Category Archives: Strategy

'Really Bad Chess' Review - Rook No Further

It would be extremely easy to start this review by alluding to the ironic self-deprecation of the title, and affirm how Really Bad Chess [Free] is actually a Really Good Game. However, in truth, the title is not too far off the mark. Compared to the balance, strategic depth, and elegance of the age-old board game, Zach Gage’s most recent release is really bad chess. It is highly likely you will start a game with an abundance of the most powerful pieces versus a far weaker opponent, and it will likely not take as much tactical meticulousness to break down their defence; anyone looking for a chess simulator will undoubtedly be disappointed. However, once preconceptions of similar titles are left behind, Really Bad Chess manages to turn a tiresome, tricky and intimidating game into one perfectly suited for the immediacy of mobile gaming. While it may share similarities in the pieces, and how they can move, to the game it takes its name from, Really Bad Chess is an entirely different beast. Through prioritising unpredictability and offensive play over experience, Zach Gage has crafted an essential puzzle experience for anyone even remotely interested in strategy games on the App Store...

In January of 2014 Stoic Studios launched their tactical RPG Banner Saga [$4.99] on PC to much critical acclaim. In October of that year, just shy of two years ago, they launched Banner Saga on the App Store, and it turned out to be a fantastic fit for the mobile platform. The following December, Stoic officially announced what many people had already assumed was coming, a full sequel, and also mentioned their plans to eventually bring that sequel to mobile platforms as they did with the first game. Well, after another well-received launch on desktop this past April and on consoles in July, Banner Saga 2 [$4.99] has finally popped up for purchase in the App Store...




Zombie titles really need to innovate more-so than a lot of other types of games these days. The market is just so saturated that the mere notion of "survival" itself just isn't enough, and there at least needs to be an interesting hook involved beyond the solitary concept of continuing to exist. Skyhill [$2.99] does that, even if the magic doesn't last as long as the developers intended it to...

If you've been enjoying moving those huge spaceships around and blowing each other up in Battlefleet Gothic: Leviathan [$3.99], you're in luck because the game is getting a new campaign called Black Rage on Sep. 15th, and it's going to be a free update for both iOS and Android. The developers had promised to continue expanding the game, and it looks like they're starting to make good on that promise. The new update will allow players to lead the Space Marines Flesh Tearers fleet in protecting Lysios in a new campaign map. The new ships, which come with the own rules, will be available in the skirmish and multiplayer modes, too...

RPG Reload File 092 - 'The War of Eustrath'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we may not have the fancy licenses, but know that a giant robot is a giant robot. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit the classics, reflect on their place in the overall App Store library, or just to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As the wielder of Falchion, I try to choose a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week in order to accurately reflect the diversity of the genre. If you think 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. The schedule is made quite far in advance, so you may not see your suggestion soon, but it will be added to the master list...

We've been riding the renewed wave of roguelikes and roguelites for several years now. By the very nature of the genre, a good roguelike can last players for a really long time. What that means is that any new entry is going to have to have some kind of way of standing out if it hopes to get attention. Hero Generations [$4.99] has a strong, easily-understood gimmick: every move costs a year of your character's life, and when they run out of years, it's game over. Before that happens, you need to find a mate and have a kid, who will hopefully be able to carry on some of the previous character's traits and legacy. As you expand your abilities and fame from generation to generation, you'll eventually piece together an urgent goal, but you won't be able to do anything about it if your family line dies off early...

Environment Focused Roguelike 'Enyo' Launching September 7th on the App Store

Enyo was a game that caught our eye when we first caught a glimpse of it in May, as its unique mechanic of using environmental traps and obstacles to destroy enemies - rather than traditional attacking options - made it stand out from countless similar titles that have embraced mobile devices for their trademark short gameplay sessions. Developer TiNYTOUCHTALES has today announced that Enyo will descend onto the App Store on September 7th, and the game certainly looks a world apart from the rather bare-bones iteration that originated out of a 7 day roguelike development challenge. With a brand new art style by designer Winnie Song that really captures the ancient Greek theme of Enyo, as well as multiple modes and randomly generated dungeons, TiNYTOUCHTALES may have potentially created another App Store rogue like that can follow in the footsteps of esteemed classics such as Hoplite [$2.99] and Auro [$1.99]...

