Category Archives: Strategy

You might have heard of a tiny little game called Clash of Clans [Free], a game that has spawned many imitators, has been raking in the dough since its release in 2012, and is currently sitting nicely in second place in the App Store's Top Grossing Games. But how did this game manage to become so popular that everyone uses it as a stand-in phrase for "very popular and very successful mobile game?" Well, Clash of Clans' server programmer, Jonas Collaros, revealed what he sees as the secret behind the game's success. In the most recent Game Developers Conference, Collaros claimed that the secret to Supercell's success is the company's simple principle: the game should be free. That reason alone, always according to Collaros, has enabled gamers to download the game and make it a part of their daily lives...

Tactile Wars [Free] had, how shall I put this mildly, a rocky start in life. The game went through what I suppose was a successful soft launch and then got released with plenty of App Store fanfare, grabbing the much-coveted Editor's Choice Award from Apple, an award that can really take a game's revenue into the stratosphere. Unfortunately for the game, the award had pretty much that precise effect, and I say unfortunately because the great influx of players knackered the game's servers to the point where it became literally unplayable. All players would see was a "Connection is Lost" little sign informing them of their current inability to join this online-only game. In a way, Tactile Wars' predicament was reminiscent of that of many recent AAA console and PC games that tried to go online-only (looking at you, Simcity) only to realize soon after launch that servers are fickle little creatures, bound to melt into a puddle when you need them most...




If there is one thing an iPad is definitely great for, it’s digital board and card games. Such games can get a little crowded with the user interface. Especially tactics heavy turn based strategy games in the vein of Space Hulk [$4.99 (HD)] and the Hunters [$4.99] series. Hey! Speaking of those titles, I played a lovely little strategy game recently that is basically their illegitimate love child! It’s called Legions of Steel [$9.99 (HD)], and it offers an extremely diverse array of strategic gameplay exclusive on the iPad...

If you like strategy games even a bit, then you probably already know all about Mode 7 Game's Frozen Synapse, the ultra-stylish and ultra-demanding turn-based strategy game that really stood out when it was originally released on the PC and then ported to iOS. The game was incredibly unforgiving, which was part of its charm as it rewarded meticulous planning. Now, Double Eleven had decided to brings its remake, Frozen Synapse Prime [$4.99], to iOS after the Steam and Vita release. Double Eleven took Frozen Synapse and redesigned it to make it more accessible while still retaining the original game's charm. The game was received quite well, with many players claiming they prefer this version of the game over the original...

If you loaded up the App Store around 2:00 PM central yesterday when the new App Store features come up, you may have noticed that Tactile Wars [Free] was the Editor's Choice this week. The game's been in soft launch for a while now, and has just now gone global, but it seems like that soft launch didn't prepare developer Ankama and publisher DOFUS for the game's launch, as the big feature caused the servers to not work. So Apple unpersoned the game – it's no longer featured and it no longer has its prominent Editor's Choice banner. If you search for the game on the App Store, it still shows its Editor's Choice label, but the game isn't there any more on the front page...

We've been hearing about a Chapter 3 update for Pixelbite's incredibly awesome dual-stick action game Space Marshals [$4.99] ever since it was first unveiled in June. Pixelbite promised a heavier emphasis on stealth gameplay in Chapter 3 along with an assortment of new enemies, weapons and gadgets. At the end of last month, Pixelbite announced that the Chapter 3 update would arrive on August 13th, and since that's just a couple of days away they've just released a brand new trailer detailing some of the new stuff we'll be seeing in said update. Let me tell you, they have definitely lived up to their promises of delivering tons of cool new things...

'You Against Me' Review - Not the Punk Rock Band

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August 4th, 2015 12:00 PM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $0.99, 4 stars, Card, Games, Reviews, Strategy, Universal
99¢ Buy Now

In some ways, Easy 8's You Against Me [$0.99] is an unwitting argument in favor of going free-to-play. The game is a measly 99 cents, which means you could go to a Dollar Tree, buy a single item (an incredibly uncomfortable roll of toilet paper, perhaps), and have spent more money. And yet, it seems very few people have been willing to download the game. I mean, why would you? Angry Flippin’ Birds 2 [Free] came out the same week and is cheaper than You Against Me AND toilet paper. It’s unfortunate, too, because the main draw of the game is its online multiplayer mode. I’ve been trying to find matches the past few days, but it takes an agonizingly long time to find someone else who had 99 cents to spare...

