Take a look at War Mongrels (now that it is compatible with more devices)

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 15th, 2023
iPad App - Designed for iPad

I always get excited to see how certain developers push the envelope when it comes to gaming on iOS. As a result, it should come as no surprise that I was eager to get my hands on War Mongrels from Destructive Creations. This version is a straight port of the PC and console title, and--although it may not be a technical marvel on those platforms--bringing it over in an essentially unchanged state kind of is.

The game came out three weeks ago and I immediately got a code for it, but the hold up on posting impressions was due to the fact that this mobile version had some significant issues running on the devices it says it is compatible on the App Store. And by significant I mean that when trying to play the game on my 3rd generation iPad Pro the game wouldn't even boot to the menu. The only thing I could do was view the production logos before the game hard crashed out to my home screen.

Going in to last weekend though, that all changed when an update came through that finally allows anyone who paid the $40 for this game to play it on the compatible devices listed (i.e. iPads with M1 and M2 chipsets). I recorded my time being able to boot and play through the game's first mission and have shared it above, and if you are wondering if the game runs fine now: it totally does! Whether you want to play it or not is another question for another time, though.

From a purely technical standpoint, I had no issues playing War Mongrels for this hour-long play session. During it, I was streaming the game natively on iOS and didn't feel any significant heat coming off of my device. There were occasionally screen tears or frame drops but the game was otherwise stable. War Mongrels also frequently checkpointed my progress during play so that if I failed a section (or presumably if the game did crash), I wouldn't lose much if any progress.

The controls seem to work as intended, though they are predictably clunky. For a game that has so many different command types and inputs to control the camera, selecting characters, and more, I am kind of impressed there are ways to handle all of it using just touch. That said I don't think there is any world where someone learns the controls in this version of War Mongrels and thinks they feel good.

As for any kind of gameplay kinks outside of visual and control issues, I encountered a couple of bugs that were less-than-ideal, but certainly not game-breaking. One in particular I noticed was a UI glitch that could misrepresent how a distracting sound would travel (i.e. a whistle). The indicator sometimes would lock to the nearest enemy instead of where you are queuing it up. I also seemed to find a way to duplicate one of my character's items. There's an ability that lets you toss a shiny and noisy pocket watch that will lure in guards and I somehow found myself with two of them even though the game makes it clear that you can only carry and use one.

I haven't put a ton more time into the game, but the first mission was intriguing despite the bugs. The game reminds me of the old Commandos PC games, which I have a soft spot for. I'm just glad I can now play this game, and will likely see it through to be able to review it at some point in the near future.

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