Category Archives: Strategy

'Warbits' Review - War Never Changes

Do you like Advance Wars? The 2001 Game Boy Advance turn-based strategy game holds a special place in a lot of folks' hearts because it was an interesting and accessible game, being the first strategy game that many people played, myself included. Many turn-based strategy games to this day owe a signifcant debt to Advance Wars. Warbits [$3.99] falls well in that category, but it's probably more accurate to say that it's trying to be Advance Wars. It lacks originality, but it doesn't screw anything up on the way, and it's Advance Wars on your phone with online play. I'm not hearing any objections...

'Super Tribes' Review - Global Domination, Bit by Bit

The RTS genre is one I remember fondly. Micromanaging troops and building an empire is an unparalleled joy in some cases. For some titles, it was all about just getting through the day, and taking out an enemy force. But for others, it was about managing an economy, and growing over time to support your people. They’re the kind of games that lend themselves well to short or marathon sessions, where you can just pop in, stress free, and take care of business. The mobile arena is a perfect fit for that type of game, and Super Tribes [Free] is happy to accommodate...




As mentioned by Eli and Jared, this week has felt a little odd for new releases. Vague hints of something that smaller releases might want to get out of the way of. Is this it? Perhaps. Whatever else may or may not come, Warbits [$3.99] certainly adds some meat to the bones of this week's new releases. If turn-based strategy games like Nintendo's Advance Wars are your jam, you'll probably want to start hitting that link until fun things happen...

It sometimes feels like Marvel is working towards a future where there will be a free-to-play game for every possible genre. The quality of those games has run the gamut from the bland Marvel: War Of Heroes to the surprisingly enjoyable Marvel Future Fight [Free]. Somewhere in the upper end of that range sits Marvel: Avengers Alliance, a rather fun game with a battle system pulled from turn-based RPGs. The one thing that ties most of these games together aside from the license is that no matter how well they start off, they all seem to end up becoming worse over the long run. The original Avengers Alliance is probably the worst example of that, with its poorly-implemented PVP, serious issues with cheating players, and completely broken character balance. At a certain point, it felt like Marvel Entertainment just gave up on it...

Five Alarm Freebie Alert: 'Space Marshals' Goes Free for the First Time

We live in a world of constant sales and freebies. It happens so darn much that sometimes it's tough to even get excited about a sale. This is NOT one of those times. Pixelbite's stunning dual-stick shooter Space Marshals [$4.99] has just dropped to free for the first time ever. It's not known why exactly it's free at this point in time, but this isn't the time for questions, this is the time for action. That action is mashing the download button on your device...

RPG Reload File 074 - 'Hunters: Episode One'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we don't have much better to do than grind our daily quests. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the light of our futuristic society of today. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the App Store's history, or just to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As the person carrying the giant hammer, I try to choose a balanced schedule of games from week to week that nicely represent the genre. If you feel like I'm missing something important, however, please let me know. You can do that by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. It might take a while for your suggestion to get featured, since I plan the schedule pretty far in advance, but I will add it to the master list at least...

In September of last year, Deed - The Game [Free] officially launched in the App Store, but it wasn't until today at GDC that I'd even heard of it. There are a couple reasons for that, I think. For one, it's based on a physical board game named simply Sustainable Business that's popular in Brazil but not so much elsewhere. Second, Deed was somewhat positioned as an educational game, which is accurate as it's a simulation of global trading but that's sort of dismissive of the actual fun and strategy contained within. Well, it turns out that that initial launch of Deed was sort of a learning experience anyway, and so developer Sinergia Studios made the tweaks and fixes that the game needed based on feedback while it was live in the time since its launch, and in fact ended up even completely revamping the art style for the "real" launch of the game when a big version 2.0 update hit last month. ..

Dungeon Raid [$0.99] was one of those games where, if it got its hooks into you, you probably weren't going to play anything else for a good long while. There wasn't a lot of mystery behind that, to be honest. The mechanics were familiar and simple to learn, but offered a lot of depth to the player looking for more. The RPG elements gave you a feeling of progression that isn't typically found in many other puzzle games. You could pick the game up whenever you had a few minutes and have a good time, or settle in for a longer session. I Keep Having This Dream [$1.99], the latest from Dungeon Raid developers Fireflame Games, is not the same kind of game. It's a little more opaque, a little more complex, and it comes off like it's aimed at a narrower target in general...

'Clash Royale' Review - A Hybrid of Card Games, RTS, MOBA, and Awesome

Reviewing these mega-releases always feels like a bit of formality, as if you've paid any attention to the mobile gaming scene over the last few months, you probably already followed our guide and have been playing the soft launched version of Clash Royale [Free], if for no reason other than to see what all the fuss is about. Well, the game officially launched worldwide early this morning along side the biggest Apple feature we've ever seen in App Store history, and when you combine Supercell's penchant for huge blown-out advertising campaigns, I'm guessing it won't be long until they start blasting all available airwaves with celebrity-packed Clash Royale TV commercials. The good news is the game itself is absolutely phenomenal, and much like Clash of Clans [Free], will undoubtedly summon a veritable tsunami of copycats and highly "inspired" spinoffs... Which might not necessarily be the worst thing, as the combination of genres and gameplay mechanics in Clash Royale actually works incredibly well for a mobile game...

It's been taking the soft-launch world by storm, and although Supercell has been relatively quiet about its worldwide launch it appears that today is the day that Clash Royale [Free] is finally seeing a wide release. Just moments ago the game popped up in the US App Store, and although it's a bit impossible to check every region you should probably hop over and check if it's in your local App Store as well. ..

