Armageddon Wars in Review – Turn-based holocaust is here!

Turn-based strategy games are not the most populated genre on the AppStore, despite being ideal for the iDevice. At the same time the majority of the titles that do get released end up of decent quality. And some are downright excellent, like the recent Highborn (TMA Review) or the superb Rogue Planet (TMA Review). But which category does Armageddon Wars fall into?

Armageddon Wars doesn’t stray from the classic principals of turn-based strategy games. The backstory is almost nonexistent apart from a few vague paragraphs. Apparently, our future has been fraught with problems; the world has split into 2 global factions – the EUROCOM (European Commonwealth) and PACT (Pan American something something). Only a few million people are left in the war-ravaged wastelands and the fighting is done using Ultratanks – giant robotic machines. As a EUROCOM operative it’s your job to rid the Earth of those pesky Americans PACTs.

The basic gameplay is straight Kill-All policy, common for the genre: you’re given a bunch of units to start with and have to fight it out with enemy forces. You can also build additional units to augment your forces. If you haven’t captured a local enemy base the selection will be quite limited and the reinforcements will appear at the entry point. If you have got yourself a stronghold, however, you’ll be able to build much more powerful ones, which is crucial to overcome the superior forces.

The unit selection is quite nice, even if there are no differences in the factions. You’ll have a full variety of speed, armour and power in various combinations. Most units can only battle it out in melee range, while others can strike from afar. And of course, there is the Proteus unit that can salvage destroyed units from the battlefield and is your only source of income.

During each turn you may move and attack with your units. An interesting feature is the fact that an attack doesn’t end a unit’s turn. This means that the correct use of a hit’n’run tactic with careful consideration of enemy unit’s range is crucial to the success of the mission. Unfortunately here we come to the main and most critical flaw of the game. When we select the enemy unit to see how far it may go we can actually move it ourselves. This immediately puts an enormous dent into any challenge the AI could have provided.

On the graphics side Armageddon Wars looks very nice. The units are quite detailed and the landscape looks authentically post-apocalyptic. The interface is a bit minimalistic and a bit awkward. Enough to say there is no way to view exactly the unit’s movement range apart from trying to plot one and seeing how far it may take you. And there is the issue of taking control of enemy units described above.

Armageddon Wars is a reasonable title for the fan of turn-based strategy games looking for a new one to entertain himself. It doesn’t revolutionize the genre but is a solid title with very nice graphics and some interesting takes on the basic mechanic. Unfortunately the bug, allowing the player full control of enemy forces negates any difficulty in winning the missions, making it a bit difficult to recommend it at the moment.

With this I declare Armageddon Wars officially touched!

UPDATE (30.08.2010): According to the developer, the latest version (1.12) has fixed the bug, allowing to take control of enemy units. Bear this in mind when considering the purchase.

App Summary
Title: Armageddon WarsDeveloper: Astronautz
Reviewed Ver:1.11Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$2.99App Size:18.08MB
  • Classic wargame concepts on the iDevice
  • Interesting look at some basic mechanics
  • Very nice graphics
  • Bug allowing control over enemy forces kills the difficulty (fixed in 1.12)
  • Some awkward interface decisions
  • Weak backstory

appstoreicon

  • http://astronautz.com/ Ed Welch

    Nice review.
    The next version, 1.12 fixes the bug that allows the user to move AI units.

Next ArticleGolden Photography impressions: Golden Hour and The Photographer's Ephemeris