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Swords & Soldiers (iOS) Review

A BrutalGamer.com review.

If you were to take a genre I was sick of lately it would have to be tower defense.  If you wanted to choose a genre that I left behind years ago because it just got too anal, then I’d hand you real time strategy.  Oh lookie here… Swords & Soldiers combines elements of both… with Chillies.

Despite Justin’s constant pimping of the Wii version this was a title I knew very little about and had little interest in at all.  Like so many other titles outside my comfort zone lately this proved to be a little gem.
Coming from publisher Chillingo, the title has been developed by Two Tribes from Ronimo’s (them of deBlob fame) original title.  A hidden gem on the Wii this title seems to have transitioned incredibly well to the touch based platform.

The general premise is that you take command of one of three civilisations – Aztecs, Vikings and Imperial Chinese.  You will lead them through a series of levels fighting against one another for the power of the gods, a giant chillie (and a tasty barbecue recipe !).

In single player you will helm the faction through their levels until you each the climax of their adventure.  At this point the next faction will unlock and you will do the same again.  Each faction have a different series of characters to control and master.

For instance in the early Viking levels you will need to create miners (large burly tribes women) to retrieve resources for you so that you can create fighters and unlock magical abilities.  All of this takes place from a 2D side view rather than the more traditional top down view.  Enemies make their way from the far right of the map in a Plants V Zombies kind of way.  This gives you a small amount for time to plan for their attack and create relevant units.

Each unit you create is not under your direct control.  Once crafted the unit will start to walk from your base on the left of the screen other the right of the screen.  This means you can’t just stock pile troops and keeps you changing up what you are creating.

Later levels see you casting spells from your mana pool to help your intrepid explorers out as well as building towers to defend your mines.
I won’t go in to lots of mechanics here other than to say the levels, 10 per faction, are kept reasonably short 5 – 15 minutes each at most.  The resource management never gets overly complicated and the game always feels light and casual.

This is partly down to the fantastic art and audio style of the game.  The big, bold, colourful graphics steer clear of the commonly used Angry Birds/Cut the Rope look and feel and become unique in the genre space.

The game posses a great challenge and ideal travel buddy for the price with it lasting around 5 or 6 hours at least for the single player element.  You also have the skirmish modes and the games achievements to unlock as well.

There are a few niggles.  A couple of random crashes during tense battle meant a restart here and there but theses were sparadic and not doubt patchable.  The balance gets a little haywire at times and you’ll struggle with level 3 but breeze through level 8.  This can be frustrating at times, especially when you need to create the correct build order rapidly.

Final Thoughts

Swords and Soldiers is a great game.  Ideally suited to a portable device and seamlessly utilising the touch screen in it’s transition from home console.

A truly humorous art style and ethos run throughout the game that captures the spirit perfectly.  As an RTS avoider I could not help but have huge amounts of fun with this game.

For the price you’d be hard pressed to find a funnier and more entertaining RTS on any marketplace.

About Zeth

Zeth is our EU Senior Editor and has been writing about video games since he joined BG back in 2008. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.

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