The Settlers Review

By , on November 11, 2009

The Settlers
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Based off The Settlers IV.
  • Compact interface for the smaller iPhone screen.


  • Somewhat steep learning curve.
  • Fairly complex interaction of buildings and units.


The Settlers is everything great about strategy games. It's easy enough to jump in and muck around while progressing, but ultimately there's a complex and amazingly detailed set of interactions for players to learn and play with.

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It would be easier to describe The Settlers for classic gamers by saying that this iPhone app is The Settlers IV and hasn't been sullied by the withering touch of Ubisoft. That's a good thing for everyone else because The Settlers by Gameloft represents the best this franchise ever had.

Ostensibly being a real time strategy, the interface consists mostly of clicks and drags to select units and assign them targets - either to attack, defend or work. The main goal of The Settlers is to expand your empire by balancing the collection of resources while defending yourself from foes and this can be done with a minimum of fuss as your peons automatically work to achieve the goals you set. This reduces the need to constantly oversee every aspect of the game while you concentrate on a handful of units manually.

Settlers has retained the rich and colorful world that made it popular in the past, with each of the four tribes having distinct designs to their special units and effects. It's not possible to play while listening to your own music, but the classical background music is easy to listen to.

If you're after a strategy game that isn't quite as heavy as a full real time strategy or as mind-wracking as a turn based strategy, then The Settlers might be the compromise you're after. It's fun and full of detailed strategy while being easy enough to click-and-play. It's a great classic come-back for the iPhone and ripe for a new audience.


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