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Swords and Soldiers Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on July 12, 2011


Swords and Soldiers
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Balanced races; varied styles making the Viking, Aztec and Chinese armies unique to play.
  • Smooth gameplay; few to no slowdowns despite huge amounts of units on screen.
  • Fun campaign; teaches concepts while providing unique challenges.
  • Unlockable modes; great replay value once you’re done with the campaign.

CONS

  • Generic style; hasn’t grown much over two years.
  • No multiplayer; AI opponents are nice, humans are better.

VERDICT

Despite its overall age, Swords & Soldiers is still a solid real-time strategy title that gets the balance of unique races and tactical challenge just right.


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It has been a long, though maybe not so strange ride for Swords & Soldiers by Ronimo Games and now, two years after its initial release on the Nintendo Wii, Chillingo and Two Tribes have brought this real-time strategy, castle defender on to the App Store.

Like so many similar castle defenders, your job is to crush the opponent by amassing resources in order to purchase units that will automatically wander away from your keep and towards the enemy. Learning how to balance your available resources (in the form of gold and mana) by efficiently selecting upgrades, units and spells becomes the key to victory. Aside from needing to protect your workers from dying, defensive structures can also be placed in order to slow down the advance of a marauding army.

Each of the three available races (Viking, Aztec and Chinese) have a unique play style that has individual counters to the tactics they can employ. Should you pick the Aztec you’ll make use of masses of cheap units, building hefty waves of units, however the Viking’s can deploy spells and units that cause massive damage to clumped up groups, so you’ll have to plan accordingly. It’s a clever balance that’s covered perfectly over the course of the campaign, introducing you to each new spell and tactic available to you, along with potential counters for you to overcome.

Once you’re done with the campaign you can tackle the ‘challenge’ modes that are unlocked. Each one is almost worthy of a separate game in and of itself, with modes like ‘Berserker Run’ challenging you to get a single unit as far as possible using only the spells you’ve chosen. Sadly there’s no multiplayer implemented, leaving you to skirmish directly only against AI opponents. While this does add some replay value it’s nowhere near as fun as the campaign or playing against a friend.

Since its initial release the App Store has seen many attempts at the genre and while Swords and Soldiers sticks with the basics, its balanced and varied races give the game more strategy than most. The slick cartoonish style and animations are simply a great bonus, making this a decent pick-up for fans of strategic castle defense games.

Screenshots

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