Casual games rule the App Store and it sure didn’t take long for them to invade one of the most popular genres for hardcore gamers – Strategy Games. This subgenre blending aspects of strategy and action first originated in the explosion of various office time-killers (aka Flash games) and finally found its way onto the iOS. And what’s more, it was given quite a warm welcome by the iPhone community, with some of the titles finding their way into the top of the charts. The latest such entry to emerge from the crowd is Legendary Wars, uniting all the best aspects of the many predecessors and bringing some new features of its own.
For years and years various conspiracy theorists have been theorizing about Earth having a soul, or Gaia as it is sometimes called. This soul, encompassing all life on the planet, is thought to be dormant, waking up only on extreme occasions to protect Earth from danger. It turns out they were not talking exactly about Earth. In the near future, mankind spreads across the nearby cosmos and finds a planet with a unique gas, allowing it to reach new heights in science and production. But the Evil Angry Planet is definitely not too happy about this.
The world is sometimes a very strange place. Not long ago, I remarked in my review of Hunters: Episode One (TMA Review) that the App Store was suspiciously devoid of Tactical Strategy Games. And in the space of a few weeks I’m writing another review of such a game: Tactical Soldier – Undead Rising. Born out of a strange marriage of classic top-down party RPGs and Strategy Games, this unique genre for the true masters of tactical planning has long been a favourite of PC gamers around the world. Being excellently suited for iDevice portable gaming, I’m glad that it is gaining traction on the platform.
About a year ago, Plants vs. Zombies (TMA Review) made its way onto the App Store with much fanfare and it was highly acclaimed across the board by both critics and the general public. With its mind-boggling success, it was only a matter of time that look-alikes would popup. If anything, I’m a bit surprised that it took as long as it did. Nevertheless, regardless of how KillingZone Defense may resemble PopCap’s famous twist on the tower defense genre at first glance, it turns out to be a rather different game altogether.
For the longest time, I’ve waited for a good squad-based tactical game on the iDevice. We’ve seen an assortment of tactical strategy titles but all are centered more on strategy than true squad-based tactical gameplay. Until now that is. Out of the blue, Rode Games has released a freemium spin on the genre – Hunters: Episode One – probably the first game that truly takes all of us X-Com and Jagged Alliance fans for a spin.
It’s quite interesting to note the torrent of Tower Defense games that has been flooding the App Store for last year or so, is slowly but surely slowing down to a trickle. And more and more of the new releases try to do more to distinguish themselves from the crowd in one of the most populated genres. While some try to leverage famous franchises like Star Wars: Battle for Hoth (TMA Review) or The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense (TMA Review), others go for features like Sentinel 3: Homeworld (TMA Review) or Guns’n'Glory (TMA Review).The recently released Epic War TD is definitely one of the latter…
Looking at the power of modern mobile devices, it’s no wonder then that more and more of them are the target of developers, looking to get more life out of their classic titles. And this is even more true with the iOS family, with a single point of sales and an extremely low entry barrier – costing a measly $99 per year for a developer’s license. I can’t say that every such upgrade goes without a hitch, but that certainly doesn’t stop people from trying. Ascendancy has been universally praised back in the mid-90s and we’ll soon find out if it still has the spunk to reach out to today’s iOS gamers.
A rare guest in our laboratory tonight, we welcome a member of the tactical turn-based strategy. The genre itself has seen various implementations on the iDevice, from the excellent Battle for Wesnoth (TMA Review) and Highborn (TMA Review) to the more obscure titles that have languished in the App Store. Personally I’ve always been quite fond of such games, ones that truly challenge the mind and strategic skills of the player. That’s why even despite the less promising screenshots of The Pantheon Cycle: Shrouded Aspect I still took it for a spin, hoping against hope it will prove me wrong.
An ant, a beetle and a spider walk onto a counter… no, this isn’t the start of some lame story from “1001 Bad Jokes To Tell Your Friends”. It actually describes the first level of the game Bug Heroes, a fresh take on the castle defense genre… or is it a dual stick shooter with castle defense elements? Either way it’s a lot of fun, though I’m just a bit disappointed that the difficulty levels aren’t balanced a bit better. Still, you have to admire the developers for thinking outside the box and making something that actually stands out from the pack. This game actually suffered a few setbacks before finally seeing release on the App Store, but the end result was worth the wait.
Gather round fair travellers, for have I a story to tell you. A story of friendship, bravery and tower defense. Arguably one of the best known fantasy books ever, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings have become a genre in its own right. Such a legend just could not avoid interest from the game development community. From early 80s interactive fiction to RPGs to massive scale strategy games, it seems the devs have thrown almost anything they could think of at the franchise. And with all this attention it’s obvious that a Lord of the Rings iDevice title was just a question of time. Well, the time has come and quite surprisingly the release took form of a Tower Defense game by the name of The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense.