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.
The “Traffic Management” style of casual games is growing at a pretty steady pace at the App Store (e.g. Flight Control, Harbour Master). They are really enjoyable games that are simple to pick up and fun to play. The latest one to hit my plate was developer Floor 84 Games’ Railroad Madness.
Civilization is arguably one of the most, if not the most, recognizable and well liked turn-based strategy (TBS) video games around. For many, the Civilization series can be considered an essential collection on any PC/Mac, including TMA’s very own shigzeo (Civilization 2) and myself (Civ 4). Well, that day has come where you too can advance through the ages and conquer the world via your iPhone/iPod Touch, as 2K Games has released Civilization Revolution at the App Store. For those not familiar, the “Revolution” series was first introduced in 2008, where its entire core was rebuilt from the ground up to better serve the console and mobile platforms. While not as deep and engaging as the orginal, Revolution manages to keep the civ experience alive and is still highly addictive and fun. Is it worth the $4.99 and does it all translate well on the iPhone? For hardcore fans, I’d imagine they’d easily pay double that. Fortunately, for those new to the series or maybe holding out, 2K has included a free lite version to help whet your appetite.
Tower Defense is a genre well represented on the iDevice, there’s no denying that. And certainly for many people, including me, their first exposure to this genre was playing on this wonderful mobile platform. At the same time, I’ve played some of the best standard TD games available on this system, so when a new one comes along, I’m always curious what new things it will bring to the table. Townrs Defender takes an interesting twist on the TD genre, one that ultimately pays off well for the game.
This is only my second Castle Defense game, after Knights Onrush, and because of the frantic pace of that game I wasn’t sure what to expect with Medieval (developed by Brisk Mobile). What I did find was a nuanced strategic game, slower paced – but in it’s own way just as intense and ultimately as much fun.
I don’t think Battleship needs any introduction; it’s such a classic that everyone must have played it at least once, whether it’s the actual board game, on a computer, on the web, or on a mobile phone. At the iTunes Store, there are quite a few implementations too. However, Battleships Classic, developed by Hiccup Studios, has a new twist that makes it more interesting and strategic.
Origin8’s Sentinel: Mars Defense was a nice departure from cute graphics and light-hearted atmosphere among the bevy of tower defense games at the App Store (not to mention it was the first TD to successfully merge the Sci-Fi theme with the genre). It was dark and suspenseful, and planning for the bosses while defending the barriers from the hordes was challenging. Now with their latest sequel, Earth Defense, Origin8 looks to improve on an already impressive Sentinel with more weaponry and some new and welcomed features.
Like many people, I’d had no experience with Tower Defense games prior to playing them on my iPod. I still consider myself a newbie at them, and there are plenty of times when I still struggle to set up a good defense in even some of the easier Tower Defense games that are out there. So perhaps it’s not fair for me to say that Sweetwater Defense is a difficult game, but I certainly found it challenging. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
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.
Update: Our review of Reign of Swords II is now live. Read it here
Like the RTS category for the iDevice, quality TBSes (Turn Based Strategies) are few and far between, with the two most recent and noteworthy being Uniwar and the highly anticipated Mecho Wars. Not to be left in the dust, Punch Entertainment is releasing EPISODE II of Reign of Swords (RoS), one of the very first true TBSes to hit the App Store back in Sept of ’08. TMA’s Young reviewed the first RoS and found it to be enjoyable with deep gameplay elements, giving it our ‘Grab It’ rating. Fans of the original will be happy to know that Episode II features a completely new turn-based multiplayer system, new maps and units, vast improvements and a new look-and-feel. If all is in order, this sequel will build on what is already a very solid TBS and draw new players in the the world of Reign of Swords.
Wait, there’s more! To celebrate the release of Ep. II, the devs have dropped the price of the first RoS to only $0.99 (down from $4.99). This is a great deal if you’re new to the series or looking for a deep and engaging multiplayer strategy game. Be sure to check out more details on Episode II along with screenies after the jump.
Reign of Swords, Punch Entertainment, $0.99, 5.1MB