A Little War iPhone Review
Developer Bakumens' latest game A Little War might be a simple game at its core, but that hasn't stopped it from storming up the App Store charts this month. So what's all the fuss about, and what can you expect from this arcade strategy title?
Assuming control of a collection of infantrymen, supported by a powerful general at the rear, you need to march your way across a series of stages and maps, doing battle with - and ultimately defeating - an equivalent army of foot-soldiers commanded by their own tyrannical overlord. Your army marches automatically from the left, while your opponent marches from the right. You can pause the progress of either your chief or the infantry using a pair of buttons.
As you defeat units, you'll have to tap on the currency that often drops from the corpses - that currency is used to enhance your fighting force before the next battle. You might want to increase your general's health for example, increase the number of troops in your army, or boost their attacking and defensive stats. The cost of each upgrade level rises exponentially, so you're encouraged to level every stat and bonus up in tandem with each other.
In the very early levels you simply control the advance of your troops, and the combatants fight each other in the middle of the screen without any other input from you. In truth, you'll overpower these early stages comfortably by simply sending everyone boldly forward into the fray, but things get a little more interesting once you unlock the ability to take skills into battle.
These skills, like every upgrade for your basic infantry, cost coins. You can take a handful of these special abilities into battle, so you might like the option to command your general to fire a rain-of-arrows upon the approaching horde, heal himself, or adopt a temporary protective shield if things are going particularly badly. Each of these skills are on a cool-down though, and they cost resource points which are gradually accumulated as the battle unfolds.
For the most part, we found that a little light grinding of coins in previous levels, combined with keeping all upgrades on an even keel, made for a pretty easy path to success. A goblin-tapping mini game is another source of coins. Once you're at the mid-point of the game you certainly need to be a lot more careful about advancing your general, but if you make sure that you keep all of your skills and stats leveled up in tandem with each other then you'll eventually overpower most levels through brute force alone.
As a result, A Little War isn't a particularly deep or challenging game in its own right, but there is a lot of fun to be had from this free title - and it's one that doesn't push you too hard to hit up the coin store either. If you're looking for something to kill a few commutes to work or school, this micro-strategy title should be just the ticket.
What's Hot:Lots of levels, plenty of upgrades to be explored, and some fun skills to take into battle.
What's Not:The game is basically one of brute force with a sprinkling of strategy, where you buy your way to success either through grinding or in-app purchases if you're impatient.