Clash of Kings Review

Clash of Kings Review

Nov 27, 2014

If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery then Clash of Kings by developer Empire Game Studios must have absolutely loved Machine Zone’s Game of War: Fire Age as the two games are very similar indeed. Game of War was a fun game though so this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Screenshot_2014-11-19-04-55-43Clash of Kings starts off with you, the king of your city taking it back from invaders, it’s unclear who they were or how you lost your city, but the only thing to be done now is to rebuild your devastated city and train a new army to ensure it isn’t lost again.

To do this the player builds resource buildings, such as Sawmills and Farms. These resources are used to crank out troops such as militia infantry and a few cavalrymen and to research myriad upgrades such as faster farming, the ability to support a larger army or just upgrades for your troops to make them stronger in battle. Building up the city is a very slow burning process. Packed with timers, it takes about 4 minutes to make a basic unit of militia and upgrades and research take a long time. This is a common story in freemium games though and it is never really that annoying.

Slowly upgrading the city, gradually becoming stronger and amassing an army with thousands of warriors is just as interesting as it was in Fire Age. The game also allows players to skip building and upgrade timers with under 5 minutes remaining and other players can help build or research things reducing the timer as well.

Screenshot_2014-11-19-04-58-16Alliances are central in Clash of Kings. An alliance is a group of players that work together to build up their cities. Alliances can aid in constructing buildings for members or provide reinforcements. When a player wants to attack they can instead begin a war rally which allows other players in that alliance to add soldiers as well to form a large combined army of small alliance city armies, allowing for some truly huge forces to be fielded. Alliances are usually friendly and helpful and the game feels as much like a social experience as it does a game.

Clash of Kings looks very inviting for the type of game it is. Buildings and units look good and are very well detailed for a free game. Buildings also change as they are upgraded and the interface is well laid out. The way that troops line up on the side of the city as they are created is satisfying too, as players can watch their army grow. For a freemium city builder Clash of Kings looks impressive.

The sound is somewhat limited but what’s there is decent enough. Some good music helps the game along but it loops far too frequently. The music on the world map for example loops every 30 seconds which is a shame as it’s a good track. Aurally the game is limited to a few yells and clicks. Some combat sounds would have been nice.

Clash of Kings is a pretty decent wargame and even though it apes Fire Age it is still a fun strategic game in its own right.

Pocket Heroes Beta Review

Pocket Heroes Beta Review

Nov 24, 2014

Pocket Heroes is a tactical action that puts the player in a weird, loose adaptation of a Legend of King Arthur. The story follows Eric, a bearded lieutenant of the king’s guardsmen who pretty unexpectedly all die at the hands of a demon, after being sent away from the castle on the order of Mordred. After being saved by a priest girl who joins him, he needs to go back to Camelot and save the kingdom from the hordes of various fantasy rabble.

The gameplay of Pocket Heroes is pretty familiar. The player controls up to four characters on the arena as they are being attacked by waves of enemies. The player needs to tap one of the characters and drag a line to make him move. Dragging it onto an enemy will make a character attack, dragging it onto an empty area will make him go there, and dragging a priest onto your character will make him start healing. The system is years old, and still as uncomfortable as ever, since trying to select a character in the middle of battle is welcoming to produce all sorts of mistakes. It’s not like it’s impossible to keep control over the characters, but every so often you give the wrong order to a wrong character, sometimes costing you a clean win.

Another problem of Pocket Heroes is the free-to-play system that irritates the bowels like a mix of milk, pickles, and Pocket Heroes Beta 2barbed wire. The game is currently in Beta, so it’s possible that the control system will be fixed – however, I’m guessing that the ads and the expendable mission energy are going to stay in the finished game.

Still, besides the lack of originality, free-to-pay stuff and the uncomfortable controls, Pocket Heroes is pretty fun. The cartoon graphics are crisp and pleasant, the outcome still depends on the player’s skills, and the wide range of loot, as well as long skill trees for each hero that include special upgrades, make it interesting to play for a long time – or at least as long as the energy bar lets you. Overall, this game is more or less, mediocre.

Battlestation: First Contact Review

Battlestation: First Contact Review

Nov 19, 2014

Battlestation: First Contact Is an interesting mix of RTS and tower defence.

As commander of a large space station the player simply needs to survive by any means possible while wiping out the enemy. Gun turrets can be built in a number of slots on the station. These range from fast firing anti fighter lasers to slower heavy missile launchers for pounding the snot out of big ships. Having a good balance of weapons to combat different threats is as important here as it is in any tower defence.

Screenshot_2014-11-14-08-15-18As well as towers however the player can also construct Hangars. Once built these spit out fighter in a steady steam, providing mobile defence that can be sent to attack the enemy or cover the station as necessary. Fighter squadrons can be individually ordered about and while they cannot be moved directly, the player always feels like they have firm control over their pilots.

