As this is a card based strategy game let me lay my cards on the table. I’ve never played one of these games before and the thought of it as I read the description of it in the App Store didn’t fill me with excitement either. But I’m a professional so I downloaded the game launched it and got stuck in to see if I could be convinced.
As a newbie to this genre I headed straight to the Help section of the game, not something I normally do, and read up on the details of what was required. In short the aim of the game is to destroy the enemy stronghold while strengthening yours to prevent it from being destroyed by the enemy, a relatively simple concept I thought. Your ‘Stronghold’ is comprised of a Armory for your weapons, a Factory for Composites and a Barracks for your Mercs and you must have appropriate resources to play, or activate, a card in your procession. Failure to have enough resources to activate a card may result in you having to discard a card and therefore miss a turn. With the help section read I jumped into my first, easy, game.
The game is played in portrait mode only with the playing area split into two. The bottom half of the screen displays the cards that you’ve been randomly dealt while the top half of the screen displays yours, and your enemies resources. Despite the amount of information on display on the screen the layout is surprisingly clear and easy to understand with the forces of both armies displayed small but accurately. This is especially true when the attacks of each side start to take effect on your factories and defenses.
Choosing which card to play is a balance between re-enforcing your own defenses and attacking your opponents, a balance which at times can be quite tricky. Cards can be played by either dragging the card into the playing field, double-tapping it or for more information before playing the card a single tap followed by another single tap to confirm the playing of the card. If you are anything like me over the the first few games you will probably use the single tap option so that you can read the full description of the card before playing it, however once you’ve played a few games and are familiar with the cards and their symbols you’ll be double-tapping faster than you can say “Collateral Damage, Collateral Damage, Collateral Damage”.
The end of the game can come pretty quickly on the first few goes but I soon became accustomed to spotting the weaknesses in my opponents plans and taken advantage. Not that this always worked and on the few times I cranked the level of difficulty up a notch I rarely won.
If you are new to the world of card strategy games then Stronghold is a great introduction with a great balance of skill, strategy and luck. I also feel however that if you are a connoisseur of such games you certainly won’t be disappointed either as this is a high quality pick up and play title.
- Clear instructions make it easy if for the newbies.
- Concise controls and layout.
- Good Graphics
The Not So Good
- Can be a little repetitive
Reviewed By: Craig Willis