This week, we’re looking at a game that heavily borrows from Advance Wars and a more turn-based RPG approach to tower defense.
DOFUS Battles (iPhone, iPad): Online games DOFUS and Wakfu have their fans, and largely don’t have much of a following from the mainstream. Projects like this game and the Wakfu XBLA title are attempts to change that, giving players a taste of the experience without the daunting multiplayer arena that is the main experience. As a standalone product, this one’s interesting: it’s tower defense, but instead of towers, you have specific units with classes like archers and healers. We like the completely turn-based aspect: between waves, things stop and you can spend whatever you’d like, and it doesn’t rely on placement while enemies are rushing in. (That isn’t so bad, really, but there are enough games out there to cater to those who prefer it.)
There are some questionable design choices, like making players tap shards to collect them and place new units. We understand this, as it’s a common tactic in casual games to keep players engaged, but these shards are small, even on the large iPad screen, and you need five of them to do anything. All in all, though, it’s a solid entry in a too-crowded genre. 3/5
Great Little War Game (Universal): Mercenary developers Rubicon made a project of their own, and it seems it’s the one they always wanted to make. We don’t blame them, since hex-based Advance Wars sounds pretty good to us, too. That’s basically what it is, a game with production bases, movement ranges and all kinds of bullets. The game’s making its way to PC, Vita and other platforms in the near future, but this was the version as originally conceived.
It has all kinds of personality, but the canned voices get repetitive, and some of the graphical flourishes on the terrain and units just get in the way of usability sometimes. Oh, and it does some of those in-app purchase shenanigans. Still, though, it’s quite the capable game, with a decent-sized campaign and a number of multiplayer maps. 4/5