A shuttle bay can also be built that allows marines to be sent in troop carriers to opposing enemy ships to take them over and steal them from the enemy. Lastly, Earth can be contacted for reinforcements to bring in the big guns. This doesn’t come cheap however.

Screenshot_2014-11-14-08-37-08Of course all this fancy gear costs credits which are gained by destroying enemies and tapping on salvage. Marines and pilots are also a finite resource, so flippantly throwing away fighters or troops in futile combat will swiftly lead to disaster.

Battlestation: First Contact offers quite a few tactical options. Everything the player builds or uses can be customized like any good RTS. Turrents can have their targeting priority changed, while fighters can be more or less aggressive or dock with the station for upgrades. Shields can also be tweaked to either have more capacity or recharge faster. All of this makes a big difference depending on the situation.

Battlestation is a rougetype. This means when the player dies that saved game is deleted and they must start all over again from wave 1. It is very easy to lose it all very fast in Battlestation: First Contact if a tactical blunder is made. This makes the game tense but it is very aggravating being blown up after twenty minutes of gameplay. This is not helped by the repeated dialogue each game. Battlestation barely has a story to speak of and it is irritating to click though dry dialogue.

Battlestation: First Contact looks nice and minimalist. Its bright, simple graphics give it an inviting TRON like look with chaotic battles that are fun to watch. The sound is well done as well. A pumping techno track accompanies the action. The “pew pew pew” of combat gets the job done in a retro way, but a few more sounds would have been nice.

Battlestation: First Contact offers its first episode for free while additional episodes cost $3.50. If you’re good enough to reach the end of the first episode the later ones will likely be a good buy.

Battlestation: First Contact is a slick well-made game with a great meshing of styles its exciting tactical combat and fresh graphics make it a winner, even if it can be just a little too brutal sometimes.

Bug Heroes 2 Review

Bug Heroes 2 Review

Aug 14, 2014

Bug Heroes 2 is a cool mix of tactical base building tactical shooter and cockroaches. What could go wrong?

Bug Heroes 2 is about bugs at war. Every slug and ant must do their part. The player moves their two bug team around in real time using an invisible virtual stick and attacking is handled automatically.

Screenshot_2014-08-12-16-50-52Depending on which bug is picked the player might blast away at distance or close in for some melee action. During combat grunt bugs like ants with rifles and siege engine grubs are constantly produced on both sides and go about attacking enemies automatically so the battlefield is always full of some matter of six legged carnage or another. The auto produced bugs really give the game a great feel as there is always fighting going on and watching armies of bugs clash is great fun.

Each bug the player controls has several skills that are the difference between winning and losing battles. The great thing is how different each character is. The Moth uses vital healing and buffing magic, while the Honey Bee is a sword and pistol armed officer type that boosts the skills of all grunts around him and has other skills that make his allies much stronger. He himself is weaker than the Cicada, who is a well armoured commando with a shotgun and offensive skills. Any two bugs can be used for the player’s team and strategies change a great deal depending on what they’re using. A large array of purchasable weapons and items, as well as permanent buffs are also available. Bug Heroes 2 has depth in spades.

Screenshot_2014-08-13-18-29-26Moving close to build spots at the player’s base allows construction of many different types of turret for defence, like sniper towers or machine gun towers. Other building types like additional unit production structures to crank out more grunts or shield bubbles to protect the base are also available. The sheer amount of turrets and options available is overwhelming and offers load of strategic depth. Smartly placing turrets, like putting short range cannons in front of sniper towers with a shield over it all to deflect incoming fire is important.
Besides normal battles where the first one to lose or their food or have their store destroyed is the loser the game also features survival type mission where the player must survive an onslaught of evil bugs using just their bugs skills and and wits

Between missions, new skills and buffs can be unlocked with coins gained from gameplay. New heroes also unlock randomly every few levels the player gains. Diamonds can be paid to unlock things early. Diamonds are premium currency, but there is no need to do so as things are unlocked at a good clip. Bug Heroes 2 has no nasty in-app purchases to speak of.

Bug Heroes 2 looks great. A cute but tough looking super-deformed style gives the game a unique look and combat looks great. Each character is full of personality and there is always something to look at. The sound is well done too. Weapons sound nice and beefy and combat sounds good. There is also some god music and a lot of speech which while repetitive is good to listen to.

Bug Heroes 2 is a highly polished, original game with no nasty freemium and tons of fun gameplay. Play it today!

Heroes of Atlan Review

Heroes of Atlan Review

Jul 22, 2014

Heroes of Atlan is a new demon slaying tactical adventure. Does it stand out from the recent flood of entries in this genre?

