No, it’s not a knock off of Gameloft’s knock off of Modern Warfare!
I was raised on strategy games. I love war, battles, and moving around little tanks and armies. Do you like these things? Do you have five minutes to spare? Welcome to Modern Conflict, a game by Chillingo that I have been playing since it’s release in July. Yeah, this is a late review, but hopefully it will be an unexpected surprise for those who missed it’s initial launch and are looking for a light and fun strategy game.
The object of Modern Conflict is simple: eliminate your opponents bases. In each map, you generally start out with one or two bases that have a number that slowly rises. This number represents how many tanks or choppers (depending on the type of base) you have available to send out. A single tap on a base selects half the units, while a double click selects all of them. A final click on a different base will send your units off on a path to victory or destruction. If the target base is unoccupied, you will be able to see a number on it. When your units reach the base and this number reaches zero, if you still have a unit left, you take over that base. It then starts producing units (slowly rising number) for you. For example, if I send 10 units to an empty base that has a 9 on it, I will lose all but one unit and take over the base. Enemy-occupied bases are a gamble, as you can’t see how many units they hold until you are on top of them.
While the game has a simple conquer-the-map style of objective, there are plenty of little features that add to what could have been a pretty dry game. As your tanks pass the enemies, they fire on each other with a random chance to reduce the unit count. There are also bases with either anti-air or anti-ground defenses built in. These are key, as they will automatically shoot at passing or oncoming enemies. There are also plenty of random bonuses that can get you back in the game. On more than one occasion, I was outnumbered and trapped in a single base, only to receive a bonus that spawned 80 troops at once. On top of that, it would sometimes cause all other bases on the map to be reduced to just 1 unit each, causing to scramble to reach them all before they started building up. You can’t count on these bonuses, though. I’m sure they are tied to certain in-game activity, but I couldn’t figure out how.
The game features both a campaign and survival mode. The campaign plot is pretty much pointless, as it really just serves as a generic way to get you from one map to another. Still, there are some unique missions, and certainly some that are quite challenging. There is a survival mode that actually seems more fleshed out than the campaign. This sends you through an endless series of randomly-generated maps. After each victory, you can choose to level up an ability, such as 15% more units when you conquer a base, or 5% more defense at your main base. The problem is, as with most survival modes, when you are defeated, it’s all over. I would have liked to see upgrades integrated into the campaign.
I have played Modern Conflict on and off since I got it over two months ago. That says a lot, as around 90% of the games on my phone are played once and then never again. It’s a great way to kill a few minutes, or even an hour or so if you really get into it. The visuals aren’t amazing, but they’re polished. The survival mode provides unlimited replay value with upgrades to spice things up. The only thing (badly) missing from this game is an online or local multiplayer mode. Modern Conflict is a well-executed, quick-playing, light strategy board game for your iDevices. It may lack multiplayer or a real story, but it will suck you in with it’s fast-paced, 5-minute scenarios. Well worth the $1 asking price for strategy fans!