Version Reviewed: 1.1
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Crystal War is, according to the developer, is a 'Real Time Simulation" game. While I'm not quite sure what it is a simulation of, it is real time, but more of a real time castle defense game than anything.
The basic premise is that you are the human/elf army fighting against the evil goblins. You start each level with a "Commender" (I think it's meant to be a Commander), and must build up an army to kill the other goblin "Commender" on the other side of the side scrolling map. Each level starts you with a certain amount of crystals, with more scattered on the ground that must be mined with miners. As you gain more and more crystals, you can build more and more units, all of which run forward and fight until they die... or kill the enemy "Commender".
Between the levels (assuming you win), you get to spend the gold that you collect from dead enemies in the shop, where you can buy new units to build, upgrade the ones you have, and buy new "Crystal Attacks" like blizzards and black holes to attack the enemy. The upgrade system is fairly extensive and is quite balanced, letting you purchase a few things that will define your attack, but not letting you buy everything in the shop from the get-go.
Since there is no multiplayer option available, you must have your fun on the single player campaign, which is quite short considering the ease of which the levels could be designed. There is also no difficulty level, which is a real shame given the relative ease that I burned through the game. A simple multiplayer match up mode would make all the difference in the world for a game like this, so hopefully something like that will come in a future update.
Crystal War is a fun game with a good concept, but the lack of things to do along with the easy difficulty make it hard to really recommend to most. At $2.99, it's not too expensive to play on a whim, but there are certainly better games in the App Store that you could purchase for the same amount or cheaper.