Posts Tagged strategy
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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
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.
- 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.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The Daily Quests provide players with an opportunity to gather extra coins and experience points for completing special tasks. The Spy Glass, meanwhile, is a premium power-up that gives players the chance to peek at what the other player has up their sleeve. Finally, the ability to choose a deck means players can find a decent deck in single-player, then use it in PvP battles.
Epic Arena is available to download for free from the App Store now.
Wondering what we thought of the grueling trial-by-fire that is The Ensign? Then take a look at our review!
The Ensign is the prequel to the smash-hit A Dark Room by Amir Rajan. The game starts with the player’s starship crashing onto a hostile planet. The commanding officer gives up hope, and the player takes charge to refuel the ship so that the crew can make their escape. Using only a meagre amount of supplies you will have to journey through an unknown world with only your compass and wits to guide you.
The Ensign is actually a spin on an old genre of games that saw its heyday in the late-80s and early-90s called “roguelike adventures.” Roguelikes are known for their high difficulty and being unforgiving to any mistakes. Many of them feature permanent death as well, forcing the player to start over entirely from the beginning if they die. The Ensign can be very unforgiving, and players will need to be aware of the limitations of the in-game character if they hope to make it to the end.
These tips will help you face the harsh world of The Ensign. The best advice however, is to not get discouraged. This game, unlike many mobile games, is a very harsh and unforgiving one. It cannot be said to be unfair, though.
Continue reading The Ensign – Tips, Tricks, and Strategies to Give You a Fighting Chance »
Qube Kingdom is a tower defense game from DeNA. You rally your troops – magicians, archers, knights, barbarians, and others – and fight against an evil menace looking to dominate your kingdom of tiny squares.
Planning a war isn’t easy, so here are a few tips to help you take apart your enemies.
Want to know what we thought of all this qube carnage? Take a look at our Qube Kingdom review!
- Remember: some fighters have elemental affinities. Certain classes of Questors have an elemental type, which is indicated by a symbol on their profile. There are three affinities: Magic, Metal, and Nature. Magic bests Metal, Metal bests Nature, and Nature bests Magic. Enemies likewise take and deal more damage according to their affinities; if a particular enemy has an affinity, you’ll see a small icon pop-up beside them as they take damage. Remember, neutral Questors like knights and archers can’t deal element-based damage – but neither are they penalized by elemental attacks.
- Make friends and accept friend requests for powerful allies. The “qlubhouse” (the blue-and-white tent beside your “barraqs”) is where you can recruit allies, including Facebook friends that are already playing the game. Allies can be a valuable way to get automatic access to powerful Questors, and they’re also the best way to get social qubes. Social qubes can be used to recruit new Questors, and you get a few every time you complete a battle with the aid of another player’s Questor. If you register a Questor as a friend, you get more social qubes every time they help out.
- Take advantage of each battle’s slow start to learn the lay of the land. Enemy waves intensify the longer a battle goes on. Take advantage of slow early waves by getting a feel for the layout. Where are your Questors most effective? What kind of enemies are being thrown at you? Are there any quobelisk traps you can trigger to your advantage?
- Place long-range attackers first. Long-range attackers are out of harm’s way – at least until other archers and/or magic users come onto the field. Enemy waves usually start with melee attackers, so soften things up a bit by putting long-range attackers onto the battlefield.
- Don’t activate red quobelisks! Quobelisks – block-shaped switches on the battlefield – are triggered when a certain number of enemies are killed nearby. Red quobelisks will damage your party members if they’re activated, so keep your Questors as far from them as possible.
- Do take advantage of other quobelisks, however. Don’t steer away from quobelisks of other colors, though; they’re very beneficial. For instance, blue quobelisks activate roadblocks that re-route your enemies or block their path. Yellow quobelisks activate a fire trap that can clear a crowd of enemies in a second.
- Upgrade your Questors during battle, but don’t go crazy too early. You can spend cubes to upgrade your Questors during a fight. However, during the early stages of a battle you should spend your resources on covering the field with Questors. Once everyone is placed you can focus on upgrades to your fighters’ hit points and attack strength.
Surviving the Onslaught
- Upgrade your Questors as soon as you have the resources to do so. The blue qubes you earn after successful battles lets you permanently make your Questors stronger. Access their profiles while they’re camping, and select “upgrade.”
- Check the award boards for valuable rewards. Woo hoo! Free stuff! Earning achievements unlocks rare qubes and other rewards. Make sure to visit the bulletin board from time to time. They’re just south of your barraqs. Unclaimed rewards vanish after a few days, so don’t forget about them.
- Stuck? Do some level grinding. Even if you lack elite qubes to summon rarer, more powerful Questors, your common Questors can still be made more powerful by upgrading them. Doing so requires blue qubes, which can be won in battle. If you’re having trouble with a level, re-visit old levels and grind for blue qubes.
