Version Reviewed: 1.0 & 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
There can be a certain charm in fairly simple and straightforward strategy games. Instead of making the rules and units complex, the complexity can instead be shifted to how one approaches problems. However, with Little Conquest, the design is such that the game is pretty simple all together, making for a great casual experience on the go, but leaving something to be desired if searching for something a bit more engaging.
The premise is simple: play through the campaign as the Greeks and then the Vikings. You have buildings that generate units, on whom you can tap and send to attack other buildings. Each building has its own function, which may be a specific unit, or may generate money. The former allows for larger attacks, the latter allows for upgrades to beef up the units and create buildings that have a higher capacity for troops.
Which is all perfectly dandy, easy to use, and straightforward. This does not mean the game is necessarily always easy, either. Playing on normal, I found myself sometimes flummoxed when new elements were introduced, such as towers that shot at my troops, but eventually found they were not really as much of a challenge as I thought. Eventually these new elements stop being introduced, and instead it just becomes a question of the configuration of these various buildings and how to best launch an attack while defending against the enemy’s attacks on your own territory.
Beyond that, the story is fairly simple and straightforward: play as the Greeks versus the Egyptians and later unlock to play the Vikings vs. the Normans. Mythological creatures and Trojan horses are involved, as are the yelling war cries of your troops as they march forward, to either be shot down as so much cannon fodder, or throw themselves at a building to either succeed in conquering it, or perhaps just weakening it for the next wave. Despite the bloody history of war, the violence is actually rather muted, with troops just poofing into a dust cloud, so much digital dust whose lives really aren’t important beyond what they can accomplish for you.
However, as my playtime continued on for longer stretches, the game felt a bit of a chore. Money is not automatically generated, but must be picked up, a feature from Facebook games I have come to loathe with a passion — it is banal busy work disguised as interaction. Tapping on a building and then tapping on another to get troops to move almost felt like it was a challenge in how fast I could click once my building was at its full capacity, so I found myself using both thumbs in rapid succession, but not feeling I was doing much thinking in those quick bursts of attacks.
Which is to say, this is a game better focused on one chapter at a time, where its flaws don’t quite come to the fore as much. While the ability to replay levels for a higher score, or faster time exists, I found myself finishing most levels the first time around with a score with which I was pleased, and no real need to explore other strategies. In that instance it becomes an amusing diversion with some minor strategy that doesn’t tax too much, nor require much in the way of grand planning — a Little Conquest indeed.