Heroes of Atlan is a tactical RPG in its purest form. The player takes no active role during combat. Instead, the player is relegated to equipping their team and positioning them to support each other. Unlike most RPGs of this type, there is absolutely no way to influence a fight once it begins; it’s all about the planning. Battles are short enough that they don’t drag on and the cool monster designs and decent animations make watching battles fun. Like any RPG, it is always satisfying seeing upgraded equipment or boosted levels turning the tide of battle.

Screenshot_2014-07-11-15-08-54A great thing about Heroes of Atlan is that it has an actual story. There is plenty of dialogue to read and some surprising moments. Nearly every battle has some interesting pretence to it and there is a real feeling of the kingdom galvanizing behind the player.

Heroes of Atlan uses a map based system where energy is expended to enter each battle. After winning a battle, the player earns experience and cash and moves onto the next battle. Previous battles can be replayed for more loot. As long as the player tempers their equipment and so on the difficulty is quite reasonable. Heroes of Atlan also includes a PvP arena, but it is filled with very high level players. Combat is completely hands off, just like single player so it really comes down to a pay to win scheme; the player with the best equipment will always win.

Upgrading equipment in Heroes of Atlan can be accomplished in two ways. First there is Tempering, which is a cheap, immediate boost to an item’s stats. This only requires money. Crafting is much more complicated and involves using a wide range of reagents to change an item’s form. Reagents take time to hunt down, but crafting makes equipment much more powerful. Once an Item has been crafted, it can be tempered all over again and the cycle starts anew.

Screenshot_2014-07-11-14-30-00Heroes of Atlan looks decent. Presented in a bright, colourful 2-d style the game features pretty nice character design and there are always new enemy types to see. The animation is fairly primitive, but the graphics aren’t really relevant to a game of this genre. Cool looking characters are just a bonus. The sound is likewise middle of the road. The music gets rather repetitive and there is no voice acting or even battle cries.

Heroes of Atlan is a pretty fun tactical RPG, at least in single player. While its lack of control and obvious freemium-based multiplayer might annoy some players it tells a good story and there is enough game here that gamers will keep gaming for a long time.

Boom Beach Review

Boom Beach Review

Jun 30, 2014

Boom Beach has an interesting premise. The player, commanding an unnamed army seeks to liberate a beautiful archipelago from the evil Blackguard, an army that has occupied the area and is using the natives for slave labour and repressing them. Starting off with a tiny base on an island, the player must expand their base, train an army and take back the islands from the Blackguard, one chunk of dirt at a time.

Screenshot_2014-06-28-00-36-43Boom Beach plays a lot like Clash of Clans. The biggest difference is that it uses squads of troops rather than the single soldiers in CoC. This looks a lot more realistic and feels much more like fighting a war. Since Boom Beach takes places on a group of islands units appear on ambitious transports before they storm the beach front, Normandy style. This is a huge improvement on the way armies just pop into existence in similar games.

Unlike Clash of Clans, only one building can be built or upgraded at once both building and upgrading buildings take a long time. Even the most basic unit of troops takes 5 minutes to create and resource acquisition is even slower. It is hard to really play Boom Beach for more than a few minutes at a time.

Screenshot_2014-06-27-18-58-05Boom Beach’s combat is likely to be very familiar. Troops are largely independent once deployed, attacking enemies and buildings as they seem fit. For the first time in this style of game a flare can be used to order units where to move to. The units will either move to the flare’s position or attack the building the flare is over. This is very useful for getting troops to attack guard towers or other dangerous foes if they’re distracted with attacking less threatening targets.

However, Boom Beach is just not compelling. There are just too many limiting factors. Combat is quite dull because there is very limited unit variety and it lacks the unique, interesting forces that were available in Clash of Clans.

Boom Beach lacks any kind of guild or clan system, which makes the game as a whole feel pretty lonesome. There is just not a lot to do, expect tap on buildings and attack the AI.

At least Boom Beach looks very nice. The lush, tropical isles, white sandy beaches and turquoise water are a great change for the genre and units looks good and animate well. The sound is very good as well. Some great ambient music suits the isle atmosphere very well and sound effects get the job done. The game is overall very polished.

Boom Beach is not a great game, but it really could be. With faster progression, shorter timers and more community features, Boom Beach could be something special. As it is though there are better games of this type on Android.

Warhammer 40000: Space Wolf Coming Soon To Android

Warhammer 40000: Space Wolf Coming Soon To Android

May 6, 2014


This is definitely good news for any fan of the Warhammer 40000 franchise. The new game is a turn-based tactical action game, where the player controls a small squad that fights against forces of chaos. Each one of them can be outfitted with unique equipment that can alter their behavior and damage output. Release date is yet unknown, but the game will be available somewhere around later summer.

Buy Strategy & Tactics Games With Huge Discounts for a Limited Time

Buy Strategy & Tactics Games With Huge Discounts for a Limited Time

Feb 24, 2014

Strategy & Tactics 3

For a limited time you can purchase the popular historical wargame series from Herocraft with huge discounts:
Strategy & Tactics: World War II – $1.99 (old price $4.99) – Google Play Link;
Strategy & Tactics: USSR vs USA – $0.99 (old price $2.99) – Google Play Link.

