Category Archives: Strategy

'Strike Team Hydra' Is a Futuristic Strategy Game From the Creators of 'Demon's Rise', Launching Mid-August

Ever since the TouchArcade Discord Server really took off at the start of this year, it's been fantastic to see how many developers have signed up and actively participated with our community of iOS gaming fanatics. Wave Light Games have been one of the more active users on our Discord, and as the developer has a lot of exciting projects on the horizon, seeing their upcoming games take shape after a lot of input and advice from our members has been really heartwarming, and has underlined the strength of the community we're lucky enough to have at TouchArcade. Strike Team Hydra is the next game from Wave Light Games, and while the title has a more futuristic setting than the brilliant Demon's Rise [$7.99] series, the same immersive strategic action from the beloved iOS franchise is back with a vengeance, with a number of new additions. Considering XCOM's imminent demise at the hands of the 32-bit Appocalypse, Strike Team Hydra looks to perfectly fill the void, and should be an essential download for strategy fanatics when it releases in mid-August...

Ticket to Earth [$1.99] has been received quite well, with its most important accolade being the highly coveted TouchArcade Game of the Week, and now you can get it for $1.99, its lowest price ever. Ticket to Earth plays out on a grid, with you and your opponents taking turns either moving, attacking, or taking other actions. The tiles come in different colors, and you'll have to be matching them as you move across the board; longer matches give you bonuses, and different color tiles give you different abilities. While it does use a match-3 mechanic, the game is much more than just that, so don't let images of another Candy Crush clone scare you away. This is a very different game, and you can see that from the trailer below...




The Best Tactical RPGs for iPhone and iPad - An RPG Reload Ranking

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where our battles to the death are usually turn-based. In each of these columns, we take a look at some aspect of RPG gaming on iOS. Often, it's in the form of a replay or a retrospective, but today I want to try out something new. In the last couple of months, we went through the history of tactical RPGs, from Dungeons & Dragons to Fire Emblem Echoes. Although I felt that was finished with the end of the historical line, so to speak, I got to thinking this week that these trips through history present us with an opportunity to do something that is often requested of us here at TouchArcade: lists of the best examples of each gaming genre. Consider this, then, your starter set for tactical RPGs on iOS. Are there other excellent ones? You bet! This is just my opinion, after all. But this gives you a place to get started in the genre with some assurance of reasonable quality...

The Last Warlock [$3.99] is a prime example of the old adage 'don't judge a book by its cover'. A quick glance at the blocky, voxel graphics reminiscent of Minecraft [$6.99], Crossy Road [Free] and the million imitations of both games that have spawned on the App Store since suggests a more iterative and casual experience. However, under the surface lies one of the more creative and in-depth turn-based strategy titles on the iPhone, as you trawl through dense maps with a number of magical summons and spells that take advantage of the flexibility that the basic graphical style permits. A significant single-player campaign combined with an awesome asynchronous multiplayer mode meant the game was extremely well received in our review back at its 2015 launch, and today The Last Warlock has gone on sale for the first time in two years at a bargain price of $1.99, this week only...

Rampart is just one of those games that every retro enthusiast remembers. I was first introduced to it on the SNES, but it was ported to nearly every platform imaginable due to its immense popularity. Its angle of marrying shooting elements with light strategy and building components is still unique nearly 30 years later, and it's amazing that so few projects have attempted to emulate its formula directly. Castleparts [$2.99] is one such imitation, and although I had a few technical issues with it, it's a project worth playing if you're into the Rampart concept...

Ultimate General: Gettysburg [$3.99] is one of the prettiest real-time strategy games on any platform, and two years after landing on iPads, it has finally marched onto your iPhones after the latest update. The game was originally released on PCs, and even though the iOS version lost some great features—multiplayer and dynamic campaign—it is still a great game. Ultimate General has a 10-mission campaign that you can play either as the North or the South, great touch controls that let you move your armies around easily, and pretty strong AI that will give you plenty of challenge...

While the App Store has been the recipient of a whole host of excellent ports of tactical RPG classics, the Demon's Rise [$7.99] series from the folks at Wave Light Games is one of the few that started its trade on the App Store, and has gone some distance to carving out its own identity in the crowded turn-based strategy scene. While a sequel in the form of Demon's Rise 2 [$7.99] launched last year to a glowing four-and-a-half star review from our resident RPG guru Shaun Musgrave, the original game has received continued support since its original release in 2015, most notably through an update that brought up Demon's Rise interface, graphics and tactical engine to the same level as its sequel. Today, the first Demon's Rise game has gone on sale for $0.99, which serves as its biggest price drop yet, and will provide hours of brilliant RPG action for the dollar cost of entry...

