Version Reviewed: 1.0.4
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
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While the folks over at Touch Dimensions certainly chose a gameplay style that highly appeals to many fans of strategy games, they also took a large weight upon their shoulders as expectations are set very high. So does Autumn Dynasty Warlords manage to keep its head above the water, or does it drown under the weight of heavy expectations?
The game is set in functional China, and players take on the role of a warlord fighting for supremacy. They select the only available hero (with more to unlock later), then move on to the world view. Starting off with a single Province and one officer, their job is to fight, trade, and talk their way to total domination. The system used to move officers and armies from province to province is refreshingly simple and easy to get a hang of. Tap the desired unit and one will gain access to a short list of options such as move, manage, invade, and more. Depending on what action the player chooses, further actions may become available. Each province has a limited number of slots where players can build and upgrade new buildings, so they’ll have to choose wisely.
One of the qualities I like best in Autumn Dynasty Warlords becomes visible once the player marches their army against another Province. Instead of going straight to battle mode and deciding the outcome of an attack in a single run, players have several different ways of approaching the main keep. Options vary between launching a full frontal attack, trying to sneak past defenses, raiding a village, etc. One thing’s for sure; whether they win or lose their first attack, players can’t capture a Province in a single turn.
The battle mode is pretty straightforward as one has a only a few different classes. As usual, cavalry is good against weak infantry but vulnerable to spear-men, etc. Once a unit is selected, players can paint their trajectory across the battlefield to order it to move. The downside here is that although it looks great when the player paints a circle to direct their troops around the enemy and attack them from behind, once they release their finger units will just charge the enemy in a straight line.
The game has a few other defects as well. For instance, if units are close to an enemy they automatically attack, and there’s no way to order them to stand by. The autosave function has an issue of its own: it only saves after players have ended their turn, so any action taken before that time will not be saved if one was to exit.
Ultimately though, the game does have a lot to offer and the quest of conquering all of China makes for a lengthy and satisfying experience. Autumn Dynasty Warlords takes on a challenging concept and ultimately succeeds in delivering a noteworthy RTS-TBS hybrid that many fans of the genre are going to enjoy!