Category Archives: Strategy

It was just about a year ago that Mi-Clos Studio launched their haunting deep-space survival game Out There [$3.99] to critical praise, including our own 5 star review and Game of the Week nod. In July of last year the studio announced that Out There would be getting a huge revamp dubbed the "Omega Edition" and along with that it would be expanding to PC, Mac and Linux. Just last month, Mi-Clos revealed the first images of Omega Edition and detailed some of the changes and new features that it would include. Today the beta version of Out There: Omega Edition has launched and Mi-Clos has released the first trailer showing off some of the new features in the game, including the slick new graphical engine...

Ambition Of The Slimes [Free] appeared on the App Store worldwide a few months back, but until recently, the only language it offered was Japanese, making it tough to play for people using every App Store except Japan's. An English patch was promised in the notes, but after a few updates came with no sign of a translation, I had assumed the developer meant it in a 'someday' kind of way. Apparently not, however, as the game's most recent update finally opened up the game to English players. So, as I promised back in the first article I wrote about the game, I'm here to give the game a proper review...

In October of last year, a bizarre and intriguing tactical strategy game called Ambition of the Slimes [Free] was released. The premise was that those adorable little slimes that have been fodder in RPGs for decades are finally sick of being pushed around, so they decide to fight back. The way they do this is by inhabiting the bodies of humans. The game plays out in turn-based fashion as you tactfully position your slimes near human enemies, take over their bodies, and then use those inhabited humans as weapons against the rest of the humans. It's kind of twisted, but everything's oh-so-cute, so it's ok. ..

In the first half of 2014, the hottest trend in war strategy games was the Eastern front of World War 2. We had entries from Hunted Cow, Shenandoah Studio, and Slitherine, all within a fairly short span of time. Slitherine's title, Frontline: Road To Moscow [$2.99], was a slightly more accessible strategy game than their usual fare, and although it lacked the depth that fans of the genre tend to crave, I enjoyed it well enough. The game had a huge variety of units to play with, took terrain conditions into account, and had just enough below the surface to keep me engaged without crushing me. On top of that, the visual designs of the pieces were excellent, the base game included a generous amount of missions, and while it did release in a bit of an Eastern front boom period, the overall scenario was still quite novel for me. In theory, I should be the perfect target for a follow-up...

Foursaken Media tackled the deficiency in games inspired by Mega Man Battle Network last year with their action-RPG Phantom Rift [$0.99]. Haven't gotten a chance to check it out yet? Well, now's as good a time as any, as the game is on sale for $0.99. The game combines deck-building with real-time combat, as you create decks of attacks, and draw them out in battles, which you use against enemies, but with an energy cost to equip. You also get to explore a world that is built before your eyes, Bastion-style [$4.99], and can get all manner of equipment to deck out your wizard...

In May of 2013, developer Mode 7 released Frozen Synapse [$9.99 (HD)] for the iPad, a tactical strategy game that had received critical praise when it released on PC and Mac the year before. Unsurprisingly, the game translated incredibly well to the iPad. However, ever since its iPad release fans had been clamoring for Frozen Synapse on the iPhone. Being that the interface of the game was already quite busy even on the larger iPad screen, an iPhone version would be a challenge, but in April of last year Mode 7 promised just that. It took quite a while, but Frozen Synapse iPhone [$2.99] is finally now available...

Super Glyph Quest [$0.99] is quite popular around these parts, as we were big fans of the game in our review, and the forum thread is several hundred posts strong, with the developers joining in and chatting about the game. It's a game that's still growing, too, as it's just gotten a nice content update for Christmas. There's a new location, the Frozen North, where players have to take on Ice Goblins and Arctic Trolls, and meet new characters Ice Queen Yngvill and Julenir, completing quests for them. There's new items to collect, and an overhauled Adventure system to boot...

