App Reviewed on: iPad
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LandGrabbers is a free-to-play real-time strategy game developed by Nevosoft that plays very much like Dragon Swarm, another streamlined RTS covered on 148Apps this week. Unlike Dragon Swarm, however, LandGrabbers is a single-player only experience that looks quite nice and is free to boot. That being said, LandGrabbers is not necessarily a categorically superior experience, mostly thanks to in app purchases and some weird control issues.
The concept behind LandGrabbers is very similar to most other real-time strategy games. Players are tasked with building up their army of dwarf-like warriors so that they may defeat their enemies and defend their own territories. What makes this game a bit different is that a player's number of dwarves is the single, most important factor in determining victory. To explain: each player starts with a designated home base. These bases automatically produce dwarves, and the number of these dwarves determines both the defense rating for a given territory as well as the power of that territory if a player chooses to attack another territory. The ultimate goal of the game is for players to manage the generation of forces such that they conquer all of the opposing players' territories.
To keep things varied and interesting, players can upgrade bases, but this comes at the cost of losing a designated number of troops. These upgrades include the ability to boost army production/capacity and attack enemy forces in transit, among other things. Because these upgrades, as well as almost everything else in LandGrabbers, is determined by the number of soldiers available at any given moment, players will need to balance progression with the generation of dwarves if they wish to succeed.
The balancing act that LandGrabbers demands of players is easily the most interesting thing about the game, and makes each game session quite fun. Even if the game's six environments become tiresome, players can spend gems to upgrade or otherwise alter the way their army behaves. Unfortunately, though, some of the experience is dampened a little both by some awkwardness that occurs when moving troops to reinforce friendly territories and the intentional slow progression built into the game which seems like part of the developer's in app purchase scheme.
Overall, LandGrabbers is an experience that is easy to recommend. The game is both mechanically and visually interesting. Players are free to try it themselves, and if they truly enjoy their time with it, they can also side-step the issue of slow progress by spending some money to both support the developers while earning more gems.