Category Archives: Strategy

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 (HD)]. 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 [$4.99], 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 [$4.99] 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...

If you're a strategy game fan, this week has been showering riches on you. The classic Rome: Total War [$9.99 (HD)] made its appearance on iPad and appears to be in fine form. The quirky, creative, and all-around excellent Steamworld Heist [$9.99] seemingly dropped out of nowhere. Well, I hope you kept room on your plate, because the turn-based party isn't over yet. Demon's Rise 2: Lords of Chaos [$7.99], the latest strategy RPG from Wave Light Games hadn't appeared by the time we did our weekly round-up post last night, but it showed up not long after. If you're looking for a game to scratch your Final Fantasy Tactics itch, you'll probably want to check it out...

This is actually a bit of news I meant to get to last week and didn't have time, but seeing as how unique a game Calculords [Free] is and how log it's been since its last content update, I felt like it was still worth talking about. First off, Calculords is a card-based strategy game which launched back in February of 2014. It had you building up a deck of units and battling against a colorful cast of AI opponents in its campaign, placing your units among 3 lanes on the playfield to battle head to head against your opponents' units. It sounds a bit standard as far as card-battlers go, but what set Calculords apart was its use of math. Yes, math! It's fun! ..

If you like your board games digital, then Reiner Knizia's The Confrontation [$5.99 (HD)] is a pretty good one to play, especially since the Variant Mode DLC is now available. The game is all about the armies of Light and Shadow, and you take on your opponent on a very pretty map. Part of the fun is that you can't see your opponent's units until you engage them in battle, which makes for fun, strategic decisions. Most people really enjoy the game, even if the digital version dumped the Lord of the Rings theme of the physical game in favor of the more generic light vs shadow...

One Man Left have a pretty incredible track record on the App Store, as despite varying commercial success, the exhilarating twitch action gameplay of the Tilt To Live [$2.99] series was a lot of fun to play, especially in the early days of iOS as a serious gaming platform. Therefore, when the developers released Space Food Truck [$9.99 (HD)] on Steam back in March, it was incredibly interesting to see how the One Man Left team would step up to tackle a larger and more complex experience having plied their trade on relatively fleeting games prior to its release, the outstanding Outwitters [Free] aside. Thankfully, Space Food Truck was warmly received amongst the PC gaming community, and has finally made the transition to handheld devices, as today the game has launched on iPad (sorry, no mobile release as of yet), so anyone looking for a meaty strategic sci-fi adventure can snack on Space Food Truck now...

We enjoy Wave Light Games', well, games quite a bit here at TouchArcade; even though they might not have the shine of a AAA title or even the tight design of titles developed by big times. These are works of passion by pretty much a single person and are very fun to play for anyone who enjoys turn-based RPGs in the spirit of X-COM and Warhammer Quest. A few days ago, we wrote about Demon's Rise - Temple of Shadows, a new entry to the series, but even though Wave Light Games is ready to release Demon's Rise 2, it's still updating the original Demon's Rise [$4.99], which shows the passion behind these games. The new update has added a new world map, which shows the locations and history of the various factions, a new patrol map that links Demon's Rise to Demon's Rise 2, and has doubled the Magic item database, which will give you plenty more to collect...

The game of chess may well have been one of the earliest examples of a game being easy to learn but hard to master. Learning how all of the pieces move and putting together a basic strategy towards getting a checkmate isn't that difficult, but the unpredictable nature of human behavior makes chess a game that always has something new to offer. There's almost always a move to make that could be considered the best, but it's only the best if your opponent reacts in the textbook way themselves. A strong chess player needs to study their opponent almost as intently as the board. That said, there's a lot to be said for learning some fundamental strategies, just in case your opponent plays things by the book. As an added bonus, that knowledge will help you if you decide to play Moveless Chess [Free]...

Hunters: Episode One was the first real taste mobile gamers had of a complex and console-quality strategy game in the mould of XCOM, and its sequel Hunters 2 [$4.99] was beloved amongst the iOS community for improving on the original whilst retaining the compelling gameplay and stunning graphics (at the time, at least) of the series. When Rodeo Games quietly removed both titles from the App Store earlier this year, many thought the were gone for good - neither had been updated for many years, and with the onset of iOS 10, it appeared this was the death knell for the Hunters series. However, against all odds, today Hunters 2 has returned to the App Store with iOS 10 and widescreen support, as well as other minor bug fixes, which is fantastic news for any veteran gamers who longed to try Rodeo's strategy series again on their newer devices...

If you like wargames, then you definitely know the saga of the excellent Shenandoah Studio, the developer that brought us the great Battle of the Bulge and the pretty good Drive on Moscow and Desert Fox. Even though Shenadoah made some of the best wargames on the App Store (and the app themselves worked flawlessly), for reasons unknown it ran out of money, and Slitherine jumped in and bought the developer. After a long time reorganizing, Slitherine republished Battle of the Bulge to more than just mixed reviews since it really felt like the new app had come out a few years before the original one. Menus felt clunkier, some functionality was removed, and so on, all in the name of making the game cross-platform...

RPG Reload File 096 - 'Kingturn Underworld'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the semi-weekly feature where we have trouble figuring out where it all starts and ends at times. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's holding up with some time behind it. We revisit old favorites, reflect on their position in the overall library, or sometimes just take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As the keeper of the flame, I try to plan a balanced schedule from week to week, but if you think I'm missing something important, don't hesitate! You can give me suggestions by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. You might not see your suggestion soon, but it will be added to the master list for future consideration...

There simply is no stopping Plague Inc. [$0.99]. Since its debut nearly four and a half years ago, Plague Inc. has received a constant stream of updates which have mutated the game into new forms and spread it to a constantly expanding base of players. It's like a plague! Its latest update has just hit the App Store and it's very fitting for the forthcoming Halloween holiday. The new Shadow Plague is a "sentient, mutagenic pathogen" that "triggers a powerful thirst for blood in its chosen host", basically turning you into a vampire who must feed on humanity to grow into a giant bat capable of setting up lairs and shadow portals. Here is an exclusive look at the giant, vampiric bat in action...

Back in August we learned that Vile Monarch and Gambitious Entertainment would be releasing an enhanced version of their clever insult battling gamejam game Oh…Sir! [Free] which they originally released back in December of last year. That game, titled Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator [$1.99] has just arrived on the App Store. The original game was a same-device multiplayer game where you and a "friend" would take turns piecing together words and phrases in order to create the ultimate insult. This new version is basically the same idea but expanded greatly. There are more characters to play as, more environments to lob your insults in, and of course many more options for piecing together insults. Also, in addition to the original game's local multiplayer, you can also face off against opponents online or against the CPU...

Ever since Apple added all kinds of features to iOS 10 Messages, developers have been either giving us Stickers or various games played fully within the Messages app. Most of those games have been word or puzzle games, but if you're looking for something a bit more meaty to play with your friends, check out Battle Bash [Free]. The game looks inspired by Advance Wars and offers a variety of units to move around the map (with more coming according to the devs), fog of war, and all the other staples of the genre...

Turn-based strategy game Legends of Callasia [Free (HD)], which sees itself as influenced by games like Civilization, Risk, and Heroes of Might and Magic, has been pretty well received in our forums. So, I'm sure there are quite a few happy customers today because Legends of Callasia has launched its first expansion, The Stoneborne. The new expansion adds a new playable faction, the Dwarves, and includes a new 10-level long campaign, 11 playable Stoneborne heroes, 20 new maps, underground seasons, over 20 new cards, and much more. There's even a whole new enemy faction, the Cavespawn...

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