With a brand new Star Wars trilogy on the horizon, prepare yourselves for Disney and George Lucas’s space fantasy throwback to be more omnipresent than ever before. So it should come as no surprise that new adventures in that galaxy far, far away are coming to mobile as well. The latest example? Star Wars: Commander. We check to see how strong the Force is with this upcoming strategy game in this edition of It Came From Canada!
As much as its creators try to deny it, Star Wars: Commander is Clash of Clans with the Star Wars license. Players begin as independent Tatooine mercenaries who have unfortunately gotten on the bad side of powerful gangster Jabba the Hutt. So to survive, players can either join the Empire as it continues conquering the galaxy or make friends with the Rebels heroically struggling for freedom. Whatever they choose, players then begin building their base and taking on missions.
At their headquarters, players can upgrade new structures and droids to help bolster their forces. Depending on what faction they choose, hero units like Han Solo or giant death machines like AT-ATs will be at their command. With these units, players take on the light real-time strategy missions that make up the game’s single-player campaign. They can also ally with other players or launch offensives against them. However, that means they must remember to keep their own base safe as well by constructing defensive walls and turrets along with deploying strategic air strikes. The missions themselves are brief, easy, and mostly just focus on destruction, but it’s lame how any units brought in can never be used again even if they survive. It leads to needlessly conservative play.
But again, all of this will be familiar to Clash of Clans players. This is mostly just an elaborate Star Wars skin. However, it is hard to deny how great a skin that is. The character models, sound effects, and musical cues are not only fantastic, but almost overwhelmingly nostalgic for the original trilogy.
If this is all part of the master plan to get people excited about Star Wars again, it’s working. Star Wars: Commander is currently in a soft launch phase and will coming to a galaxy near you very soon.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
After Homer accidentally caused a meltdown that wiped out Springfield, it was up to you to rebuild it.
Now The Simpsons Tapped Out, by EA Games, asks us to prepare for battle with their new Clash of Clones update. You can raise up your army of nerds led by a barbaric Homer to raid your neighbors’ castles. Just make sure you don’t neglect your own defenses.
You can download The Simpsons Tapped Out for free on the App Store.
When the evil alien invaders inevitably come, it’s pretty much guaranteed that only the pure innocent hearts of children can save us – or at least children as well-armed as the cast of “Attack the Block.” So we might as well start preparing now with Scrap Force, an upcoming turn-based strategy game where children use alien power to protect the planet with homemade weaponry. We find out just how much kids rule in this latest edition of It Came From Canada!
Scrap Force consists of a lengthy series of turn-based battles between plucky neighborhood kids and evil alien Obliteroids. Each match is one-on-one with two teams of six facing each other using three lanes that are two-units long. Players don’t create units, but rather draw from a shuffled group of heroes to place on the battlefield. At the start of each round, players and enemies are given an increasing amount of power shards. With more shards, stronger heroes can be summoned, so the match escalates no matter what.
The hero variety is really what gives Scrap Force its depth. Every new warrior has his or her own quirks to learn. Some can attack as soon as they are placed. Others steal power shards with each hit. Some kids can move in more directions while others just have more sheer strength. There are tons of strategies and counter-strategies to form using these unique abilities in concert. Skillfully balance these fighters to defeat alien foes and topple their base. Using items like bowling balls and hot dog dynamite helps, too. And with its simple 3D playground characters and environments, the whole thing has a neat Backyards Sports vibe. Except it’s galactic warfare instead of football.
In between rounds, players can summon new heroes and upgrade old ones with the scrap they’ve collected. Downtime isn’t optional either, since the game’s freemium timers keep players from just blasting through the campaign. That means players will be spending a lot of time with these child soldiers. But given what we’ve played so far, that might not be such a bad thing.
So be on the lookout for Scrap Force once it fully launches soon.
Curious to see what we thought of 22Cans’ whacky-looking god sim? Check out our Godus review!
Enjoying the delights of Godus but could do with a helping hand? We’re here to give you some simple tips and tricks to get you started and on your way to being a great God.
You Gotta Believe
- There’s going to be a lot of sculpting ahead of you, especially early on. Try to plan ahead. Belief fades fast and you don’t want to run out midway through creating a flatter plain ready for developing on. Don’t just clear land for the sake of it. Think it through before you begin.
- The same goes for building structures. You want to keep people together for maximum efficiency and don’t forget that early on, only nearby workers can get to work on building a new settlement. Later on, you’ll be able to entice them further afield but you’re quite restricted at the start.
- Make sure there’s room to place trees near the settlements. More belief is gained that way, which is always a good thing.
