SIEGE: Titan Wars – A Titanic Victory

Which is why I am blown away at how much I’ve enjoyed my time with SIEGE: Titan Wars – an RTS game that draws inspiration from Hearthstone and Age of Empires. SIEGE manages to streamline both of those concepts into a fluid, fast-paced, intuitive strategy game that pretty much any fan of fantasy battles will dig.

The core idea is simple – two players fight each other across a single lane. Each base has two towers as defense, and a final core that immediately grants victory if destroyed. Otherwise, when the countdown timer hits 0, whoever inflicted the most damage wins.

The secret to SIEGE is both in what it adds and what it removes from a traditional RTS experience. You don’t manage a base or any kind of resource production as you automatically generate energy that can be spent on whatever you need. This means you’re ready to fight from the get-go, leading to lightning fast battles that still allow for some back and forth.

You also don’t directly control your units, but you can choose what forces and abilities you have available in battle. Before each fight you can customize and assemble these units and powers into card hands. Units are available at all times, while special ability cards are randomly drawn. You spend your resource energy on the cards and units, necessitating quick yet careful adaptation to what abilities are available, how much energy you can spare, and the flow of battle.

Your special power cards can heal allies, summon heroes to bolster your armies, or cast massively damaging attacks at enemies. They are your game changers, if used properly, but tend to cost far more than units, so they have to be called upon sparingly.

That’s the beauty of SIEGE: Titan Wars. This singular focus on assessing the battle and planning your next move means that the barrier to entry RTS games are known for dissolves away. Battles don’t take very long, and everyone starts on an even footing, so you can quickly practice and losses don’t feel bad. You immediately want to dive back in and try again. I do wish there was an option to play against bots for a bit longer than the initial two tutorial bot fights, but it’s nice that the tutorial is swift and gets you right into the thick of it.

My only two real complaints are the freemium element and the performance of the game itself. As far as the freemium is concerned, I like that you get regular free chests to upgrade your units with, and that victory also leads to fair rewards. What I don’t like is that developer Simutronics go out of their way to highlight how to spend premium currency during the game’s tutorial.

There’s no reason for it – the chests go spontaneously from opening in a few seconds to taking several hours out of nowhere, and they force you to spend the currency. The currency you use is granted to you for free, but I’m not very keen on how heavy-handed the game is about this. It’s also clear that these timers on various items are primarily how the developers aim to monetize the game, which is problematic and I hope they figure out a more pro-player stream of revenue in the future.

The other problem, as I said, is performance. I had a handful of serious framerate drops while playing SIEGE: Titan Wars, and my tablet isn’t that old or weak. Connectivity for multiplayer was solid, and due to the limited player input, the framerate drops rarely caused an issue with playing, but it’s a bit glaring when far more detailed games have run smoothly on this same tablet. Thankfully, the drops were few and far between – mostly when large armies clashed onscreen.

Despite those issues, I’m still rather inclined to recommend SIEGE: Titan Wars. There’s a clear passion for the strategy genre and for the mobile platform, which shouldn’t surprise given these are the same developers behind Lara Croft: Relic Run. Once again they’ve taken a simple concept, fleshed it out, yet kept things smooth and accessible. It’s definitely worth a download.

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