Reign of Swords, by Punch Entertainment, Inc. was one of the first true turn- based strategy games to arrive on the iDevice. Now, Reign of Swords: Episode II, follows the same foundation as its predecessor, but is improved and better than ever before.
I never considered myself much of an TBS (turn- based strategy) fan. Even though TBS games are played by millions of people, I unfortunately lack the patience and cunning mind to get involved into them. However, I was willing to get addicted to any TBS game on the iDevice. Its one thing to play a TBS game on the computer for hours on end, and another to play a TBS game on your iDevice until its battery runs out. I can say that without a doubt this one of the most sublime TBS games I have ever played.
As of today, I would formally like to be known as Sir Tma Matt Cassius, or Sir TMC for short. Upon starting Reign of Swords: Episode II, you can either transfer your army from the first game, or start a new one. Then, you get to choose a nifty name and flag to represent yourself and your army. In total, there’re three kingdoms in the game: Zayandi, Sabbi- Amar; Abbisin, another kingdom also exists, but isn’t playable. For the campaign portion of the game, you will travel to these three kingdoms and complete tasks such as an escort mission to bring builders to safety. Other gameplay elements such as warp portals (to teleport around the battlefield) are thrown into the mix to add in the possibility for new strategies and tactics for the players. Once you complete the campaign levels for a kingdom, there’s still much more to be explored. Each kingdom has its own raids where you can obtain specific materials that can be put towards upgrading your army. There are over 36 different units that can be utilized by your army – all of which can be upgraded.
The game is controlled completely by touch. For instance, when when you tap a unit, command options pop up. They include: move , charge, and attack. Move will break the battlefield into a grid of yellow boxes around the unit – just tap the box you want to move to then tap again to move the unit. Charge shows up only once in a while for specific units – upon choosing this option and selecting an enemy, will cause your unit to ‘charge’ at it, dealing more damage than a normal attack. Some units will have specific skills which only they can perform. For example, a worker can build a little hut that any of your units can go to heal themselves.
The graphics aren’t much different than the first Reign of Swords, which means they are slightly dull, but they don’t need to be. The sound effects are good as well as the animations for units when they are attacking.
The factor that makes Reign of Swords: Episode II stand out, is its fantastic multiplayer. If you get bored of campaign mode, then the intense head-to-head online battles will surely satisfy you. However, my experiences with multiplayer weren’t the greatest. In the five games that I played, each time I would succumb to a long and tedious battle against a person that wanted nothing other than to ruin my day. That doesn’t necessarily make the multiplayer not fun, because it’s far that. It’s not the multiplayer that’s at fault here, it’s the players themselves. Apparently, the number 1 tactic these days is to build only horse bowmen.
If you’re unfamiliar with the horse bowman, it’s a unit that rides a horse and shoots arrows (self- explanatory). What makes him overpowered, in my opinion, is the quantity of arrows he shoots at once. Individually, he serves no threat, but when you’re up against at least 10 of these bad boys, then it’s bloody murder. The newest update includes a tweak to make “horse bowmen attack correctly”. One positive aspect about the multiplayer is that you don’t have to wait the entire time while your opponent makes a move. You can go back to multiplayer at anytime to check to see if he/she made a move yet. Unfortunately for your opponent, if he/she drops his/her iDevice in the toilet and cannot make a move, then you automatically win the battle after 24 hours. There’s also online ranking and titles that can be earned as you complete campaign mode and play online battles.
As it currently stands, Reign of Swords: Episode II is a superb sequel to an already awesome game. This game is not only addicting, but it has also opened my eyes to the TBS games in the App Store. My only gripe is that the game is shorter than the first one, but it appears that Punch Entertainment will be addressing this in the next update. For now, multiplayer makes up for the shorter campaign and then some.
Reign of Swords: Episode II is a solid title that sets the standards for what all TBS games in the App Store should be. Unfortunately, however, don’t adhere to this standard. I award Reign of Swords: Episode a grabby, grablicious rating of Grab It.
|Title:||Reign of Swords: Episode II (v. 1.2)||Developer:||Punch Entertainment, Inc.|
|Price:||$4.99||App Size:||7.6 MB|
Strategy games at the App Store are a TMA favourite. Check out some of our most recent articles:
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