- Remove rocks that are nearby such dwellings, as they’ll decrease your belief gains.
- Removing rocks, as well as surplus trees, is also handy because it provides you with some easy belief. Do it. Often.
- Belief isn’t used up if you’re sculpting land from beneath the sea so if you’re desperate for space and low on belief, drag out the beaches.
- In other games, collecting all that belief would be irritatingly tedious, but Godus simplifies matters. You can just hold a finger down and drag it around to collect belief up en masse.
- A similar process can be used to ‘leash’ followers but you want to use that ability sparingly as it uses up belief.
Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day
- Keep building and steadily expanding. The more followers the better as it’ll unlock new cards and generally provide the whole point of the game. It’s a slow process, but worth it.
- Make room for farms and mines to be near settlements. You need plenty of both and clustering will soon be essential to your success.
- Work towards the beacons scattered around the land. They’re Godus‘s way of encouraging you to follow a certain path but they’re pretty handy for unlocking new areas.
- When you’re worried about your followers’ and their eating habits, cast Rain of Purity on Crop Fields. Wheat grows much quicker this way than waiting it out. It can make all the difference.
- Unlock cards as quickly as possible but don’t necessarily use them all. Some are more hassle than they’re worth so be wise with what you upgrade via stickers.
- Speaking of stickers, these can be gained through completing Journeys but also through discovering treasure chests littered around the world. Look out for differences in the land, such as a sparkly section, and start digging to retrieve anything from diamonds to stickers.
All in the Journey
- Regualarly going on Journeys is essential to progression, as well as having more fun with Godus. Do so frequently.
- When you first start a Journey, plan what you’re going to do carefully. The time limits are often tight, especially when you’re fighting with poor path-finding. Those followers really aren’t very bright at all.
- Don’t bother sending more followers than you need to. It’ll just be a waste if you fail the level.
- Treat the followers like Lemmings. They’re dimwitted and really need to be dealt with like mindless drones. Because that’s exactly what they are.
- Because of that, make sure you block paths to stop them from either going the wrong way or walking into danger. The Journeys are often simple enough. The tricky part is in keeping those followers safe from their own stupidity.
- You’ll be infuriated at times, either by your followers’ inability to think or just the slow pace of the game. Be a kind God. Using negative God powers only tends to cause trouble in the long term and you want to keep your people happy through any means necessary.
- Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s going to take a while to get in your stride and truly see significant improvements. Accept it and enjoy.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Evolution: Battle for Utopia by My.Com has received big update titled “The Black Legion.”
The Black Legion update brings players six more regions to explore, 10 new types of weapons, and three new types of defense to help them battle the army of General Kurbatov. It also raises the level cap to 58!
Player’s defensive capabilities are also getting an overhaul: now you can fortify your base with turrets and allies. Lastly, if you feel like a challenge, you can try out Black Legion’s two new mini-games.
Evolution: Battle for Utopia is available for free on the App Store.
Just downloaded Micromon and not sure where to begin? Here’s a helping hand in the form of a selection of tips and tricks to get you started.
Elementary, my dear Micromon
- It’s a concept that those used to other RPGs or Pokemon will know by heart, and it makes the difference in battle. Every element has its own strength and weakness. Besides the common/normal type of monster that is pretty neutral to everything, the other four each have pros and cons. Playing to their strengths is vital to success.
- Fire is weak against water, but it’s strong against wind based monsters.
- Water is weak against wind, but it’s strong against fire.
- Wind is weak against fire, but strong versus water.
- Mineral (or earth type) is weak against water, but strong against wind.
- It’s a simple mantra but one that you really need to remember if you want to succeed. It makes such a huge difference to whether you win easily or struggle greatly.
Grinding it out
- You’d be wise to regularly fight it out with other foes. It’s more fun that way, but it also means you can gain new Micromon as well as level-up your team.
- The grass is where most of the action is. Look out for sleepy looking Zs floating upwards. That means you can surprise the sleeping Micromon, easily giving you the upper hand.
- Get out the grass quickly though, if you don’t want another attack on your hands.
- Odds are you’re going to want to catch ‘em all, but if you just want to complete your database, you can simply witness a Micromon to get that all important entry.
- Capturing a Micromon is a matter of getting their HP as low as possible beforehand. You only get three shots at this, so plan well.
- Save your super chips for super rare or ultra rare catches for maximum efficiency.
- Don’t bother with Micromon that have low development rates. They’re never going to get to be anything exceptional so you’re just wasting your time with them.
- Similarly, bear in mind that store bought eggs always produce better Micromon than the wild varieties. They develop more quickly and are stronger on the whole.
Battling it out
The Cardinal Rule
The world of Battleheart Legacy is fun and deep; full of wizards, warriors, and witches. Here are some tips and tactics to help you get the most enjoyment out of this great game.
