There’s something all pervasive about the Medieval Times that influences RPG and strategy games. You can have a game set in the year 3054 and still find armor clad heroes and heroines with swords. Even mystical lands filled with dwarves, orcs, and elves find themselves subject to the restraints of this swords and sorcery treatment. Not deviating from this formula, Punch Entertainment’s Reign of Swords fits squarely with its brethren. Yet, for an App Store that is still seeking to fill out its genre coffers, this game is a welcome addition.
Reign of Swords is a turn based strategy game. A little bit of information for those who have lived a life outdoors between the years 1998 (with the unveiling of a little known game called Starcraft) till the present: There are two general strands of strategy games. RTS, real time strategy, games have each faction making their moves concurrently. TBS, turn based strategy, games have each player taking turns to make their moves.
Reign of Swords is, in all fairness, a complex game. There are many options and functions, little tidbits of customization, and so forth that will take some time to completely master. This involves the types of units you have, the upgrading of your army, the strategy that fits the situation and so much more. Reign of Swords teaches you the ropes by means of a three sectioned tutorial. While this is helpful, it only scratches the surface of the game. Once you enter the full multiplayer game, your whole experience expands drastically. You are beset with a number of increasingly difficult tasks and situations.
Each situation will force you to react accordingly. You’ll find that what works in one scenario, such as an all out blitzkrieg, will cause your utter destruction. Other times, you might want to rush in. There were times where I had to replay the scenario due to the wrong choice of strategy.
There is also a slight RPG element to this game. The further you progress, the more spoils of war you gain. These can be used to purchase more troops and to buff out the troops you already have. You can also evolve your troops along the way. This creates another considerable layer of gameplay to your standard TBS game. Also, with the inclusion of a multiplayer system, there is an added replayability value. You can seek out opponents on your friends list. The unfortunate side effect of this is that unless you know enough people with this game, you’re stuck playing alone.
One thing that hinders Reign of Sword from being a truly exceptional game is its graphics and sound. It’s not that they’re horrible, but they seem to lack the shine and polish that lesser games still contain. Reign of Swords, in this area, seems to be more functional than anything else. The music will drone on continually and the sprites will move on with extremely little variations in animation.
If Punch Entertainment focused a little more on these two elements, they would really help this App shine. Given the fact that this game is ported to three systems (PC, mobile phone, and the iDevice), not much can be expected in this arena.
Another detractor from the enjoyment of the game is the learning curve. There is a steep level of difficulty that can easily frustrate people who cannot handle the trials of starting a scenario over. For people who are looking for a quick pick me up game that lacks depth, Reign of Swords will definitely be a source of frustration for you.
For those of you who enjoy customization, deep levels of strategy, and sustained and prolonged gameplay, then Reign of Swords is one App you should look at. I will say this though, after devoting some hours to playing it, getting over the difficulties and depth of intricacies, I’m beginning to enjoy it more and more.
There is a lite version that will give you a taste of the game. Also, mobilebattles.com has some info and a forum that can help newbies navigate this game successfully.
|Title:||Reign of Swords (v1.2)||Developer:||Punch Entertainment|
|Price:||$4.99||App Size:||5.1 mb|