list had many of the expected choices on it. There was Capcom's Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and Atlus's Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker. But among these franchise games from some of the industry's biggest names, I had also included a download-only title from a relatively small developer. Moreover, I had put it at the top of my list. With exclamation points. And maybe some hearts. That game was SteamWorld Heist [$9.99], an outstanding strategy game from Swedish game studio Image & Form. The game has since released on a number of platforms, and its latest stop is on iOS...

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