'Patchwork' Review - Greater than the Sum of it's Parts

Patchwork[$2.99] is a very cute game. It has a charming facade of quilty-buttony comfort that is really quite inviting and calming. It's almost a shame that the game is very much a game of cut-throat cold logic devoid of much wiggle room around the fact that the person who can plan ahead best will usually win. The master mind behind such board game greats as Agricola[$6.99] and Le Havre[$4.99], Uwe Rosenberg, followed the pattern with a really great strategic/economic design on this one...

I think there's a pretty good game buried somewhere in The First Tactics [$0.99]. It's hard to be sure at times because there are so many bad choices with the presentation. If you can cut through the obvious vestiges of the game being designed as free-to-play, and somehow comprehend an extremely poor English localization that only makes things more confusing the more it tries to explain itself, you'll find a small-scale yet pleasingly complex turn-based strategy game. I'm just not sure if the good part of the game is worth dealing with the multiple barriers it's encased in, particularly in a genre that has so many strong examples on the platform that don't require you to jump through such hoops...

'Rogue Agent' Review - Sneak and Spy

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February 23rd, 2016 11:47 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Strategy, Universal
Free Buy Now

I think we'll be playing stealth games forever. While combat is what most people crave, there's a definite appeal to sneaking around and avoiding conflict that so many people resonate with. That's where Rogue Agent [Free] comes in, providing tons of subversion in the shadows while maintaining a quasi-interesting clandestine storyline...

Nothing like starting off the week with a surprise, and I'd have to say that Dungeon Raid [$0.99 / Free] developer Fireflame Games releasing a brand new puzzle RPG is about as big of a surprise that there is. For a little backstory, Dungeon Raid was released more than 5 years ago in November of 2010, and basically dropped the mic on the match-3 RPG genre with an incredibly solid character progression system layered on top of a fun and strategic matching game. You can still feel Eli's excitement in his original Dungeon Raid review from all those years ago, but the kicker was that in the months that followed several major updates made the game even better than it originally was by adding things like new classes and two new game modes. This was truly the pinnacle of the match-3 RPG genre, and it was about as perfect as a mobile game can get...

We're all looking forward to Tinytouchtales' new upcoming game Card Thief, but that doesn't mean we've forgotten about the original game Card Crawl [$2.99], one of my own personal favorites from last year. After the hefty update back in December which added the fantastic Deck Merchant and a bunch of new ability cards, the next big Card Crawl update will rebalance a bunch of the game's ability cards and replace the current Streak Mode with a new tweaked version called Delve Mode, Tinytouchtales has detailed on their blog yesterday. ..

The incredibly fun and well-designed Rust Bucket [Free] by Nitrome was just missing one thing in my estimation, as I said in my review: more fixed levels to play with once you beat the quasi-tutorial's 10 levels. And more were indeed teased through a locked menu on the screen, but they were not to be had quite yet. Thankfully, the teased level pack is finally here, and Rust Bucket has 10 additional levels to play through. These introduce new mechanics, but because you're also playing with things that you've already messed around with, you'll be mixing old knowledge with new. The new levels are pretty challenging, and it's worth jumping back into this update...

'Dungelot: Shattered Lands' Review - Chewie, We’re Home

Most people that have seen the new Star Wars movie enjoyed it, but one complaint I’ve seen a lot is that it borrows heavily from the first film, A New Hope. I’ve read that it was intentional, and part of the reason was probably to remind people of how much they loved the original trilogy and help them forget the prequels. And as weird as it may seem, it sort of reminds me of what Red Winter has done with the latest Dungelot sequel, Dungelot: Shattered Lands [$3.99]...

We really liked Crowntakers [$1.99 (HD)] when it came out a few months ago for its blend of elements from roguelikes, strategy games, and RPGs, and people in our forums have had the same opinion since there are almost 300 comments in the forum thread. If you're one of those who enjoyed the game, you'll be happy to know that the developers just released new content for the game that should give you another reason (if you actually needed one) to dive into the game once more. Undead Undertakings takes your heroes to the land of the living dead, the Necropolis, where death and decay have, well, decayed everything. You'll have to battle against zombies, skeletons, and vampires in your attempt to see the sun shine on your face once more. I like the idea of taking the game underground as it definitely changes the feel of Crowntakers...

Let’s talk about upgrades. It’s pretty common in free-to-play games for the difficulty to ramp up and up, and the only way to progress is to spend whatever currencies and upgrade your cards, characters, weapons, clothes, eating utensils, or whatever else is supposed to make you “better”. When it’s done badly it can turn into a dreaded Pay Wall, but there are plenty of fair examples, too. This system works fine in RPGs, shooters, match-three games, and the like. In games that require pure strategy, however, the model starts to feel kind of weird...

'Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead' Review - A Learning Curve Like A Sheer Cliff, But Great Rewards Await

There are a lot of roguelike games on iOS, but that's going with the more modern definition of the genre. In the years between the earliest days when roguelikes were pretty easy to get into and their recent explosion in popularity correlated with more approachable or hybridized designs, the roguelike was something a lot more complex. It was like a secret club for the most obsessed type of gamer, offering virtually limitless possibilities and options for those who were willing to do a lot more learning than the average game demanded. That particular brand of roguelike is far more rare on iOS, and it's not hard to see why. A touch interface is a poor substitute for a full keyboard, and games of that sort of complexity are probably not what the majority of mobile gamers are looking for. At the very least, compromises have to be made on the granular nature of the player's actions, because the alternatives are having a keyboard's worth of buttons on the screen or using the software keyboard, and what kind of loon would do either of those?..

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