Substantial Games has just soft-launched a rather cool online multiplayer real-time strategy game for iPads called The Ember Conflict in a number of territories. The combat starts out 3-on-3, but each team has up to 3 reserve units that they can deploy over time, so combat can get quite frantic and crowded as 6-on-6 combat happens. Plus, it’s possible to participate in 2v2 matches, so up to 24 units can be on-screen at once. The game is built for short sessions, with matches taking 2-5 minutes. Your unit selection winds up being important: how do you want to balance for your slow bruisers that can be out-maneuvered, archers that can deal damage from a distance but can’t take many hits, or healing support units? That’s the question that you have to solve.
The game features units that you can buy, and items to equip for them, in order to make your most ideal team, with additional units becoming available as you level up. There is a two-tier currency system, but all items can be bought with either soft or hard currency. While online is the core of the game, you can also play offline against bots. The game’s in Canada, New Zealand, and several more European and Asian countries, so odds are that you have access if you’re outside of the US. Otherwise you’re going to have to wait till April, the estimated worldwide launch date, or nab it through the usual means.