Archives for : Strategy Games

It’s Might and Match 3: Clash of Heroes

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes is as I’m sure you can tell by the title, a match 3 style RPG game. Yep, Ubisoft and  Capybara Games took Might and Magic Heroes and made a Match 3 game. So what do I think of it, a fan of the original Might and Magic games. I’ve never played a Heroes game yet. Shh.. I know this isn’t a depiction of that series.

First off, even without touching the multiplayer this game has some real length to it. Seriously, it took me 35 hours to beat it and I missed something somewhere. So I can say I didn’t feel it had too short of a single player campaign. How was the campaign though? I thought it’s story was obvious, as well as childish. It had a very pg sort of feel. It made for a very easy to follow or ignore story. If you missed a scene, I’m pretty sure you’d be able to figure out what happened. The story also is supposed to take place before Heroes of Might & Magic V.

Gameplay was simple enough. It was turn based, so you didn’t have to race against your opponent. I used a controller for during the game and the controls were simple. I’d say that from as few keys that are needed, I’d find it rather hard to believe the controls could ever be considered complicated. You play by making matches of units of 3 for the most part to make walls or attacking units. They need to match in color, not always type since there are special units that will randomly appear with one of the three colors. You make you’re army depending on the character your playing. So one character may use archer’s and another might use ghosts, vampires and zombies, it just depends on which main character you are currently playing as to determine what units you can choose from.

While all characters have similar units for there matches there are differences that make certain characters more appealing to one person than another. It may not be drastic differences, but it’s obvious certain characters with certain artifacts are designed for different play styles or strategies.

It does a nice job of making the game simple enough to appeal to causal match 3 gamers, but has enough to entertain serious puzzle gamers, and strategy gamers especially if you can get a multiplayer match going. I think someone going into it for the RPG aspects would be disappointed though, as that aspect is a bit more lacking.

So what is the verdict? Is it good is it bad? Honestly, I liked it enough to play it for 35 hours. After that I couldn’t play it any more, although I could see going back for mp matches. Even with the predictable storyline and simple play, I think that is part of what makes it all work. It’s fun and you can just play it without worrying about some huge convoluted plot with overly complex controls. Its good for a long play session or just jump in play a little and save and exit to come back to later. Without having to worry about forgetting what is going on.

So give this game a go, I give it a solid 4 out of 5. Oh and take a look around this game is out for a number of systems so it’s bound to be available to you on the platform you prefer.

Not So Strategic War in Europe Review

The Strategic War in Europe by Wastelands Interactive starts off seeming like a turn based WWII treat. Then you go through the tutorial, if you could call it one. So here is my review of this wonderful title.

Okay, I love turned based strategy games and this one had all the ear-marks of a good one. A building system that reminded me of Axis and Allies, terrain that affected speed movement and combat, all the pretty standard concepts of hex based strategy game combat… It even has a new system to navel warfare which makes it harder to find and battle enemy subs and ships instead of just going after the hex that you magically see them in. All this sounds great and really it was… at first.

Then it hit me. The tutorial was absolutely horrendous. It didn’t help me learn anything about the new features. So I turned to the manual… nope still nothing. Navel warfare – the major change that sets this game apart from so many other games of this genre and style – has no decent form of explanation. Sure I could have probably found a good answer to this issue on the forums, but come on. A full manual and a tutorial and it doesn’t tell me how to make an aquatic attack on an enemy city. Only how to move troops from one friendly port to another; and even that is a convoluted mess that takes more time to do than it does to just send them there via tracks.

Here is another one I loved. After reading on the game I was under the impression that while real events that took place will happen in the game – which is really cool – you could stop certain ones by not preforming the action that caused the event. Don’t attack Russia and they won’t attack you, the peace treaty will hold up. Yeah, sounds great in theory. In practice that didn’t happen. I was Germany in multiple games, and every time, as soon as Finland decided to join the Axis, Russia came stomping in like a bulldozer. How I broke the treaty I still don’t know, but I swear I never attacked them. In the end all these events kept turning my game from one I felt I had some control over into merely an altered variation of the original outcome.

Now if you can figure out the navel warfare and how to circumvent the default events, you may actually enjoy the game. The rest of it plays pretty basically with common, easy to understand mechanics. I had such high hopes for this game, really I did. I was so excited to play it, I tried multiple times with varying strategies. In the end I came to the conclusion that it is just really, really not the game I thought it would be, nor a strategy game that stands out enough to scream “Buy me over that other game.” Seriously, just pass on this one, I love historical strategic war games, but I don’t want to be played by them.

1 out of 5 because it did work, it just wasn’t any fun; and that had nothing to do with my repeated losing. I’m used to that, ask my wife.
Have a good day and I hope you come back for my next review, which has to be more positive.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth Review

Anomaly: Warzone Earth is an iOS and PC game created by 11Bit Studios. For the purpose of this review we will be focusing on the PC version of the game. Anomaly: Warzone Earth is essentially a reverse tower defense game. Instead of building the towers to prevent attackers, you are the attackers. Aliens have crashed on the earth and it’s your units job to figure out what is going on and stop anything bad from happening. So you have to enter the alien crash sites and destroy the weapons that they have set up.

