Epic Bug War, available for iPad through the Apple iTunes App Store, is an interesting mix of action and strategy which, while not quite getting the balance perfectly right, is a decent game with a unique feel and plenty to like.
The game uses a classic isometric viewpoint to display the action, which is always something I love, especially here, where the game has the look of ancient Amiga games. The isometric squares that make up the playfield are unshakably 16 bit in style, and when there are hundreds of units battling for supremacy, it looks like Populous on steroids.
The game plays like a strategy and action hybrid, with the emphasis more on the action, as you swipe to order your troops in different directions, usually towards the enemy bugs. You have to use your human fighters to repel an invading bug menace, with different units and items to use to help you, as the bugs will always outnumber you.
The game intelligently knows which fighters you are trying to get where, with general arrows that work well in grouping troops together. It can be tricky to get smaller groups to do different things, so I would have liked a way to micro manage troops a bit more effectively.
Still, it can be pretty impressive, watching hundreds and hundreds of units battling it out onscreen. The developer claims that there can be 1400 units on-screen at any one time, and it is easy to see that this is true.
Here, straight from the developer, are the app’s best features:
– Epic battles
– Over 100 waves of alien bugs to battle
– Easy to play, challenging to master
– Full game, no-in app purchases
– No notifications
– No ads and no tracking of personal data
The game is of the ‘pay once, play forever’ variety, which is always great to see in these days of constant in-app purchases, and there are no ads to bother you. You get 100 waves of enemies to fight against, and plenty of different troop types and items to use, as well as Game Center integration.
I like the way the game plays, so I wish there was a separate mode that was more mission based, as the game does have a lot of potential. While the waves will hold your interest, more objective based play would add some variety and purpose to the gameplay.
The graphics are good, with an impressive amount happening on-screen, and I loved the viewpoint, but as a lot of the terrain is green, it can make it tricky to make out some of the green bugs as they can blend in a little too much.
Overall, Epic Bug War is a bit of a treat, with a lot of potential to expand itself. While not perfect, the gameplay is good, and the engine works well to keep everything up to speed. If you love your strategy games with an emphasis on action, then you can’t go wrong with Epic Bug War.