Games Workshop is no stranger to iOS. You could be forgiven if you thought that they were just cranking out one app after the other with little forethought. Much like the army, however, there is the right way, the wrong way, and the Games Workshop way to make a game. Warhammer: Arcane Magic [$3.99] definitely follows the GW script and if you like some of the other titles they have put out, especially the gold standard Warhammer Quest [$2.99], I think you'll like this one...

It's really hard to find anything bad to say about Pixelbite's Space Marshals [$4.99]. When it first burst on the scene in January this year, it took the often overdone dual-stick shooter genre to a whole new level by injecting strategy and stealth into the typically "blast everything in sight" nature of the genre. The only real drawback was that the experience didn't last too long, but Pixelbite has been rectifying that in the months since with new content updates. ..

The parade of licensed Warhammer games continues unabated with the release of Warhammer: Arcane Magic [$3.99] from Turbo Tape Games, which arrived earlier today ahead of the normal weekly new game release schedule. Hey, gotta get out ahead of that whole Angry Birds 2 thing, eh? ..

Don't judge a book by its cover, or a game by its title, they say, and in this case, they are correct because even though Wars and Battles: October War 1973 [$6.99 (HD)] might win the award for the most self-evident and slightly uninteresting title ever, the game hiding underneath that title is an interesting strategy game that covers a conflict rarely visited by wargames. ..

'Warhammer 40K: Deathwatch - Tyranid Invasion' Review - Glorious Space Hunters

Rodeo Games has a niche, and they're getting better and better at satisfying it with each new release. Their last game was a fairly well-received conversion of the classic Warhammer Quest [$2.99] board game, and their newest release is another Warhammer-themed turn-based strategy game. Of course, before all of that, Rodeo Games made their name with their excellent Hunters series of turn-based strategy games, and its from those roots that Warhammer 40K: Deathwatch [$1.99] draws most strongly from. This is basically Hunters 3, albeit with a Warhammer 40K skin. Some might frame that as a negative, but it's been a few years since the last Hunters game. I'm more than willing to entertain a sequel at this point, especially one as high-quality as Deathwatch...

Is a high level of difficulty a necessary part of a roguelike? It's something I've been thinking about a bit as I've played Alchemic Dungeons [$2.99], the latest from Rogue Ninja [$2.99] developer Q-Cumber Factory. Most genres don't factor challenge into their definitions, but I suppose the roguelike genre isn't like most others. For decades, roguelikes acted something like the horror B-movie of the games industry. There was always a very strong cult following, but outside of certain limited successes in Japan, those outside the circle rarely gave the games much attention. In recent years, things have changed, however, and that has forced a somewhat insular community to reassess exactly what it is that they get out of games using the roguelike descriptor. Alchemic Dungeons checks off all the boxes as a Japanese-style roguelike, but its main gameplay hook gives it a certain fairness that isn't typically present in this genre...

Oftentimes, when we look at a game, we focus on its mechanics and how it fits within the parameters of its genre. Has this first-person shooter managed to get the controls right, is this platformer too bouncy, or is this endless runner just too twitchy? Yet, sometimes what makes a game stand out is not so much its mechanics but, rather, its theme, and Slitherine's Warhammer 40K: Armageddon's [$19.99 (HD)] theme raises what would otherwise be a relatively-traditional Panzer Corps re-skin into a pretty good strategy game in its own right. Slitherine uses its strategy gaming expertise along with the fantastic Games Workshop's Warhammer 40K universe to create a game that's so much more fun to play than any WWII game - and this comes from someone who loves WWII and Vietnam strategy games. In Warhammer 40K: Armageddon, Slitherine delivers a strong wargame that acts as a great introduction to the universe for the uninitiated while also being a treat for the Warhammer 40K faithful. However, as I've mentioned in my review of another Slitherine game, Space Program Manager, while the Play by Email (PBEM) probably works well for multiplayer games on the PC, it doesn't take advantage of what the mobile platform has to offer and even hampers the multiplayer side of the game, which should actually be Warhammer 40K: Armageddon's highlight...

