Real-time strategy games are hard to come by on the App Store. A lot of them strip the genre back to the bare bones and leave you clamouring for something with a bit more meat. Land and Castles certainly does pare back the RTS, but there’s also some solid ideas here that are going to keep you coming back for more.
The game is all about building settlements and conquering maps. You only have one unit – knights – and they perform all the tasks you need to expand your kingdom and vanquish your foes.
Castle of Yay-skull?
Everything is controlled with taps. Tap to select a knight, tap to tell them where to go. When they get there, tap to build a settlement. See some wood or stone? Tap and you’ll pick it up. Want to toughen up your castles and forts, well guess what, you do that with a tap as well.
There are gaps in the land that you need to bridge, connecting islands in order to take them over. Obviously that also opens up your own castles to invasion, so it’s important to build up your defences before you make a foray into enemy territory.
The game is broken up into a number of different modes. Quests teach you about the basics of the game before throwing you onto a variety of different maps with different enemies to overcome. There’s a skirmish mode, but unfortunately it only lets you fight it out against other computer players at the moment.
Most interestingly there’s an editor mode that lets you build your own levels. It’s a feature we’re seeing more and more in games, and the one in Land and Castles is as slick as any we’ve played around with.
Land and Castles is definitely worth checking out then. Sure it isn’t the beefy full RTS that some of you might be hankering for, but for a quick slice of pocket play there’s more than enough here to keep you entertained for a few minutes at a time.