Total War Battles Review

By , on April 19, 2012

Total War Battles: SHOGUN
  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Genre: Entertainment
  • Released: 19 Apr, 2012
  • Size: 635.5 MB
  • Price: $4.99
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Focuses on strategic gameplay despite its 'castle defense' style of play; limits army sizes to reward calculated 'countering'.
  • Base building adds a puzzle-element to the gameplay.
  • Large campaign with 'exp'-awarding scenarios that teach new strategies.


  • Slow pacing and restrictions on lane-switching can make battles tedious to play out.
  • Base layouts can feel restrictive / awkward.


It would be too much to ask for a full adaption of the Total War series for the iOS platform, but Battles still manages to retain a focus on strategic elements despite borrowing a handful of tropes from established genres, making it a deeper experience than your average line/castle defense title.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

The Creative Assembly's Total War series has never really conformed to conventions, skirting around and mashing together elements of turn-based and real-time strategy titles, real-time tactics, and even RPGs. The end result is a deeply engrossing series where every decision you make can have a dramatic impact on the storyline and your progress. As such it's no real surprise to see the latest release for the iOS platform following in the footsteps of its PC-based kin.

It won't take long to familiarize yourself with the basics of Total War Battles: Shogun as it features elements of castle defense games, real-time strategies and yes, even the humble 'puzzler'. At its core the player must collect resources (money, steel, wood, and 'honor'), spending it on units that can then be deployed and given basic instructions in an attempt to overwhelm the enemy.

Of course, this wouldn't be Total War if it was as simple as spamming units to win. There's a limit on how many units you can have on the field at any time, making it critical to pick the best units to counter your opponent, while still maintaining a balanced army. From basic swordsmen to cannoneers and even samurai, the player has a lot of options to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses to be considered.

To generate these units you'll need to master another aspect of the game - base building. Aside from its base cost, each structure has requirements such as needing to be built next to another specific building to be placed. Bonus resources are also awarded for positioning the structure near a source (trees for the lumberyard, stone for the metalworkers, and so on). Outside of the campaign, players can participate in 'exp' missions, each one amounting to a sort of puzzle with the awarded 'exp' being used to upgrade buildings and the units they produce.

The game's slow pacing can make the game a chore to play at times, but it's a considered pace that still allows for critical lapses in judgment that can potentially mean the end of your campaign. It would have been great if the player had more influence over the storyline itself, but with any luck we'll see more campaigns to flesh the experience out.

While Total War Battles may not appeal directly to fans of the series as it has lost a lot of depth in its transition, but the focus on considered strategy has remained and should be a boon to fans of castle defense titles and strategy games in general. Definitely worth poking a sword at.


Screenshot 1 of 10 Screenshot 2 of 10 Screenshot 3 of 10 Screenshot 4 of 10 Screenshot 5 of 10 Screenshot 6 of 10 Screenshot 7 of 10 Screenshot 8 of 10 Screenshot 9 of 10 Screenshot 10 of 10