Developer: Hunted Cow
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
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There are tons of battle simulation games out there. Since the heyday of PC gaming in the early 90s with games such as Caesar and Cohort, to the modern battle mechanics in titles such as Civilization V, gamers have enjoyed the ability to move units on a hexagonal board with a turn-based combat fashion. The new iPad and iPhone game Ancient Battle: Rome is the latest in the long line of battle simulations as well as games simulating the wonderful life and times of the Roman empire.
Ancient Battle: Rome does not contain any game mechanics that haven't been seen in other battle simulation games before. The game has players take control of either the Romans or Gaelic tribes (with Germanic tribes or Norman tribes from the ancient Briton region from DLC) who are pitted against one another in turn based hexagonal-moving combat. As with many similar games, there are a plethora of units for players to choose from; all which have their strengths and weaknesses. Each scenario has its own parameters for victory, such as taking out half the enemies’ army, or making sure that one doesn’t lose a set amount of units or bases. Again, everything in this game is something that has been seen before in other like games, but it’s still entertaining nonetheless.
The disappointing thing about this title by far is the graphics. It seems as though the developers of Ancient Battle: Rome played an amazing amount of Civilization II and adapted the graphical style, interface, and unit animations from that title. The look of this game isn't totally abysmal, but it's puzzling that a game that didn't need to look retro still chose to go with low-definition graphics. Even the end battle artwork looks dated. Nowhere in this game does it take advantage of the graphical power of current iOS devices.
There's a ton of hexagonal battle simulators on the App Store, but if players want something a little more affordable and something that feels like a throwback to early 90s computer battle simulations, then a title like Hunted Cow’s Ancient Battle: Rome will be right up their alley. This game uses tried and true mechanics while still giving players tidbits of history before each and every battle. Ancient Battle: Rome truly is a great, retro style game for the battle enthusiast and history buff.