Posts Tagged strategy

Mark of the Dragon Review

Mark of the Dragon Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Mark of the Dragon is a bit rough and scaly, but flying into battle on the backs of dragons makes for good times.

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Call of Duty makes a lot of money, and Clash of Clans makes a lot of money. So, logically, Activision thinks they can make a lot of money by putting those two things together. With Call of Duty: Heroes, that’s exactly what they’ve done. But will fans of bombastic shooters enjoy a tiny freemium tactics game and vice-versa? We go Oscar Mike to find out in this New Zealand edition of It Came From Canada!

While Call of Duty has gone everywhere from World War II to Vietnam to the near future, Call of Duty: Heroes takes place during the popular “Modern Warfare” era of the series. As the leader of a military base, players fortify their surroundings using the latest and greatest army toys. Bunkers, turrets, and thick walls defend HQ from roaming insurgents as well as other players in online battles. But as you’d expect from a game like this, there’s also a substantial offensive campaign as players engage in real-time strategy missions all over the globe. Successful assaults typically boil down to effective unit composition. Normal soldiers are cheap and easy to mass produce, but only armored soldiers can withstand heavy fire long enough to actually accomplish anything.

call of duty heroes (1)However, all of that is just the Clash of Clans formula that has now proven its success countless times. What does the Call of Duty license bring to the table? Well first off it actually creates this weird incongruous feeling. The detached, rational perspective of an omniscient commander in the sky doesn’t quite gel with the fast, visceral, and up-close cinematic action the series banks on with its tagline, “There’s a soldier in all of us.” Beyond that though, there are times when the game is more than just Call of Duty in name only. The leveling system works as a fine Prestige Mode substitute. The top-notch production values, with detailed visuals and an excellent frame rate, match the franchise’s high standards. Killstreaks and air strikes put players behind a turret and have them mow down targets from a familiar first-person perspective, and players can even enlist heroes from past games like John Price and his famous mustache.

call of duty heroes (2)Even if we have reached peak Call of Duty, the franchise still carries plenty of cache. We’ll see if that carries over to this new mobile spinoff when Call of Duty: Heroes launches everywhere soon.

Rapture – World Conquest Review

Rapture – World Conquest Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Millennia turn to minutes in this frantic strategy game.

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Cato and Macro Review

Cato and Macro Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Although it looks like a mobile version of real-time strategy game, Cato and Macro is actually a bizarre form of a tower defense featuring characters from Simon Scarrow's book series.

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Adventure Age Review

Adventure Age Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
There's a lot of customization and party building fun to make this puzzler pretty engrossing, provided players can fight through the bugs.

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XCOM: Enemy Within Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The definitive XCOM experience (not counting a certain PC mod) has officially made the trip to mobile - and it’s still exceedingly fantastic.

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Todat 2K and Firaxis Games have announced the iOS version of their fantastic alien-blasting strategy game, XCOM: Enemy Within. This enhanced edition of XCOM: Enemy Unknown comes with a ton of new content including new gear, story, classes, maps, and gameplay.

Now you can add new facilities to your base, such as the slightly creepy Genetics Lab that allows you to mess around with your soldiers’ biology and the Cybernetics Lab where you can convert your soldiers into giant mechanical supermen. You’re going to need them, too. The alien forces have a new ally amongst the humans. A shadowy organization called EXALT is working against humanity – you’ll want to infiltrate their inner workings and take them down before they have us all bowing to our new alien overlords.

Enemy Within also has new multiplayer maps, units, and abilities. Gang up on those aliens in one-on-one, turn-based matches.

Unfortunately the app is only compatible with iPad 3, iPad mini 2, iPhone 5 and up. It WILL NOT be able to run on earlier generations of iOS hardware.

You’ll be able to download XCOM: Enemy Within from the App Store for $12.99 tomorrow.

Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front Review

Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Test your skills on the Eastern Front in this complicated, but fascinatingly deep strategy game.

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WinterForts: Exiled Kingdom Review

WinterForts: Exiled Kingdom Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
WinterForts' exceedingly unoriginal gameplay will leave players cold.

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Dino on Fire Review

Dino on Fire Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Though Dino on Fire still plays very closely to Clash of Clans, fighting as dinosaurs has its own appeal.

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Swap Heroes Review

Swap Heroes Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Rotate a cast of heroes to fend of waves of monsters in this difficult, puzzle rpg.