I rag on Kemco quite a bit sometimes, but I really have to commend them for sticking to their guns even as the whole market has changed around them. Just about every month, we can look forward to getting at least one traditional JRPG, albeit with wildly varying levels of quality between titles. To the best of my knowledge, they are pretty much the last publisher on Earth regularly serving that niche, as even companies like Square Enix are shifting further towards the popular social RPG model that has captured the affections of Japanese gamers. I may not like every game they release, but I greatly appreciate what they're doing. Their latest iOS release in English, Legend Of Ixtona [$3.99], has the publisher taking on a slightly different, but no less traditional, model of RPG. It's an isometric turn-based strategy RPG in the style of Yasumi Matsuno's Tactics series of games, and although it's a bit rough, it's surprisingly decent for a first effort...

RPG Reload File 042 - 'Kingturn RPG'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where a single captured outpost can turn the tide of the battle. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit some old favorites, reflect on the classics, or just to take a deeper dive on a game than our reviews typically allow for. I try to present a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week, but I'm always open to your suggestions if you think I'm missing anything. Simply comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload with your recommendations or feedback. There are some changes coming up regarding the reader's choice articles, so if there's something you really want to see, you might want to get it in during the next month or so. You have been warned!..

'Vietnam '65' Review - The Rhythm of War Has Never Felt So Rewarding

"The line between disorder and order lies in logistics..." -Sun Tzu. It's hard to find a word that evokes as many connotations of hell, destruction, anger, and failure as the word "Vietnam" does for the collective American psyche. The Vietnam War was a war like no other - and that includes the current conflicts. For Americans, sending over soldiers to fight in Vietnam was like sending them off to fight on Mars, such were the differences in the way each country was imagined and represented. In terms of warfare, Vietnam demanded that the U.S. army depart from its WWII tactics of fighting across wide European fronts against a similarly-organized fighting machine; instead, it forced American troops to fight a counter-insurgency (COIN) war, the kind of war that Every Single Soldier's (ESS) Vietnam '65 [$9.99 (HD)] attempts to creatively depict on your tablets. The turn-based strategy game, published by Slitherine, depicts warfare differently than most other wargames, putting emphasis on logistics and winning "hearts and minds," rather than on large scale tactics, and doing so brilliantly. I was very interested in Vietnam '65 when it came out a couple of months back. However, before I had to chance to get to it, the developer announced that he was working on some important improvements, so I decided to wait until the game was updated, which it was a few days ago...

'Sproggiwood' Review - Wood, Could, Did

It's official, everyone: I'm nearly out of clever or interesting introductory paragraphs for roguelikes. So let's just just get down to the business of why you should consider a spot in your likely crowded roguelike folder for Sproggiwood [$9.99]. Hm, it feels like when I typed that name, all of the Aussies in the back of the room started snickering. Oh well. Sproggiwood tells the story of a mischievous little fellow named Sproggi, a guardian spirit who watches over a realm that is apparently doomed to destruction. Wishing to avoid that outcome, Sproggi does a little time manipulation to sucker a group of people called the Clogheads into helping out. The first of these is a humble farmer who Sproggi immediately tasks with taking out a dangerous boss jelly in a nearby forest. Sproggi warns you he's a bit of a silver tongue, so you'll need to mind that...

'The Last Warlock' Review - A Strife Less Ordinary

Like every genre, turn-based strategy RPGs have a certain common grammar to them. Most decent ones will bring their own ideas to the table, but the core gameplay rarely ventures outside of the well-established rules of the genre. Likely owing to its roots in chess and similar strategy board games, there's a certain rigidness inherent to this particular sub-genre that you might not see in others. While many games try to push against that by trying to offer the player a more free-form experience, balance is generally considered paramount. The more freedom a game gives the player, the harder it's going to be to maintain that balance. The end result is that once you've learned a good set of strategies for one game, that training will often serve you well in many others. It's not necessarily a bad thing, since most of these games are trying to simulate wars. It's not exactly reasonable to expect a commander to eschew time-honored strategies in favor of sending a pegasus-mounted zombie to chuck home-made bombs at a castle...

It's hard to imagine a more generic studio name than "Game Dev Team," but their recently-released title Hardboiled [$0.99] is anything but generic. A lot of energy has gone into this one, the game content is rich, compelling and definitely worth a play through. Hardboiled is a turn based, strategy RPG that explicitly mentions the classic Fallout series as inspiration. In Hardboiled, you play as Max, a wanderer in a world ravaged by nuclear war. Armed with makeshift weapons and equipment, your mission is to explore the devastated town in search of items you need to progress in the game...

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