RPG Reload File 090 - '868-HACK'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we sometimes accidentally call Jenny when we want to play a roguelite. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's held up over time. It's a chance to revisit the classics, reflect on their place in the overall tapestry, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As the captain on the bridge, I try to choose a balanced selection of games from week to week to reflect the diversity in the genre. If you feel like I'm missing anything, you can let me know by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. The schedule is planned pretty far in advance, so you might not see your suggested title soon, but it will be added to the master list...

We were on the hype train for Gambrinous and Versus Evil's Guild of Dungeoneering [$4.99] ever since we saw it at PAX South way back in January of last year. However, as is common with multiplatform releases, Guild of Dungeoneering was released on desktop the following July, and us poor mobile gamers had to wait an entire year before the game finally launched in the App Store last month. It was worth the wait, though, as we thought the game was pretty darn good. There's another side benefit to this staggered release too, as since the game has been on desktop for a year already that means it's already had a major expansion released, and now less than a month after arriving on iOS, that expansion is hitting the mobile version of Guild of Dungeoneering. According to the developers, the Pirates Cove expansion includes "30% more game with a brand new pirate themed region complete with 3 new dungeoneer classes to quest with, 23 new monsters to defeat and 27 new items to equip." Here's the trailer from when the expansion launched on desktop...

Artillery games have long been a popular genre on mobile. iShoot was one of the earliest examples of an indie developer striking it rich with an iPhone game, and of course Angry Birds is a derivative of the artillery genre. A bit later in the iPhone's life a game called Bowman caught fire and ushered in an influx of games where you shot arrows into stick figure people. There's just something so satisfying about guessing the angle and power of a shot and watching you hit your target right on the mark. And when you take that winning formula and throw in Mortal Kombat-style gore? It's absolute gold. That's the story of Bowmasters [$1.99 / Free], which launched under the radar last week. The game sees you battling it out against an AI opponent, each taking turns lobbing various projectiles at each other until one of you runs out of life. ..

'Heroes of Normandie' Review - This War is Hellishly Good

If you're a fan of strategy games, what is it about them that gets you hooked? Is it the ability to command huge armies and have them engage in long, epic campaigns over huge theaters? Or do you enjoy small, intimate engagements where every unit counts? For me, it's definitely the latter and that's because I like when games tell stories, when my soldiers' actions weave lovely - or painful - narratives that I can then recount and laugh, or cry. Heroes of Normandie [$14.99], the digital port of the Devil Pig Games' board game with the same name, is precisely the kind of wargame that creates stories not only because you usually command a very small number of units over a pretty small battlefield but also because the game is constantly celebrating its inspiration, the classic, bombastic WWII movies like The Dirty Dozen and A Bridge Too Far...

Strategy games and the iPad go together like curry and rice, so it's no surprise that there have been a ton of great strategy games, both original and classic, released on the device. A couple of years ago, we were treated to one of the all-time classics of PC strategy when Heroes of Might & Magic 3 [$9.99 (HD)] came to iPad. Well, you can grab your marker and get ready to cross another one off of the old checklist, because Rome: Total War is coming to iPad this fall from SEGA and Feral Interactive...

'Battle Champs' Review - A Great Blend of Ideas

'Battle Champs' Review - A Great Blend of Ideas

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August 4th, 2016 4:21 PM EST by Shaun Musgrave in 4.5 stars, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Strategy
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So, here's a juicy secret for all of you: To the best of my knowledge, I'm the TouchArcade staff member who has played Clash of Clans [Free] the least. It probably seems odd that a writer for a major mobile site hasn't played much of one of the most popular games on the platform, and you know, I can't argue with that. I'd like to say it's just because I'm busy covering other stuff, but the truth is, I don't really like games that emphasize competitive multiplayer. While the game has some single-player content, it felt like a complete afterthought and wasn't much fun to play. You might think my lack of Clash of Clans experience would make me a poor candidate to review the Clash of Clans-inspired Battle Champs [Free], but I think it allows me to offer a different perspective on the game. You see, I don't think I'm alone in finding the idea of playing Clash of Clans unappealing in spite of its obvious quality. If you're like me, you might want to give Battle Champs a try. It does an excellent job of extending an olive branch to those who might otherwise shy away from the genre...