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Calling all agents:
Would you like to see what we thought of this rather pretty base builder? Check out our Agents of Storm review!

Have you downloaded Agents of Storm, been bowled over by the graphics, and aren’t quite sure what to do next? Never fear, for we’re here with some handy tips and tricks to help any beginner get started!
 

Diamonds Are Your Best Friend

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  • Diamonds don’t come easily in this game, which is a shame because they’re very useful. For that reason, don’t use them early on. Encouraging you to do exactly that is a common thing with games like this, but resist. There’s just no point using them up to save you a minute of time, when later on they’ll be far more useful.
  • To boost your diamond supply, work towards the achievements that Agents of Storm likes you to complete. You’ll earn a few diamonds here and there for completing some fairly straightforward tasks.
  • You can watch videos for free diamonds, too. It’s a bit tedious, but it’s handy when trying to earn more. You could always leave the video playing while doing something else away from your phone for those few seconds!

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  • Put those diamonds towards the many enhancements in the shop. These can make all the difference. The Build Module reduces the cool down time between buildings, while Pagoda gives you experience just for being there. Waterfall gives you more gold from every attack you complete.
  • Focus on upgrading your resource gathering buildings for that very reason. Gold is particularly useful as it’s needed for attacking islands. As island attacks are your main source of progressing anywhere in the game, you want to focus on this.


Continue reading Agents of Storm: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies to be the Strongest Out There »

Base Busters Review

Base Busters Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Mixing up two forms of tower defense gaming and collectible cards, Base Busters is a fun mix that's restricted by freemium elements.

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Animals vs Mutants Review

Animals vs Mutants Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Animals vs Mutants is cute and fun for a time, but strategy enthusiasts won't find it to be a challenging hunt.

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Well met, warriors:
Curious to see how much fun we’ve been having with all this hero-shuffling? Check out our Terra Battle review!

Terra Battle is a strategy-based puzzle RPG that is accessible and addictive, yet multi-faceted and challenging, so take heed of these hints and tips before you and your squad head into dangerous, uncharted territory.
 

On the Battlefield

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Terra Battle‘s fighting system is based on a form of Rock Paper Scissors, in which certain weapon types can outperform others: swords have the advantage over bows, bows can dominate spears, and spears can best swords. Remembering this cycle is key in deciding which squad member to use in the next attack. The staff simply highlights a mage character with healing attributes but no attacking ability.

There is a time limit in which each movement must be completed, so try to plan a movement in advance – particularly if it involves displacing another tile into a better position for chain support or a direct attack. If you’re smart about it, pre-planning a route and approaching multiple characters from certain angles can set up multiple chain attacks were before there was none.

Continue reading Terra Battle – Tips, Tricks, Strategies, and Cheats for Setting Up Your Best Lines »

Puzzle to the Center of the Earth Review

Puzzle to the Center of the Earth Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Do some puzzles to make some platforms in this smart and fun free-to-play cave mining adventure.

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Dig this:
Would you like to know what we thought of all this puzzling-around the deep recesses of the planet? Check out our Puzzle to the Center of the Earth review!

Puzzle to the Center of the Earth is a surprisingly deep and challenging puzzle platformer. Here are a few tips for players looking to stay alive while down in the depths.
 

Energy Management is Key

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  • Once you start using formulas, make sure you build combos of blocks toward your character and not away – The catalyst energy that allows for formula usage always drops at the end of a string of six blocks, so if you start linking blocks as far away as possible and move in, they are easier to get (see above). The combo on the left will end up dropping the red catalyst crystal in a hard-to-reach place significantly further down into the cavern whereas the combo on the right, which is the same exact structure, will drop the crystal right at your feet.
  • Use moves wisely – Players begin every level with 20 energy and it costs 1 energy to interact with any amount of blocks. This means that dropping blocks or linking 4, 5, or 6 blocks all costs 1 energy. Since the ultimate goal is at the bottom of each level, using 1 energy to dig as far down as possible is generally a good strategy – at least in the beginning.
  • Look for energy blocks – To help recoup energy, there are blocks in the world that have pieces of energy in them. These energy blocks give players 4 energy. Therefore, it’s not necessarily worth going out of the way to mine an energy block if it costs more than 4 energy to get.


Continue reading Puzzle to the Center of the Earth – Tips, Tricks, Strategies, and Cheats for Daring Spelunkers »

Hey there, Stickers:
Want to know all about how impressed we were with Radiator Springs? Check out our Cars: Fast as Lightning review!

