Developer: Digital Tribe
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Originally a PC release (and one that looked pretty dated even for the time), Stronghold 3: The Campaigns has made its way to the iPad and, well, it’s not really worth taking too much to get to know. While it’s fortunately free of the many in-app purchases that other iOS strategy games might offer, and in theory offers a ‘proper’ experience, it’s not a great example of the genre.

stronghold6To get the one, lone in-app purchase out of the way, Stronghold 3: The Campaigns offers two separate campaigns – economic and military, with the latter only available for $2.99 as a separate purchase. Only the very keen and desperate for a new strategy fix will probably buy this, though.

The crucial problem with Stronghold 3: The Campaigns is it’s not very well explained. There’s a tutorial to start you off, but while it happens to be quite wordy it’s also oddly shallow and assumes a lot of the player. So much so that you’re better off figuring out things as you go along and hoping for the best. It doesn’t explain things like the importance of certain buildings or why it’s more efficient to place things near each other. Perhaps worst of all, it doesn’t make Stronghold 3: The Campaigns seem very interesting.

stronghold2Combined with a messy UI that clutters the screen while still feeling confusing, Stronghold 3: The Campaigns isn’t entirely pleasant. Awkward controls further cloud the issue, especially when it comes to moving the camera around.

Underneath such messiness there’s a not terrible strategy game, but its inferior ways of dealing with micromanagement is a disappointment for fans of the genre. While there might be a careful balancing act when it comes to keeping the economy stable and the peasants happy, odds are you’re never going to be gripped enough to care sufficiently.

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