Check out this review we received on the iTunes store
By far, one of the most lengthiest reviews we’ve received, and a really great one at that. Thanks ‘allend75′ for the great review! Much appreciated!
A real gem - Another reviewer said this was more of a puzzle game than a strategy game. For the most part I agree but that’s not a bad thing. There are some extremely difficult levels that require very specific movements or you simply won’t win. Then again there are quite a few levels that allow a lot of flexibility in how you go about beating it.
I was wary about playing the “other side” in the first expansion, but it actually turns out amazing. Yeah you pretty much are the bad guys but there are some good characters on your side and the army handles completely differently so it’s just a great change of pace all around. Story wise my biggest complaint is that nobody ever really dies. Kill a hero and they just escape so they can fight you again in the next 5 levels. When a character does finally go down its always for story reasons, making my efforts to down them seem pointless.
To be honest I’m not as excited for the promised 3rd chapter as I’ve already played with most of those units in the first chapter and against them in the second, plus I really don’t like their characters. I would much rather play as the barbarian tribes or one of the unseen nations that are obviously going to come into play if the series manages to progress. Even so as the sun eaters completely surprised me I’m hoping they pull that off again. I’ll definitely be buying it once it is released.
The game is very well polished, the story is interesting enough that I don’t skip the cutscenes (which I often do in other games), and the game feels tactical enough that I don’t feel completely railroaded into one specific sequence of moves to win, with two exceptions, and both of those levels revolve around the suicide bomber elves which are a bit problematic. The designers let the AI make move decisions for each unit that it moves but only allows you to make all of your movement decisions together. While most of the time this is fine (each unit has a known initiative so you are not completely helpless) these bomber elves are so powerful that you can have a single unit out of position and lose the entire level because of it. The flip side is when you have these units, and there’s a mission where you get two and they are crucial to breaking the enemy line. Again one wrong move and your bomber elf gets killed and you pretty much have to start over. It’s not fun to replay a 20 minute mission because of one mistake. There is an easy mode which makes these levels trivial but I never wanted to take advantage of that as it makes the rest of the level quite boring to play for me.
The formation system takes a few battles to figure out but isn’t hard to learn. The 2nd campaign pretty much does away with it as most of your units are huge elf mobs that can move as a single element without the need to wheel or worry about facing. Linking units does reduce their mobility but grants them special abilities so it is worth it (even essential) to figure it out and take advantage of how and when to use it. Units can break apart or reform as a free action so you can typically take one turn to break up a unit and move them through a tight space and reform the next turn after they clear it.
You only get 6 orders per turn, but a pretty well thought out “standing orders” system allows you to give a unit a repeating order, and the battles usually start off with a few warm up turns with no combat allowing you to set up infantry columns to advance towards the enemy or lone elite units to pursue distant foes.
If you like strategy games with a bit of puzzle elements seriously consider this game. Looking forward to the proposed multiplayer skirmish mode as well.