New and Upcoming RTSs

Premium RTS’s coming to a relatively empty genre on the App Store.

A genre born on the PC, the RTS (Real Time Strategy) genre offers some of the best known video games ever, such as Starcraft, Warcraft, Command &amp- Conquer, Age of Empires, Rise of Nations, etc. The appeal of this genre comes from massive replayability, a different experience every time, online multiplayer, custom games, etc. Currently, there are few on the App Store, the most noteworthy being Warfare Incoporated, developed by Spiffcode, Inc. The most current version of Warfare Inc. offers 22 unit and structure types, 2 alien landscapes, 20 story missions, and over 200 downloadable add-on missions, created and published by players through a PC mission editor. Multiplayer is also coming soon in a future update.

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But besides Warfare Inc., the App Store doesn’t have much to offer to RTS fans. Luckily, in the coming months, well-known developers will be adapting their successful RTS games for the iPhone touchscreen. Gameloft has just recently released one, named Rise of Lost Empires. The game offers all the basic elements of an RTS, with resources to manage, structures to build, and controllable troops. The two campaigns, one as the Empire (human) and one as the Raiders (Orcs), offer 10 missions each, for a grand total of 20. The Raider campaign is unlocked after completing 8 levels of the Empire campaign, which is available from the start. Gameloft offers more than 20 different types of troops and 20 different buildings to create. In addition, each race has 3 different heroes, units that can cast magical attacks. As usually with RTS games, the map is covered with Fog of War at the beginning, so the player must send units around the map to lift the fog and see the surroundings. The units attack by themselves when moved near an enemy. Unfortunately, Rise of Lost Empires offers no custom games or multiplayer, which is what gives RTS games their massive replayability.

Two upcoming RTS’s are Robocalypse: Mobile Mayhem and Command &amp- Conquer. In development by Vogster, Robocalypse was originally a Nintendo DS game released last year and a version is also being developed for the Wii. The game was created by a former writer from Spongebob Squarepants. The plot of the DS version follows a group of robots that possess the brains of World War II veterans and their conflict with a group of machines. Demoed at E3, the iPhone version has the top screen of the DS version as two panels on the iPhone’s screen. The game can be played in landscape or portrait mode and the two panels appear to be able to be moved around the sides of the screen. Upon release, there will be 17 missions in the campaign and 18 multiplayer missions that will require Wi-Fi. There will be 10 unique units and multiplayer is being worked on, but it is unsure if it will be  released in the initial version of the game, due in August.

The well-known Command &amp- Conquer series will also make its transition over to the iPhone. To be published by EA Mobile, the game will be developed specifically for the iPhone, not as a port over from one of their previous games. However, the game will feature characters from the Red Alert world. Seen at E3, troops are as easy to command as tapping them and then tapping where the player wants them to go. To select multiple units at once, tap a button to draw a box around the units. The maps are large, and screen can be moved around with a swipe of the finger or simply tapping a location on the minimap. Pinching will allow for zooming in and out. Zooming in reveals great detail in the units. Several units are available to create through a scrollable menu. All units have a strength and weakness, and there will be land and air units. Command &amp- Conquer for the iPhone is due on the App Store this summer.

Also worth mentioning is Mecha Wars, a turned based strategy game that will be coming soon. Inspired by Advance Wars and Fire Emblem, Mecha Wars chronicles the battle between the mechanical Landians and the Winged.

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  • Al

    Warfare Inc. is extremely fast and has been played for years over the internet between PDAs like the Palm and Windows CE. It is very addicting.

  • smokkeyy

    I am so geeked about command and conquer coming out on iPhone!! My favorite game of all time portable!! woohoo