The deal runs out on Monday, so get it, while it’s hot.

A New Tactical Shooter Is Coming: Line of Defense Tactics

A New Tactical Shooter Is Coming: Line of Defense Tactics

Jan 23, 2014

LOD Tactics 3

This turn-based action game is going to be set in the universe of an upcoming MMO, Line Of Defense. It’s close to the classic UFO in terms of gameplay, and gives the player control over four space troopers, who need to eliminate the enemy, making use of their surroundings as, well as varied weaponry. The game will be available on Google Play, as well as on Amazon, soon. Get more info here: Line of Defense Website.

Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers Review

Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers Review

Dec 17, 2013

I can honestly say that it’s the first time I’ve played a game like this. Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers is a multiplayer turn-based tactical strategy that also teaches coding, of all things. And it’s perfectly timed, too, since I’ve actually been trying to pick up programming for the last couple of weeks, so it came in handy. While I have a couple of complaints, Hakitzu Elite is a great game that will be interesting for beginner programmers, as well as for the fans of unusual turn-based strategies.

Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers is a tight strategy game, and there are less than 10 robots on a field in any battle. It has two modes: single-player puzzle challenges, which are great and have lots of levels, if you don’t really want to participate in the second mode, multiplayer battles. The goal of the game is to destroy the enemy’s core, although in single-player it often only requires dispatching the enemy robots. Unfortunately, the genius who designed these fearsome killing machines, forgot to install an AI, so it’s the player’s task to order the metal husks around the battlefield by hand. First, the player needs to give a series of orders to all robots under his command, spending a common pool of action points, and then press “execute”, making the robots perform the orders, one by one. The robots can move in four directions, turn, shoot, fight in melee, guard the line of sight, and hack the cores, each task eating a bit of the AP pool. Thus, the challenge comes not only in understanding the battle situation, but also in giving the right set of commands for each robot. And then there’s the programming part.

There are four coding difficulty levels. In Beginner difficulty, the player doesn’t actually have to code anything, and simply taps Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers 4the buttons for the commands available. In Junior Coder, the player only needs to start writing a word, and the game will auto-complete it. As Coder, the player has to write the words on his own, and as Hacker, the player also has to write his own punctuation. To be fair, I don’t think anyone could actually learn coding from this game, since there’s only a handful of commands, with variables in only two of them, but it does work as a practice of correct punctuation, and basic line structure. Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers utilizes the structure of JavaScript, by the way.

Overall, Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers is a very interesting game. It has coding practice, chess-like turn-based strategy, great graphics, and it’s free. For once, I doubt the game would be any good, without any of these features. I suggest it to people who like unusual strategies, mostly. Don’t think actual programmers will be interested, but I, personally, liked it a lot.

Gurk III, the 8-bit RPG Review

Gurk III, the 8-bit RPG Review

Aug 16, 2013

I wanted to start this review by saying how Gurk was an old-school RPG from the olden days, but quick Googling turned up the fact that there was no such thing, and my memory is playing tricks on me. Well, how about that. It’s actually quite a modern-day RPG that was simply made to look like it’s a clone of an old-school game. Still, it doesn’t mean that the game is in any way bad. Conversely, it’s one of the most absorbing role-playing games on the mobiles, and it manages to be like that with only a handful of pixels and colors to spare.

Gurk III, the 8-bit RPG 2In Gurk III, three heroes, a mage, a warrior, and an archer, have to travel across lands and dungeons, eradicating all enemies that are all too eager to munch on their squishy human faces. They are represented by a single icon on the global map, but when encountering an enemy, the map will zoom up on them, and they will fight the enemies in a turn-based battle mode. As in all the other RPGs, there are tons of items to find, and tons of gold to collect.

Each hero has his own unique skills, and equippable items, as well as his own health and experience points. When a hero dies, he can be resurrected at the altar in any town for a small fee, but when the whole party gets wiped out, it gets transported back to town, and suffers a significant gold loss. One of the many interesting features in Gurk is mage’s ability to cast certain spells even outside of battle, healing his comrades at any time. Well, the whole game is interesting, really. But it’s very rudimentary-looking, and its controls could be a lot better. Not that they are really bad, but I got tired of surfing through inventory every time I want to cast a spell or change boots to the ones I found.

Gurk III is a surprisingly rich and mechanic-packed game. It’s more than just a dungeon-crawler, and requires tactical skills to defeat some heavier or numerous enemies. If Gurk’s ugly controls and graphical style don’t steer people off the game, there’s a lot of potential in this small tactical RPG. I’d certainly like to see it evolve into something a lot more amazing in the future, but it’s really alright as it already is.