App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Wait for enough resources to accumulate. Send out a soldier. Wait for more resources to accumulate. Send out a stronger soldier. Repeat as needed until the jerk at the other end of the screen vaporizes. It's a formula many an iOS gamer is familiar with, and one that's been proven to work time and time again. Crystal War Blood Field, however, switches things up in a couple of interesting ways, making it well worth a look for strategy fans.
As I've already indicated, Crystal War Blood Field belongs to the castle defense branch of iOS gaming. Players will gather up crystals, then spend them in order to produce units to send off to the opposing side. It's more than that, however. The most immediate and notable change is the fact that the field of battle is confined to the dimensions of the screen. No need to swipe back and forth in order to get a clear view of the fight, and no need for a dot-laden mini-map. A less obvious but more notable difference is the inclusion of crystals. Crystals sprout seemingly at random on the battlefield and can be harvested by special units. The more harvesters there are, the faster the crystals roll in. This comes at the expense of a preset size limit for a player's army, so balance is key.
The smaller "maps" and lack of "lanes" arguably make Crystal War Blood Field a bit more accessible than its opposition. Players don't have to split their focus much and thus get overwhelmed. Skirmish feel short but satisfying, and it gives people the chance to appreciate the clever artwork. The strategy involving crystal harvesting is another huge factor as relying on harvesters too much makes for an ineffective army and too little leads to hardly any army at all. There's this constant need to weigh the protection of the resource gatherers against the need to formulate a proper offense. Being able to queue-up multiple units to send out at once is a huge help in that regard.
Aside from a few grammatical errors (The Commender?) and the super-tiny text, I don't really have any complaints about Crystal War Blood Field. It's a surprisingly cleverly designed castle defense game. It's got a lot to offer, too, with two campaigns (human and goblin) as well as single and multiplayer. With a healthy amount of modes for each.
In general I'm not a huge castle defense fan, but something about Crystal War Blood Field has me hooked. I'm not sure if it's the colorful visuals, the ability to "farm" for cash for upgrades, the staggering amount of content or a combination thereof. All I know is that I like it. I like it a lot.