The people of the Battleheart Legacy world, as in so many other RPGs, have never heard of home invasion and thus have never invested in locks for their doors. Feel free to explore each building you come to as it may hold valuable gold and items that no one will seem to miss. Many areas will often also have a treasure chest tucked away for intrepid explorers to find. As you move around the world map, you will come across “Encounters”. These side missions can be anything from a random battle to get you XP and loot, to meeting an important NPC who might just be a trainer in your future.
Who am I?
As you play Battleheart Legacy, you will choose how your character levels-up and what equipment they will wield, but just as importantly, you will also decide how you interact with people. You can be either pleasant or snarky but be warned: NPCs have feelings too, and some of them may just turn on you if you are being a jerk.
When you gain enough experience to level-up, refrain from doing so immediately. Wait until you can return to the trainers at the Academy in Eston – one of the starting areas and a hub where most trainers will appear. Each level of a class requires different stat minimums to be met, so waiting to invest your stat points until you know what you need will save you some grief.
In addition to the starting classes available at the beginning of the game, there are some classes that you will have to explore to find – like the Ninja, Bard, Necromancer, and Monk. It is generally easier to stick to one or two classes your first time around so that you’re not spreading your valuable stat points too thin. Some classes have good synergistic qualities, like Knight and Paladin working well together, as they both require strength and endurance. Mixing and matching class abilities can be very satisfying, fun, and downright powerful (barbarian whirlwind + paladin ‘heal % of damage done’ powers are devastating when combined). Picking combinations that make sense is the key to developing an effective character.
Each level in a class gives you access to a new skill – either passive or active. These can be equipped and switched out whenever you are not in combat. You can always check out your character’s stats, skills, and equipment by touching their character portrait. On the stats tab, there is some extra info like dodge chance and speed if you scroll down on the stats section.
Don’t underestimate the passives. Passive skills can either give you a bump where you need it (defense, damage, etc), or completely change your tactics (equip giant weapons, deal extra damage at low HP). Experiment and plan accordingly.
You have five potions at your disposal, and while that might not seem like a lot, they replenish every time you leave an area and each one heals you completely. If you are getting low on health, don’t be afraid to pop a potion when you need it. If you are still having trouble, you can lower the difficulty setting and get unlimited potions. With that in mind, try not to die too often. You get penalized a percent of your gold each time you do.
Standing your ground and letting monsters beat on you is an easy way to lose fast. Most monsters can be tricked into mindlessly following you around, allowing you the time you need to recharge your special attacks while avoiding damage. Feel free to use your cooldown abilities and then run around a rock to break line-of-sight to save yourself from those pesky archers.
Enemies with big attacks will often telegraph their moves either with power-up animations or ground effects, which show you where their attack will land. Learning your foes’ patterns is invaluable in helping avoid damage, thus keeping you alive long enough to kill the monsters and grab their treasure.
If you find yourself out of potions and don’t think you can survive the next big fight, you can always retreat. Monsters do not respawn until you leave a dungeon, so you can always backtrack and leave the dungeon. Of course, the monsters will be back when you return, but you will get to keep whatever experience and loot you accumulated, and your potions will be automatically refilled.
Spend that Gold
You can upgrade your items pretty quickly and there is no real reason to hang onto equipment you have outgrown or cannot use. Gear tends to accumulate, and if you are going a melee route for example, you can probably safely sell that expensive but useless mage’s armor you picked up. Also, hitting harder is great, but don’t underestimate the value of defensive bonuses – monsters that hit like trucks can be made much easier to deal with by increasing your armor a few points.
As mentioned above, when you die, you lose a percentage of your gold. It is well worth your time to invest it in upgrades as soon as you can. By upgrading your gear and getting new skills, you have the added benefit of not really losing much when you die. Of course, you still need to save for that next big skill upgrade, but your shiny new armor will likely help you live long enough to do that, too.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Editor’s Choice winning board game adaptation, Chainsaw Warrior, is currently on sale for a mere $1.99 and it’s for a very good reason.
Players are being given the opportunity to enter a competition to win a rare and original copy of the 1980s board game of the same name, plus the expansion cards from White Dwarf issue 88. It’s quite the special piece of gaming history for fans of the game, both young and old.
All you have to do to win a copy is to record a play session and submit a video link to the developers at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the best submitted run-through of the game will win the prize. It’s as simple as that! The developers promise that they’ll be marking on score, style, and aggression, and are excited to see how you defeat the Darkness.
Entries need to be submitted by August 17 to be considered, so get cracking.
Do you not have a copy of Chainsaw Warrior? Simply, snag it from the App Store while it’s on sale for $1.99 and enjoy!