If you've been enjoying the Advance Wars-like Super Senso [Free], you'll be glad to know that Update 1.8, which has just gone live, adds more content to the game. The new update adds more Challenges to the game, since they appear to be fan-favorites. Challenges are one-turn puzzles and can be quite the brain teasers. There are also 3 new advanced tutorials that should help new players get the hang of the game faster. More interestingly, we are getting two new units: Med-Bot and Saboteur. Med-Bots have weak attacks but heal adjacent allied units at the start of both yours and the opponent's turn. Saboteurs are fast infantry units with the ability to evade the first instance of damage each turn...

'Epic Little War Game' Review - Back to the Trenches

It feels like Rubicon's War Game series has been all over the place. Great Little War Game [$1.99] was an accessible turn-based strategy game packed with content and a cheeky sense of humor. Its follow-up, Great Big War Game [$2.99], went for a bigger scale and added in online multiplayer. The next game in the series was Great Little War Game 2 [$1.99], which went for a more streamlined experience with portrait orientation, smaller levels, and no multiplayer at all. It was a fun game taken on its own merits, but it was somewhat of an underwhelming entry for the series to go out on. Well, here we are three years later, and it looks like the General isn't ready to hang up his pants yet. Epic Little War Game [$4.99] is here, and if you were one of the people who wished the last game was more fully-featured, you're going to be very happy with this one...

RPG Reload Glossary - The Unexpected Modern Awakening of TRPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we're all just trying to S-rank our relationships. Last month, we continued our look at the history of turn-based tactical RPGs with a look at the years from 2000 to 2010. The genre came into the decade blazing, but by the time it wound down, things were looking pretty bleak. As it turned out, hope was right around the corner. This month, we'll be wrapping things up by taking a look at the notable games in the genre from the last several years. At least at the moment, it feels like TRPGs are more popular than ever. The various things that had to happen for that to come about were so unlikely that it makes for quite a story...

We want to give a shoutout to the fine folks over at Blindflug Studios. You may remember them from First Strike [$3.99], an interesting game about building up a nuclear arsenal as one of the myriad global powers. Playing as the US is basically easy mode, North Korea is expert mode. It's a game that's picked up in relevance given the way the world order has been shaken up in the past couple of years. While the studio has been busy with interesting games like Cloud Chasers [$3.99] (an interesting roguelike-inspired game worth checking out) and the upcoming Airheart, they're revisiting First Strike on PC and Mac with First Strike: Final Hour...

Turn-based strategy titles, especially those with asynchronous or real-time multiplayer, are a perfect fit to the touch-screen, portable action that is available on the iPhone. Many developers have tried to perfect and refine this formula since the App Store's inception, and despite varying degrees of success, there has been something of a strategic renaissance in mobile gaming as of late. Titles such as Warbits [$4.99] have emulated the engrossing top-down perspective of genre classics Advance Wars and Fire Emblem, and other games like Super Senso have incorporated elements from more recent mobile releases to great effect. Blast Squad appears to follow in the latter's footsteps with its cast of eccentric and colorful characters, and is currently looking for tactical masters to partake in the game's alpha test on our forums...

There aren't many good games out there based on the Power Rangers franchise. Much of that is down to the nature of the licensing beast, similar to how hard it seems to be to get a superhero game of decent quality. There are many factors, both obvious and subtle, that work against licensed games. The Rangers certainly haven't been free of such hassles. The obvious solution is to take a swing at it without a license, but as Behold Studios found out, that's a delicate road to walk. Things worked out in the end, however, and Chroma Squad [$4.99] became an officially-endorsed spin on the Super Sentai concept that is free to do its own thing without the heavy restrictions that come with a full license. It's a good game, probably the best Ranger-themed game ever, though how much you like it will depend greatly on what you're looking to get out of it...

