Category Archives: Strategy

You don't win the tutorial mission in BattleLore: Command [$3.99]. I found that kind of interesting, and in a way, it sets the pace for this strategy board game adaptation. While many strategy games like to puff you up with some early victories before pulling out the Customer Service Bat, this one teaches you the basics of how to play in a couple of turns and then almost immediately comes at you virtually as hard as it ever will. It's a real sink or swim situation, but if you've got the wits and patience to see it through, you'll find a game with a very rewarding core that suffers a bit from its overall lack of options...

I don't think I'll ever be accused of being stingy with my words, but if I were to wrap this entire review up into a short summary, here it goes. If you enjoyed Record Of Agarest War [$14.99]'s seventy-something hour campaign, spent dozens of hours more to fully complete everything, and still find yourself wanting another full-sized game offering a similar experience, you should buy Record Of Agarest War Zero [$14.99]. That's essentially the only scenario where I can see recommending this latest release from HyperDevBox, because just about everyone else with an interest in the Agarest series ought to be starting with the first game anyway. Agarest Zero tells a new story with new characters, but the underlying gameplay offers virtually little of note over its predecessor and actually streamlines a few things out that I'm not sure needed to be ditched...




Last month we learned that Sega would be bringing their popular free to play social strategy RPG Chain Chronicle [Free] to territories outside of Japan, and as of today the game is now available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. If you live in a region that's not one of those listed, Sega states "Additional territories to follow" so we'll just have to wait and see when that will be. Chain Chronicle has been published in the West by gumi Inc, and here's a look at the official launch trailer...

Kermorio S.A. is getting literal with their very first iOS release, Wars and Battles[$6.99 (HD)]. This freshman title takes on an epoch of history much beloved, WWII. Specifically it is Normandy in 1944 that the initial spotlight is cast. While I think we can all agree that the mid-20th century has been extensively, and even exhaustively explored, W&B has a pretty unique take on the conflict and high production values also help carry this game. With an aim to roll out a huge amount of content, I have a feeling we will be talking a lot about Wars and Battles in coming months...

Honestly, I've just about had it with robots. They're either evil or annoying, and I'm tired of dealing with the fallout of either type. I think the last straw for me was finding out that nice Robo fellow from Chrono Trigger [$9.99] was actually rickrolling me for nearly the last twenty years. I mean, you think you know a tin can, only to find out it's been snickering behind your back. That's the trouble with robots, and if you're like me, you're always up for giving their shiny metal keisters a good kicking. Luckily, there's no shortage of games that let us do that, and the latest one is the pretty clever Trouble With Robots [Free]...

I've been reviewing games for more than 15 years now, and one of the things that is still sometimes hard for me to sort out is how much value to place on creativity, or I suppose, how harshly I should criticize a game that lacks it. I don't think every game needs to reinvent the wheel, but I also think it's important that some games do strive to do new things. Otherwise, we'd all still be playing Pong and Space Invaders clones and nothing else. That said, a well-made game whose only real fault is playing it safe can still be quite enjoyable. Swords Of Anima [$2.99] is quite well-constructed, surprisingly so given that it's a rookie effort from a small developer. It's also a fairly rote take on the turn-based SRPG genre, so if you're looking for something that shakes up genre conventions, this one's probably not going to do it for you...

Battle Worlds: Kronos [$16.99 (HD) / Free (HD)] is the iOS debut release for developer KING Art. As a big departure from their previous work, it's surprising how ambitious this game is. The game is a turn based hex grid futuristic war game that focuses primarily on tactical maneuvers, focused fire, and ammo/armor management. With 2 very large campaigns and online play there is a boat load of replay value in this title...

Turn-based strategy fans will want to take note of a game that sneaked past the Wednesday night release list as it showed up on the App Store this morning, Battle Worlds: Kronos [$16.99 (HD)]. This turn-based strategy game originally released on desktop, and has now made its way to iPad, with loads of content intact. The game invokes classic turn-based strategy game like Advance Wars and Panzer General to describe its gameplay, with players commanding an army of units by land, air, and sea on hexagonal maps. There are two campaigns to play through, with developer King Art claiming 50 hours of gameplay, and a strong AI system...

Stoic Studio Talks 'Banner Saga' Mobile Development and Direction of Upcoming Sequel

Bringing The Banner Saga [$9.99] to tablets gave John Watson nightmares. “This launch was even bigger to us personally than the original launch,” he explains. The Banner Saga was released for PC and Mac in January before making the jump to tablets early last month. “We’ve been working toward this for a long time. I was extremely excited about the launch, and getting it done was a relief.”..

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, said Charles Caleb Colton, a man whose words are far more famous than his name. I'm not sure if that's always the case, but I do believe strongly that it sometimes is. For example, when I was a young lad, I used to try to draw Spider-Man exactly the way Todd McFarlane did. His art was so exciting and cool to me that I would find my favorite panels and more or less copy them. That eventually extended to my original drawings of Spider-Man, with the big eyes and the bundly webs finding their way into those margin-doodles my poor teachers had to put up with. In my defense, McFarlane was pretty popular at the time. I was a big fan of the art, and I wanted to express that through drawing similar things. Never mind that they were poor replicas, they were sincere, innocent-minded odes to McFarlane's unusual style. I think we see a lot of that type of situation in the game industry, since so many of today's developers grew up blanketed in the hobby. Of course, we also see quite a bit of the less-innocent imitations that are less about appreciation of art and more about appreciation of money, but I think it's safe to say that 2012's Partia [$3.99], a naked homage to Nintendo's Fire Emblem, is more the former...