Cars: Fast as Lightning is a cute and fun app that combines racing and town-building with the charisma and marketability of Disney Pixar’s Cars franchise. It’s a friendly game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a few tips to help you make Radiator Springs shine again.


 

Starting Out

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  • Complete quests to earn rewards – Quests queue up on the left side of the screen when you’re not racing. Quests offer rewards like experience and coins, and they’re a good way to get back on track if you’ve been meandering from task to task.
  • Pay attention to the difficulty meter before you race – Each car you engage in a race has a difficulty measuring from one to four. Make sure to race within your rank if you don’t want to waste gas on a loss.
  • Place attractions on the track to earn more experience with races – Don’t neglect putting attractions on race tracks. They earn you a bit of extra experience with every race, plus they make the joint look classy.


Continue reading Cars: Fast as Lightning – Tips, Tricks, Strategies, and Cheats For an Easy Ride »

Banner Saga Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Rarely do you see an iOS port that goes to such great lengths to preserve what made the PC version so special.

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Adventure Xpress Review

Adventure Xpress Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Match three in your epic quest to deliver the mail across this quirky, fantasy landscape.

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God Strike 2 Review

God Strike 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Fling lightning at mere mortals in this quirky but ultimately middling puzzle game.

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Smarter Than You Review

Smarter Than You Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Psych-out friends and random players in this simple but psychologically complex game from the makers of 10000000.

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Tactics Maiden Review

Tactics Maiden Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Tactics Maiden is strategy comfort food, until it overstays its welcome.

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Race Team Manager Review

Race Team Manager Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Want to be in charge of a racing team but not be overwhelmed by tactics and options? Race Team Manager is for you.

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MUJO Review

MUJO Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
This match-three game has collectible and role-playing elements that make it continually satisfying to play.

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It Came From Canada: Terra Battle

In some way or another, most Japanese RPGs owe something to Final Fantasy. But with Terra Battle, the now-common mix of Western medieval fantasy with Eastern anime aesthetic feels earned. After all, its developer, Mistwalker, was founded by the Final Fantasy mastermind himself, Hironobu Sakaguchi. While this upcoming strategy game is definitely more modest than its ancestors, it’s still worth noticing when a company with this pedigree flexes its muscles. So that’s what we did in this latest edition of It Came From Canada!

As modern RPG plots become as integral to their respective games as they are incomprehensible, Terra Battle harkens back to an earlier time when fighting monsters was as good a reason as any to recruit tavern patrons to your party. There is a story, but those who choose to skip it can still find the game worthwhile.

terra battle (1)terra battle (2)And besides, the vast majority of the time is spent in the battlefield brawls that make up each chapter. Terra Battle‘s take on turn-based strategy feels like a cross between Fire Emblem and a board game like Reversi. Enemies and party members appear as squares on a grid. During each turn, players can move one square wherever they like while they still have time. To attack, players simply flank an enemy with two units.

The game also uses a weapon triangle system where certain attacks trump others, like rock-paper-scissors. However, proper positioning is the real focus. Beyond basic movement, players can explore other tactical options and quirks like passing units through each other to shift their locations or creating larger support clusters to attack multiple foes at once. Occasionally, powerful orbs will materialize on the grid, and by working those into their formations players can unleash even more devastating attacks perfect for boss fights.

terra battle (3)terra battle (4)To improve their party, players can also participate in daily challenges in special zones to earn more experience or loot. But really, the deep, intense, and highly strategic combat is the draw. It’s so good players may not even notice or care how lovely but generic the illustrated artwork is or how dull the barren grid itself becomes after staring at it for countless hours.

Terra Battle may not be some endless epic about saving the world from calamity, but it is a tight little test of wits. And it’s coming to the App Store soon, so be on the lookout.

Hello, Wanderers:
Want to see what we thought about exploring the dimension between life and death? Check out our Phantom Rift review!

Phantom Rift from Foursaken Media is a deep adventure/role-playing game that centers around intense battles with enemy monsters. It plays a good deal like Capcom’s Mega Man Battle Network, which thrived on the Game Boy Advance, and veterans of that series should be able to sink right into Foursaken’s title.

But that doesn’t mean surviving the Rift is easy. Here are some tips that will help keep you alive in this strange, dark world.