Anomaly has a lot of neat tricks in its hat to make it interesting and entertaining. Each level you have a new mission sometimes multiple missions. In one case the mission is to reach a certain point before a specific time once you do that though the level isn’t over you are assigned a new mission to accomplish. So playing it smart early on in a stage can help a great deal later into the stage. So as commander, who apparently likes to run along side the military convoy you are off to save the day from the alien threat.

So how is Anomaly played? It’s a point and click game for the most part. You use the mouse pretty much exclusively, which makes it pretty easy to get used to, that in no way means it makes it easy though. Although the game does walk you through all the steps to playing, very nicely. So what are the basics. You scroll back to enter tactical mode from here you will be able to change the route in which your military caravan is going to travel. This is very important throughout the game as paths become blocked by dangerous material that would damage or destroy your units or new towers appear that you hadn’t accounted for. Scroll forward to go back into the active mode. Left click somewhere and the commanding officer (You) will run to that location. Right click somewhere and it brings up a ring of 4 possible abilities. At first you won’t have all four.  Click on the one you want and the commanding officer will run there and use that ability.

You can lose during a stage by all units being destroyed or failing some objective. Stages do have checkpoints and when you reach one you can continue from that point or the beginning of the stage depending on how well you were doing when you made it to that check point will answer that question. I know I had a few points where it was better to start the stage over than to continue beaten and battered at a checkpoint right before I failed.

The game has a decent storyline to explain out why you are taking part in the next mission. It does well to keep the flow of the game going. The voice acting isn’t bad, I liked it to be honest. The music and sound effects are nice and the games visuals are good, and I don’t mean good for a tower defense game. The game has some real polish to it and is not what I expect from most indie games.

As an add on there are two bonus modes available to unlock after you have completed that section in the game. An online scoreboard has you competing for the best rank as well as medals for each stage to show you what you did well at and what they believe you could have done better at. The only thing I can see being a downside to this game is that it isn’t multiplayer. For me this wasn’t an issue, it’s a great game and it stands on its own with just single player.

I give this game a 4 out of 5 only because tower defense is a niche genre. I can’t say this game is for everyone but, it is really worth your time to check it out.

Sengoku Preview Review

On Sept 13th 2011, Paradox Interactive will be releasing Sengoku for the PC. Sengoku is a strategy game that takes place during the Feudal wars of Japan. It’s big thing is that it takes a different approach to the genre than most games. It’s not all about battles although they have their place..To take Japan in this game will take a lot more cunning than that.

So let me start of first by saying that this game is not for the casual strategy gamer. It is complex and political and takes some strategies you may not be used to employing. A lot of the game play is through your relationships with leaders of other clans as well as members within your own clan. With all the clan leaders out to take the position of the new shogun, You have to decide is that going to be you or are you just helping someone else out. It’s your responsibility in the game to lead your clan to victory.

Unlike a lot of strategy games there are no actual difficulty levels in this game. The difficulty is decided by the clan you pick at the start of game. As you look through the different clan leaders you will see the difficulty level the game would be by playing said clan. It’s not that the game is harder or easier on you in AI it is just that some clans are already established at the beginning of the game while others are already at war and may be losing. A number of factors are at play so choosing a clan with a high difficulty is pretty much starting with a clan that is at the bottom of the totem pole. With so many clans to chose from this really gives you an opportunity to see many sides with the game.

Now what makes this game stand out is the honor system. Everything you want to do will come down to money and/or honor. If you have a neighbor that you want to get rid of but he has never attacked you, to do it your going to have to pay honor.  If your honor is too low you may be asked to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) in order to restore some sense of honor to your remaining clan. This is especially important because if the clan leader you are playing dies by any means, you will take the role of the clan’s successor. In Sengoku you will arrange marriages for your children with the children of other clan leaders to forge bonds as well as create a proper succession. All while attempting to keep your honor high enough to do the things you need or want to accomplish.

With everything from choosing a clan religion to hiring ninjas to perform acts you don’t want to be credited for Sengoku has a lot to offer. Once you get the hang of what is happening on how to perform these tasks yourself, you can find that there is a great deal of strategy in this game. Although this may take a few rough starts where you feel completely helpless and overwhelmed with the options and controls. The menu system isn’t the easiest thing to maneuver and I make a strong recommendation to reading the manual and watching the video below for assistance in getting a grasp of the game.

While the game plays with time constantly passing and you taking your actions in real time. This can become problematic so you can speed up or slow down and even pause time. This allows you to set up a number of actions all at once as well as take a look around at what is going on throughout the rest of Japan. If it wasn’t for the ability to pause time to issue out commands I am sure I would have completely drowned in the interface.

I will say that Sengoku is not about great graphics. You don’t go down to the battlefield to control your troops in battle, so if that is what you want in a game you will be disappointed here. From my experience graphics are not what makes a great strategy game. So if you can get a handle on the menu system and ignore the fact that this isn’t the best visual experience, you will be in for a different style of war and strategy.

In the end I highly recommend this game to serious strategy gamers. I give it a 4 out of 5, but I think the casual gamer may struggle with this one, I did at first. Don’t give up though and once it all starts clicking this game is really fun.

Sengoku comes out on Sept 13th 2011 for $29.99 you can get it from gamersgate.com

The Demo can be found Here