Veteran Developer Hero Craft is bringing the Sons of Russ straight to your face with WarHammer 40k: Space Wolf[Free]. This visual stunner brings the table top classic to life in a squad based strategy card skirmish with the low low entry fee of nothing. If it sounds too good to be true, well there are some twists on the road to destroying the xeno threat. This game has some truly fantastic features intermingled with some pretty big roadblocks. If you can suspend your disbelief (and maybe an upturned wallet), you'll find a pretty solid game here. Available exclusively for iPad 3 or higher, iPhone 5 or higher and requiring an internet connection, the game is a little less accessible than most universal apps. With gameplay very similar to the PSP's Metal Gear Acid, I was really excited to get into what promised to be a tactically deep strategy game...

If you loved Final Fantasy Tactics [$13.99 / $15.99 (HD)] but thought it would be better if all of the characters were anime girls, then Japanese indie SRPG Rime Berta [$3.99] may have caught your eye. It's a clear tip of the hat to games like the aforementioned, and in a lot of ways does a very competent job of aping its overall presentation and many of its systems. It's a bit lean on content, which is perhaps understandable given the size of the developer, but its biggest failings are in the fundamentals. It's a serious problem when there are quite a few excellent strategy RPGs on the App Store that, even if nothing else, manage to nail those aspects. In the end, Rime Berta is all dressed up with no place to go...

Last week we told you that Herocraft's tactical turn-based strategy game set in the Warhammer universe would be launching worldwide on October 28th. And do you know what today is? The 28th! Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf [Free] is now officially available. Space Wolf is a turn-based strategy game with a heavy card element, but this isn't some card battler. People have likened it to the Metal Gear Ac!d series on the PSP, which is basically all I need to hear to download and check it out...

If you're looking for a turn-based strategy game or three to check out this weekend, I have good news: Rubicon Development's Great War Game series is free all weekend. This includes Great Little War Game HD [$4.99] which is universal and free, its massive follow-up Great Big War Game [$6.99], and Great Little War Game 2 [$5.99] which features portrait play, perfect if you need something for on the go. ..

It's really great when a well-made game seemingly comes out of nowhere, and that's just what seems to have happened with the stealthy release of Princess And Knight [$4.99], a new strategy RPG that is so under the radar, I can't find much proof of its existence beyond the App Store itself and a fairly new blog for the developer, Team SoftIceCream. Sometimes when that happens, it's because the game isn't quite ready for prime time, but apart from a really rough English translation, this is a remarkably solid effort from what appears to be an indie developer. The game design is unabashedly vintage, calling to mind SRPGs from the 16-bit console era and earlier, but there's a certain appeal to a game that drops out of the complexity arms race that the strategy RPG genre tends to get swept up in at times...

Strategy buffs listen up: Slitherine has unleashed their latest WWII-themed strategy game Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front [$19.99 (HD)] for the iPad. For whatever reason it didn't follow the typical weekly release schedule, and wasn't included in our list of new games last night, but it's definitely one you don't want to let slip through the cracks. As the name implies, the sequel to 2012's excellent Battle Academy focuses on the Easter Front and has you playing through 30 missions across 4 different campaigns as both the Axis and Soviet forces...

Remedy Entertainment, known for making games like Alan Wake, the original Max Payne [$2.99] and the original Death Rally [Free], have just released their first mobile-exclusive game, Agents of Storm [Free] to the App Store. This is a take on the free-to-play base builder formula, but with a singleplayer focus: players build out a base with defenses and units, going out on missions with their units, as their units automatically attack, with the goal being to destroy the enemy base in each level. There are social hooks to get assistance from friends and compete to have the biggest and best base, but if you're the anti-social type, this may be for you, though this is a free-to-play game and requires online connectivity...

Square Enix's excellent Hitman-themed puzzle strategy game Hitman GO [$4.99] has just been updated with a new classic level pack and iCloud integration, and it's on sale again for just $1.99. The new chapter of levels is called "St. Petersburg Stakeout" and is based off of the same level from the 2002 console game Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. The new pack contains 8 levels, and if you remember that St. Petersburg Stakeout level from Hitman 2, you'll definitely recognize it here too...

Final Release Version of Mojang's Card Battler 'Scrolls' Expected Late Next Month

A small team in Mojang’s studio in Stockholm, Sweden has been quietly and unassumingly developing Scrolls, a card-based tactics battler, for over three years, always seemingly overshadowed by something else. First, always and inescapably, by Minecraft [$6.99], a world-conqueringly massive phenomenon that grabs attention like a black hole grabs light. In 2012, the game was the subject of a trademark dispute with Bethesda Softworks, who argued that the title infringed on their Elder Scrolls series. The lawsuit was settled and Scrolls moved into open beta last year, without much fanfare. Microsoft’s recent announcement that it plans to acquire Mojang for $2.5 billion once again dominates any discussion about the studio or its games...

It's been quite a year for Dragon Quest [$2.99] games on iOS, and with all of those games comes a whole lot of slime-smashing. Those cute, nearly-harmless, little blue gumdrops with a perpetual smile sure take a lot of abuse from the would-be heroes of RPG worlds, and maybe it's time for a little payback. So goes the story of indie strategy RPG Ambition Of The Slimes [Free] from developer Masaya Takahashi. It's available for free in the App Store right now, with one little catch: It's entirely in Japanese. Worry not, however, because the App Store description says that English will be coming in the next update. It's a little tricky to navigate at the moment if you can't read anything, but it doesn't cost you anything to try, I suppose. If you'd rather wait, let me give you a few more details to hold you over...

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