Ancient War by Triniti Interactive is a real time strategy game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. You play the role of a God who controls an ancient tribe. What do you with your tribe? What else? Try and take over the world!
When you launch the app you’re greeted with the option of single player or multiplayer. The single player will jump you straight into what equates to a campaign mode, while multiplayer will dump you into a skirmish.
The single player campaign is fairly tedious at best. There are twelve battlefields each with four levels of difficulty. In order to unlock each difficulty you must start at novice and work your way up. Novice difficulty leaves much to be desired as it tends to be a tug of war more than a tactical fight.
Speaking of fighting… the combat system is among the most basic I’ve ever seen. Each team has a totem, whichever team kills the other teams totem first wins. To accomplish this you spend food on units which automatically wage the war for you. Your food bar automatically restores itself at a set rate forcing you to choose between a weenie rush or sending in the big nasties. I found in the early levels it was best to just send in a melee unit with high health followed up with a ranged unit. A three to one ratio would ensure a very easy victory.
As with all armies real or fake you have multiple types of units at your disposal. Militia, Warders, Infantry, Hunters, and a few others. Each one has its own specialty and purpose. Some are good at tanking, while others are paper cannons that sit in the back. You also have access to three airborne units consisting of melee, ranged, and suicide bombers.
With this unit complexity you’d think the combat would also be complex and deep. Alas, it is not. The game is a very boring tug of war that forces you to keep track of what soldiers you’ve sent out on the field. You have to keep track, because the game doesn’t. Every unit stacks on top of the other units with no quantity count or health bar to be seen. For all you know you could have 2 Calvary tanking up front or 20. This forces you to create a magical formula of how many “tank” units you send out before you try and add any unit that will actually contribute offensively. The early levels are 3 cavaliers and a catapult, rinse repeat. The later levels when flyer’s are added will boggle your mind.
Surely sending your air units to fight the oppositions is a brilliant tactic and will cause a epic tug of war in the sky, right? Wrong, the flyer’s are either buggy or flat out stupid… they will sometimes pause and fight each other or simply just fly on past as if they were invisible to each other.
- A long campaign
- Fairly deep upgrade system
- Online multiplayer*
- Art is well done
- When trying online multiplayer the servers only had one user on at the time of my review.
- Both online games I attempted to enter crashed
- Takes a long time to get fun in single player mode
- Interface doesn’t show you how many troops of each type you have out
- Simple combat system
- Some Units seem broken
If they manage to fix more of the issues they could have a really strong game, but since the game is only $.99 most RTS fans will find it’s a great value to add an adequate game to their collection.
Ancient War .99 or try the Lite Version