Let me state this up-front, I haven’t finished Mecho Wars. I’ve been playing it for many hours, stretched over many days, and have gotten a fantastic amount of enjoyment out of the game – but if I wait until I complete it to write this review, I don’t know if I’ll ever get the review done. But the bottom line is, if you’re at all interested in this type of game, Mecho Wars is a great example for your iDevice.
I’ve been playing strategy games for so long I can’t even give a history, it would stretch over too many games and consoles. Mecho Wars takes most of its inspiration from Advance Wars, which is the game most people are familiar with anyway. I actually always felt the Advance Wars stories were a little too hyper, a little too over the top in its storytelling. Mecho Wars has a better balance for me, with its alien world and more subtle storytelling.
The early levels are a wonderful example of how to prepare the user to play your game. Basically, each early level introduces you to a few new concepts, easing you into playing a Strategy RPG, even if you’ve never played one before. I also found the difficulty level just right, not too easy, but not impossibly hard either. I’ve played some of these types of games where one mistake will cost you the entire level. But that hasn’t happened here, mostly you can continue to fight your computer opponent to a standstill as you try to determine the right strategy to win. Certainly, I can understand why some folks would want choices in difficulty levels (and I believe that’s coming in a future update), but I think the existing difficulty is perfect for the mainstream crowd this game is trying to draw.
So let’s talk about how you play Mecho Wars. The main part of the game is played on a map screen, made up of an invisible grid showing different types of terrain. You use factories to produce military units of different types (infantry, heavy weapons, aircraft, marine) to use against the opposing army. Each unit has strengths and weaknesses, which you must learn in order to use them together effectively against the enemy.
When you select a unit, you’re given choices to move the unit, attack an enemy, capture a base, recover some of your hitpoints, etc. Attacking an enemy will result in a scene change where you’ll see your units on one side of the screen, and the enemy on the other, blasting back and forth and incurring damage. Once you have given orders to each of your units, your turn ends and the enemy goes.
For each level, your ultimate goal may change from capturing the enemy stronghold to amassing a certain amount of money, to other particular tasks. The one added element to this game giving it an interesting twist is the use of time. Each time you and your opponent end a round, an hour passes in the game world. From 12am until 5am, all the water onscreen will freeze, allowing your lighter land units to cross (and freezing in place any of your naval based units). This allows for greater strategy, as you can fight a holding position against the enemy, amassing units and waiting for the big freeze to come and open up a new path to your goal.
I love the general artistic design of this game, from the characters to the world itself. Some folks seem to think the game is a little too purple/pink oriented. Frankly, I barely notice that at all, and in any event it just adds more to the alien world the game takes place on. But between the art and the gameplay itself, you can tell this was a game lovingly crafted. Yes, there are some things ‘missing’ – online play is planned, as well as the aforementioned difficulty levels, and the ability to play the other side in the single player game – but had some of those not been presented on the menu screen, I wouldn’t have missed them. The game is more than complete already in its current state, and I definitely give it TMA’s highest rating of ‘Kiss it’.
|Title:||Mecho Wars (v1.0)||Developer:||Oyaji Games|
|Price:||$4.99||App Size:||7.0 MB|