The Vault №113
Strategy can be difficult to pull off properly in a game, walking the line between "challenging enough to keep the players fighting after that carrot dangling in their face" and "so complex that the players feel like they need to do homework just to learn how to play". After all, there's a difference between depth and an instruction manual that'll put people to sleep. If you like to have to do a bit of thinking with your games but not so much you need flowcharts and an entire squadron of poorly paid military advisers to keep up with, considers these three games that all offer different flavours of strategy to varying degrees.
- Cursed Treasure - IriySoft's immensely successful and addictive tower defense game puts you in control of a faceless, all-powerful entity with a cache of gems the entire kingdom would like to steal. The three types of upgradeable towers the game gives you to protect your treasure with seems like a painful restriction at first, but by incorporating a unique upgrade tree into each one that means different stages of towers can be as useful as any other, the game actually manages to layer on some surprisingly clever strategy without slowing itself down or feeling like it's just packing on pointless options. Especially since the myriad of different enemies you'll encounter each have their own unique abilities. Cursed Treasure is a good looking little game that may seem like just another tower defense title, but its smart tower system and sense of style makes this game well worth checking out for an afternoon or two.
- Civlizations Wars - With its great style and "think fast!" approach to real-time strategy and an almost Galcon-esque gameplay, Cave of Wonders serves up a global game of conquest with a mythological flair. You'll battle throughout history, directing troops across a battlefield in an effort to squash them with greater numbers before they manage to do the same to you, and go up against some truly gargantuan boss beasts as well. Despite some issues with its difficulty curve, Civilization Wars forces you to think on your feet and pay attention to everything at once, and when combined with the other useful places on a map you can take over to get a leg up on your foes, provides a challenging but engrossing adventure that looks great to boot.
- Epic Battle Fantasy 3 - Turn-based RPGs have always offered a very straight-forward sort of strategy, but a good one will mix things up just enough to keep you feeling challenged, rather than subjecting you to a mindless grind for EXP. Kupo707's Epic Battle Fantasy series of games are diverse, but this third installment offers up some genuinely tricky battles, fulls of weaknesses and skills to exploit, on top of your typical RPG fare like... kittens, sharks, and *sigh* Comic Sans. Your three heroes initially begin quite powerful indeed, but are knocked back to level zero when they wind up crossing a demon. If you don't mind humour that seems to be deliberately trying to avoid being politically correct at times, Epic Battle Fantasy 3 is a vibrant, silly, pop-culture-packed game that will keep you parked in your site for quite some time.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!