A couple of months back developer Spellbind Studios were looking for beta testers for an upcoming mobile port of their rogue-lite dungeon crawling RPG Rogue Wizards, which launched on Steam to fairly positive reviews back in September of last year. Well, the beta testers have tested their little hearts out and, although it's a bit behind the rest of the week's new releases, Rogue Wizards [Free] for iOS has now arrived in the App Store. The game utilizes a neat isometric view that reminds me a lot of the excellent Shattered Planet [Free], and in addition to normal dungeon crawly things you'll also be doing a bit of city building, somewhat reminiscent of the wonderful Sproggiwood [$4.99]. Also the way the game world sort of pops in and pops out as you move gives me a heavy Bastion [$4.99] vibe. Basically, in a sea of mediocre dungeon crawlers, Rogue Wizards throws some interesting inspirations from a variety of great games into the mix to make itself stand out. One other cool touch about Rogue Wizards is that it offers two different modes. Story mode is the more casual option and features a quest-driven storyline and the town-building features. Gauntlet mode strips away the story and town-building stuff and throws you into an increasingly difficult dungeon with permadeath and challenges you to make it into the Hall of Fame...

If you still haven't had enough of Warhammer and Games Workshop on your mobile devices, then check out Mordheim: Warband Skirmish [$3.99], which released today. The game is based on the classic tabletop game from the late 90s and brings the miniature game to your tablet and mobile phones. You'll have to lead your Warbands through different encounters, collecting along the way valuable shards from the comet that destroyed the city of Mordheim. You will, of course, get to customize your Warbands as you see fit, and try to show the world that you're the coolest of them all...

Let's face it: when it comes to strategy/tactical RPGs, iOS gamers have got it pretty good. Setting aside the occasional great port we get from PCs or consoles, there are also plenty of quality original games in the genre. The only catch is that they tend to be a little rudimentary in their presentation. Bucking that trend is the Demon's Rise series, which offers up accessible yet deep strategy gameplay with surprisingly high-quality production values. The games aren't much for story, but if you enjoy the mechanics of games like Final Fantasy Tactics or X-COM, you'll want to check out Demon's Rise [$7.99] or its sequel, Demon's Rise 2 [$7.99]. At the moment, you can grab the latter game for its lowest price yet...

RPG Reload Glossary - The New Millennium of Tactical RPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we maintain a healthy fear of Etna. Last month, we took a look at the early history of the tactical RPG genre followed by its blossoming in the 1990s. It was an important time for the genre, as the vague concepts of the 1980s were finally drawn together into a functional set of genre guidelines. While the genre really started to take off in Japan, things went a different way in the West. Besides occasional hits like X-COM, Western game developers were largely focused on a considerably more popular sister genre, the real-time strategy game. This gap would only become wider as time went on. This month, we're taking a look at some of the significant tactical RPGs of the 2000s, as the Japanese variation of the genre rode a massive wave of popularity worldwide off the back of Final Fantasy Tactics...

Oh, you thought your wallet was safe for another week? Well, Bandai Namco and Behold Studios have some other plans for your precious pocket money. After what feels like 10,000 years, Chroma Squad [$4.99] has finally made its way to the App Store. From the developers of the popular Knights of Pen & Paper, Chroma Squad is a tactical RPG based on the Super Sentai/Power Rangers-style teams of heroes in color-coded spandex...

'Ms. Spell' Review - Ms. Fire

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There are a ton of roguelikes, roguelites, and roguelike variants on iOS. Collectively, the genre is nearly as prolific on mobile as puzzle games and Kemco RPGs are. While there's always going to be an audience of some size craving more coal for the fire, going beyond that audience takes some clever, out-of-the-box thinking. To an extent, MicRogue [$1.99] had that. Developed by Jason Pickering and published by Crescent Moon, MicRogue offered up a heavily streamlined roguelite experience blended with an interesting chess-inspired twist. Its strong focus on positioning and predicting enemy moves helped it stand out a little bit. Pickering's latest roguelike-inspired game is Ms. Spell [$1.99], and it's unfortunately not quite as interesting...

Super Senso [Free] has undoubtedly been one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2017, and for good reason. While the game has been in soft launch since late 2015, and we have caught numerous glimpses of the title at events such as PAX in the subsequent fifteen months or so, Super Senso only released on the North American App Store last Thursday, with a worldwide release still in the pipeline. Initial impressions on our forum thread have been generally positive, with the futuristic fast-paced real time strategy action going down well with the iOS community at large, and such fervent pre-release hype being met by those eagerly anticipating an Advanced Wars-esque alternative on the App Store. To celebrate its long-awaited North American launch, publishers GungHo have released a brand new trailer for Super Senso, which showcases the numerous different characters that can be encountered in the game, as well as a taste of the title's eccentric humor...

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