I've run out of fingers and toes to keep track of all the Plague Inc. [$0.99] updates, as today the tenth major update for the game has been released. The update includes two brand new scenarios, one about the upcoming Christmas holiday and one which uses portals. For the holiday one, called Santa's Little Helper, the setup is that the government has banned holidays, laughter and celebrations. Basically, fun and happiness is now against the law. This pisses off a lot of people, including Santa Clause and the Neurax Worm, who form an unlikely alliance and work to infect the world with happiness again. The worm even renamed himself the Neurax Miracle for this mission! I love the whole idea of Plague Inc.–infecting the world with killer diseases and eradicating humanity–being flipped on its head in this scenario...

You don't win the tutorial mission in BattleLore: Command [$9.99]. I found that kind of interesting, and in a way, it sets the pace for this strategy board game adaptation. While many strategy games like to puff you up with some early victories before pulling out the Customer Service Bat, this one teaches you the basics of how to play in a couple of turns and then almost immediately comes at you virtually as hard as it ever will. It's a real sink or swim situation, but if you've got the wits and patience to see it through, you'll find a game with a very rewarding core that suffers a bit from its overall lack of options...

I don't think I'll ever be accused of being stingy with my words, but if I were to wrap this entire review up into a short summary, here it goes. If you enjoyed Record Of Agarest War [$14.99]'s seventy-something hour campaign, spent dozens of hours more to fully complete everything, and still find yourself wanting another full-sized game offering a similar experience, you should buy Record Of Agarest War Zero [$14.99]. That's essentially the only scenario where I can see recommending this latest release from HyperDevBox, because just about everyone else with an interest in the Agarest series ought to be starting with the first game anyway. Agarest Zero tells a new story with new characters, but the underlying gameplay offers virtually little of note over its predecessor and actually streamlines a few things out that I'm not sure needed to be ditched...

Last month we learned that Sega would be bringing their popular free to play social strategy RPG Chain Chronicle [Free] to territories outside of Japan, and as of today the game is now available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. If you live in a region that's not one of those listed, Sega states "Additional territories to follow" so we'll just have to wait and see when that will be. Chain Chronicle has been published in the West by gumi Inc, and here's a look at the official launch trailer...

Kermorio S.A. is getting literal with their very first iOS release, Wars and Battles[$6.99 (HD)]. This freshman title takes on an epoch of history much beloved, WWII. Specifically it is Normandy in 1944 that the initial spotlight is cast. While I think we can all agree that the mid-20th century has been extensively, and even exhaustively explored, W&B has a pretty unique take on the conflict and high production values also help carry this game. With an aim to roll out a huge amount of content, I have a feeling we will be talking a lot about Wars and Battles in coming months...

Honestly, I've just about had it with robots. They're either evil or annoying, and I'm tired of dealing with the fallout of either type. I think the last straw for me was finding out that nice Robo fellow from Chrono Trigger [$9.99] was actually rickrolling me for nearly the last twenty years. I mean, you think you know a tin can, only to find out it's been snickering behind your back. That's the trouble with robots, and if you're like me, you're always up for giving their shiny metal keisters a good kicking. Luckily, there's no shortage of games that let us do that, and the latest one is the pretty clever Trouble With Robots [Free]...

I've been reviewing games for more than 15 years now, and one of the things that is still sometimes hard for me to sort out is how much value to place on creativity, or I suppose, how harshly I should criticize a game that lacks it. I don't think every game needs to reinvent the wheel, but I also think it's important that some games do strive to do new things. Otherwise, we'd all still be playing Pong and Space Invaders clones and nothing else. That said, a well-made game whose only real fault is playing it safe can still be quite enjoyable. Swords Of Anima [$2.99] is quite well-constructed, surprisingly so given that it's a rookie effort from a small developer. It's also a fairly rote take on the turn-based SRPG genre, so if you're looking for something that shakes up genre conventions, this one's probably not going to do it for you...

Battle Worlds: Kronos [$16.99 (HD) / Free (HD)] is the iOS debut release for developer KING Art. As a big departure from their previous work, it's surprising how ambitious this game is. The game is a turn based hex grid futuristic war game that focuses primarily on tactical maneuvers, focused fire, and ammo/armor management. With 2 very large campaigns and online play there is a boat load of replay value in this title...

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