PT Guides: Like... Starcraft? You'll Love These!15 Aug 2017 4
The Starcraft franchise has helped define the real-time strategy (RTS) genre of games over the last twenty years. The original sold over 11 million copies, making it the sixth-best-selling game of all time. It's so good, in fact, that it is got a well-deserved face lift and more than a little spit and polish to bring it back into modern gaming. Starcraft Remastered released on August 14th and retains the same great gameplay but with updated graphics and sound. Sadly, we haven't gotten a mobile version of the RTS classic but that doesn't mean we're without options.
What follows is just a few games to grab for your mobile device if you want a Starcraft fix on the go.
If you want a real-time strategy mobile experience close to Starcraft, Warfare Incorporated was made to order. It brings the same expand and conquer feel to your iPhone, but iPhone only, no iPad version for this one. You work for ACME corporation and must build up forces to defend and establish ownership over a newly discovered planet, Icarus, and its plentiful resources and alien artefacts. Warfare Incorporated is an old game, launched in 2009, and it shows in the graphics, audio, and overall presentation. Gamers who are used to a 2017 level of polish and a more modern experience may be put off by this. It has been updated recently, however, and is good to go for iOS 11. It still offers a solid amount of strategy and a great deal of replayability to those who look past the dated parts. There are 20 single-player missions and a bunch of user-created mission packs you can download, all for free.
Our next option is turn-based, rather than real-time, but beyond that is very much like Starcraft in theme and objective. It features about 50 hours of single-player action spread over two campaigns, with some extra "challenge maps" thrown in for good measure. The AI is no pushover, either, and you'll need a good strategy as well as turn-by-turn tactical decisions to get the win. There is asynchronous multiplayer as well, though given the age of the game you may have trouble finding an opponent unless a buddy has the game and wants to give it a go. Battle World: Kronos is an expensive ask at $15, but there is a "Lite" version that includes the first single player map and one multiplayer map to try out before you buy. Also make sure to check out Alex Connolly's three-star review for much more on the game.
Nanuleu is a game of territorial defense where you play as a network of magical trees and must expel a dark force encroaching on your territory. There's resource management in the form of creating enough trees to gather the necessary minerals, water, and life to take the fight to the foe. Like Starcraft, you must expand your holdings, defend them, and then eradicate the enemy. Gameplay in Nanuleu is real time and plays out a lot like a tower defense title. War trees for both you and your foe spit out warriors at regular intervals and, unlike in Starcraft, you don't have any control of your forces once released. The strategic balance between defense and offense is similar, however, and you can go strong and fast Zergling-rush style, or build up resources to play a longer game.
A game of battle between futuristic multinational corporations, MechCom 2 - 3D RTS is a lot like the Starcraft franchise. You play as a military commander on the planet Tiberius where, surprise surprise, some rare and valuable minerals have been discovered. You know the drill from there…you build bases, gather resources, and create military units—in this case it means designing and building powerful mechs—to beat down your enemies. Gameplay is quick and streamlined and perfect for gamers who don't like getting bogged down in the minutia of combat. There are two modes of play, Domination and Skirmish. Domination is the campaign mode, so to speak, where you have to take over the battlefield on large maps. Skirmish is a single-player fight against up to 3 AI opponents. You can choose your map and difficulty level and then go at it. MechCom 2 - 3D RTS offers a very Starcraft like experience on the cheap, it's just $1 with no IAPs.
Another turn-based offering that is nonetheless similar to Starcraft is Frozen Synapse. You control a squad of abstract soldiers making their way through a maze of walls with up to five different goals, depending on the mode played, including hostage rescue. The game is played in simultaneous turns where all sides plan out their moves before hitting "Prime" at which point all orders are carried out at the same time. Frozen Synapse offers both multiplayer and a 55-mission single-player campaign where you take on a solid AI opponent. Your tactical options in the game are deep, including the ability to bluff, recon, use cover, launch a well-timed assault, and more. The challenge is quite high in Frozen Synapse as one hit tends to kill and you need line of sight to engage enemies, let alone know where they are. Games play quickly, just a few minutes each, which makes it perfect for short play sessions. Frozen Synapse is another older game, so it'll feel a bit dated, but the upsides more than make up for that.
We hope you enjoyed this latest PT Buying Guide - if you want to read more collections of games we think you'll like based on a common theme, make sure you head on over to the Guides section. Feedback is always appreciated!