Fans of the classic Milton Bradley/Games Workshop role-playing board game HeroQuest who are looking for a similar experience on mobile have a few decent choices available to them. There are games that use the basic concept as a springboard for a larger, deeper adventure such as Heroes of Steel [$3.99] from the Trese Brothers. Rodeo Games has their version of the official Games Workshop follow-up Warhammer Quest [$2.99]. If you happen to be searching for a more straightforward interpretation of the board game, however, the Arcane Quest series from Nex Games Studios is the way to go. The first game in the series, which released on Android and Windows Phones, was a pretty direct translation. Arcane Quest 2 [Free], the first in the series on iOS, built sensibly on that foundation, while Arcane Quest Adventures [Free] used many of the same gameplay mechanics but applied them to a different style of game...

In October of last year, Next Games launched a very interesting game based around AMC's The Walking Dead series called The Walking Dead: No Man's Land [Free]. In the game you were tasked with building a compound in order to keep your survivor friends safe from the zombies, so pretty typical base-building type of stuff, but when you actually had to engage in combat with them it turned more into a tactical turn-based strategy game. There were also plenty of RPG elements peppered in, and overall No Man's Land was a very cool way to experience the world of The Walking Dead. Today Next Games has connected the game even closer to the show as a new update adds Heroes to the game based off of many of the characters from the show...

We don't really make a habit of posting about sales or freebies anymore, because frankly, most games nowadays are already free and most paid games go on sale so frequently that it kind of loses its impact after awhile. Both of these games fall in that latter category, both Bastion and Transistor have seen plenty of sales in the past, but gosh darn it these games are so incredibly good it just didn't feel right to not let everyone know that they're both currently on sale at the same time. ..

Recently, I was invited to come and visit the headquarters of BlazeGames, the developer behind the new game Battle Champs [Free]. Along with a few other members of the media, I was given a brief tour of their offices located in Shibuya, Tokyo, and got to see a short presentation about Battle Champs. The highlight of the trip was a chance to ask some questions about the game to a few of the team members. Producer Yuji Okada, art director Akihiko Yoshida, and assistant art director Satoshi Matsura all took some time out of their busy schedules to tell me about the new game. As the interview ended up being quite lengthy, I've broken it up into two different parts. Make sure you read the first part of the interview before going ahead...

An Interview With Akihiko Yoshida, Yuji Okada, and Satoshi Matsura from the 'Battle Champs' Team

Recently, I was invited to come and visit the headquarters of BlazeGames, the developer behind the new game Battle Champs [Free]. Along with a few other members of the media, I was given a brief tour of their offices located in Shibuya, Tokyo, and got to see a short presentation about Battle Champs. The highlight of the trip was a chance to ask some questions about the game to a few of the team members. Producer Yuji Okada, art director Akihiko Yoshida, and assistant art director Satoshi Matsura all took some time out of their busy schedules to tell me about the new game. As the interview ended up being quite lengthy, I'm breaking it up into two different articles. Check in tomorrow for the second part...

Although the game is starting to face some competition at the top spot, there's no denying that Clash of Clans [Free] has been a force to be reckoned with on the mobile charts. One region where it hasn't been quite so dominant, however, is Japan, where social RPGs like Puzzle & Dragons [Free] rule the roost. Because life is funny that way, those games seem to have had difficulties repeating their successes outside of the Asian markets. Is there no way to reconcile these differences? Well, BlazeGames, a relative newcomer to the mobile scene, has an idea. It's called Battle Champs [Free], and it just launched across the globe in most major markets...

This week saw the release of Out There Chronicles [$2.99], a gamebook-style narrative prequel to the excellent space exploration roguelike Out There: Omega Edition [$4.99]. Well, if you missed the original Out There during any of its previous sales, it's once again on sale for a dollar, which is a criminally low price for such a masterpiece. The original Out There was incredible when it launched back in early 2014, and it's only gotten better since then with the release of the Omega Edition update which revamped most of the artwork and added in a ton of cool new features. It was like Out There: The Definitive Edition. Developer Mi-Clos Studio wasn't finished though, with the announcement of the Multiverse Update Series last fall, which has continued to add to and improve the game...

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