Starting Out

phantomriftguide_01

  • The questions at the beginning of the game seem to influence the magic spells you receive – When you begin playing Phantom Rift, you’re asked a brief series of questions about who you are. Do you like fighting with friends, or alone? Do you prefer fighting close-up, or from afar? The way in which you answer these questions seems to impact which spells you start the game with. For instance, if you say you prefer fighting up close, you should start off with an assortment of sword spells.
  • Stuck? Talk to Wispin – Wispin is your guide in the Rift. If you’re unsure of what to do next, tap on him to chat. He can help light the way. [Editor’s Note: *rimshot*]
  • Use energy sparingly – Early in Phantom Rift, you receive a ring that restores health at the cost of 30 energy. This is a valuable tool, and can mean the difference between life and death. That said, energy is very valuable as it’s also used to buy spells, weapons, and armor. Instead of healing yourself with energy-consuming items, try restoring your health in-battle using spells.


Continue reading Phantom Rift – Tips, Tricks, Strategies, and Cheats for Traveling Through the Rift »

Kings of the Realm Review

Kings of the Realm Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Kings of the Realm offers some handy tweaks, but it's still the familiar format of base building and alliance forming.

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The Nightmare Cooperative Review

The Nightmare Cooperative Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The Nightmare Cooperative is a strategic puzzle game that gets better the more it's played, as players learn how to react to their environment and the wide array of enemies within it.

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Hey there, Hero:
What to know what we thought about all this dungeoneering and crowd control? Check out our Nightmare Cooperative review!

The Nightmare Cooperative is a distinctive and challenging puzzler that drops players right in the thick of things and forces them to adapt. We’ve prepared a few tips and hints to prepare you for the countless trips you’ll be taking through the dungeons.

Top of the Class

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Utilizing and familiarizing yourself with the perks of the class system is an extremely important part of The Nightmare Cooperative, as it can dictate who is worth saving and who is worth leaving behind. Below is a list by order of personal preference, starting with the most valued member of my team.

  • The Ninja uses his stealth to slip past enemies unnoticed, covering a great distance in one bound. Being able to traverse the entire board can mean the Ninja has often been the only one in my team to escape a level unscathed, making him my greatest asset. Pick him up.
  • The Priest has the power to fully heal the closest member of his team, so the selfless sap can sacrifice his own well-being in the hope that a teammate will live on, which when having to fight your way out is often a lifesaver (literally).
  • The Warrior is the most prolific fighter, as you would hope, and can dish out a double-dose of pain per attack – which is particularly useful when being stalked by an enemy or backed into a corner. However, it does mean having to get close to an enemy and risk taking a hit, so try to draw them closer beforehand.
  • The Archer is particularly useful for dispatching enemies at range (though not over over walls), as long as they are directly in-line with her. Particularly useful when wanting to clear a path from a safe position.
  • The Astral Walker has the ability to walk through walls (though not through enemies). However, use up his last move before passing all of the way through one and suffer instant death. Not a good way to go.
  • The Barbarian knocks enemies flying in the opposite direction with his special attack. Think of him like a human battering ram, but with awesome mutton chops.
  • The Mage can also attack at range, though only diagonally, which is a slightly more difficult attacking position to take up.

Survival Tips

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  • Don’t open chests if possible, since it multiplies the amount of enemies on the map. Collect scattered gold or go for the chest with the lowest number on top, representing the amount of enemies it spawns.
  • If you are a bit of a hoarder, try sending the last member back before they exit the level, if the path is safe enough. Get the others through first and leave the one remaining lonesome soul to pilfer gold, potions and health vats for the team.
  • When an enemy shell appears – whether it’s due to the opening of a chest or reaching the step counter limit – use allies with long-range attacks to take them out in one hit.
  • Most enemies can only attack on their second move (i.e. if you move alongside them, they cannot attack straight away), so move away from them once they are in striking distance. For enemies that like to follow you around, attacking is the best way out, so hit them from a safe distance with the Archer/Mage and lure them into striking range where you can get the first strike. Either way, always be careful not to put the others in jeopardy in the process, since when one team member moves, all members move. And no one wants a quick dip in the acid pit.

In the end, The Nightmare Cooperative is a game of sacrifices. Sacrificing a heart, gold, or even a teammate’s life for the chance to escape is often a necessity. There’s no “I” in team, but there’s one in “winner”. Think about that.

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