Developer: Triad Gene
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 1

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Fleet Combat HD is a game from Triad Gene that is one part tower defense and one part real-time strategy. Players are in charge of a naval base where they are tasked with building a fleet to fend off enemy ships. Although—in concept—the game seems interesting, the actual playing of the game can wear thin rather quickly, making Fleet Combat HD only recommendable for particularly patient players or hardcore fans of real-time strategy or tower defense iOS games.

The story of Fleet Combat HD is outlined in text at the beginning of the game as well as the start of every stage. Most of this plot is forgettable, but serves to set up the fact that there are two naval factions fighting a world war in a near-future world. You are in command of one of these factions, and you must lead your ships in a top-down view of various maps around the world in your quest to win the war.

Visually, the game isn’t stunning by any measure, but looks rather nice. There is a crispness to the art in the game that presents a good contrast against the mostly blue backdrop. The user interface is similarly clean looking, making the game relatively easy to follow along at the real-time—and sometimes hectic—pace of the game.

As a naval base commander, players will have access to funds to purchase ships from their shipyard and place them on the map wherever they wish. Since these are naval ships, they remain moveable throughout each stage, and all come equipped with special attacks. Aside from ships, there is also a naval base on screen. This structure is what players need to protect, and it too is equipped with unique abilities

The problems in Fleet Combat HD only truly arise in actually playing it. The experience of commanding your ships is an uneven experience at best, making the game feel very tedious, especially at the very beginning of the game. As each wave of enemies approaches, positioning ships, building new ones, readying special abilities, and keeping track of each special attack’s cool down timer is overwhelming. On top of this, each ship is very delicate, so this extreme level of demanding micro-management is necessary if players want to survive each stage. When everything is going right, Fleet Combat HD can be a demanding, but rewarding experience; but, small mistakes can bring defeat and frustration very easily.

Despite being a well-built game, Fleet Combat HD is not for everyone. The game seems to be made almost exclusively for veterans of the tower defense genre looking for a challenge. Few others need apply.

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