Total War Battles – Now Everyone Can Strategize

4.0 Overall Score
Gameplay: 4/5
Design: 4/5
Duration: 4.5/5

Makes strategy accessible to anyone | Plenty of challenge | Lengthy | Great design

Slow moving | Bit easy & tedious to begin | No fast forward option

The Total War series is extremely popular, and now it has officially come to iOS as Total War Battles. This particular version is based on the Shogun 2 medieval Japanese battles, and it has been made for the touch screen. The iOS version is a real time strategy game with a hexagonal grid allowing you to easily manage units that can never turn back. There are a boat load of strategy games on the App Store, but none have the Total War pedigree, and this one fits the mold of combining battle and unit management.

You begin by building your trading post, lumber yard, blacksmith, monk headquarters, dojo, and more. Each one helps you create units which include ronin, heimin, archers, samurai, and cavalry. You need to manage your resources and units to always have a strong attack and defense as you would expect for any strategy game. Once you have your initial units, you can then manage the hexagonal grid which provides lane based strategy. There’s plenty of balancing as you try to achieve the various objectives which revolve around defeating the different opponent units and layouts.

The best aspect is that the strategy is very inviting no matter how much experience you have with strategy games, and yet provides plenty of challenge at the same time. As you progress you’ll understand the strengths and weaknesses of the unit match-ups as well as the planning for which units go to which lanes. The medieval Japanese layouts are remarkable, and it increases the challenge, and allows you to appreciate the strategy involved. The entire interface is so well made that it sits in the background, and lets you focus on the gameplay. There’s also an exceptional artistic design with brilliantly crafted units, and great battle animations, especially on the new iPad. The main highlight though, is the lengthy single player campaign which offers about 10 hours of gameplay through a detailed storyline.

Total War Battles ($6.99, Universal) just may be the best strategy game in the App Store as it allows anyone to understand and enjoy the extremely deluxe campaign. The game does have slow pacing though, which is on par with other strategy games, but would benefit from a fast forward option as seen in tower defense. Total War Battles is a should buy that makes iOS better, and provides a go to strategy game for the platform.


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