Casual Fridays: Strategy in Various Flavours

Welcome to Casual Fridays!  This is your fun Friday post where you get reviews of flash games, mobiles games and anything else that’s quick, and fun around the net.  We’re moving to a bi-weekly format so that I can make sure to get them out in time, but that might mean there’s going to be a few more games on the review table rather than the standard two or three per post.  There are a sea of games out there, we’re hoping to provide you with a life raft to find the games you want to play.

Today’s games are a hodge podge collection of games that are all strategy flavoured in some way.  I’m a huge fan of Strategy games in general, I think I’m one of the few people that has fond memories of Aerobiz Supersonic.  There’s just something about trying to figure out what’s the best course of action at a given time and hoping that it works out.  It’s kind of like real life, but with orcs … or million dollar planes that I don’t actually have to own.  The games this week are King’s Guard, Rebuild, and Flagstaff: Chapter One.

King’s Guard by Iriy Soft

Remember Bejewelled?  Yeah.  You know that game that really made matching threes popular?  You know how there are a million and one other games that have tried to do something with the match three game and have failed?  King’s Guard is not one of the ones that fall into the “failed copy of Bejewelled” pile.  King’s Guard is a RTS that uses the Match Three idea to fuel how you deal with the waves of creatures that come and attack you.Casual Fridays - King's Guard

You have three heroes, and typically the woman is the magic user, and they each attack the waves of monsters that are attacking your castle.  They attempt to have a story which makes little sense since you’re trying to drive out a hoard of evil creatures by defending?  It really doesn’t matter all that much, the fun part is what when the waves of monsters come you get to make your matches for various effects.  When you match the colors of the heroes, the result is that the hero in question gets healed.  If you match colors that aren’t for your heroes, they will level up the troops that you can get in the game.  If match four or more, the Heroes get special ability tiles or you get a tile that represents a troop that you can put up to support your various heroes.

What I think they do really well is that even if you’re not able to see the colors on the screen, they did make each tile a different shape as well.  This is not as easy as the colors when it comes time to frantically search about to find the tiles you need to heal your warrior hero.  The support troops also come in the standard three flavors (ranged, melee and special) and the idea that matching just three will level them up is pretty simplistically clever.

The music and sound effects can get pretty monotonous after a while, but thankfully they do have the options on the screen to mute one or the other as you feel the need to.  The monsters that attack you, while they do increase in number, aren’t incredibly varied.  However, if you really just enjoy playing something like Bejewelled it really isn’t all that important.  They just act like an interesting timer.

Random Value Judgement Rating: -> 0 * v !  Five various magical attacks.  I think there might be an arrow in there too.

 

Rebuild by Sarah Northway

I’ve got a small secret to share.  Beyond loving strategy games, I also love horror games.  I don’t know why.  I can’t stand horror movies, I’m not interested in them at all.  However, you give me a the genre in a novel, an RPG, or a Video Game and I’m there.  Which is why I love Rebuild a lot.  Probably the most out of all the games I’m reviewing this week, and for the past little bit, because it’s a horror strategy game.  You play survivors in a city doing their best to keep back the zombie hoards.

The first thing that you’ll notice when playing the game is that the random name generator produces names of actual cities.  I’ve come acrossCasual Fridays - Rebuild 01Warsaw, New York, Calgary (yes the Can Con makes me happy) which is always a really nice touch.  The other nice element is that along with picking the size of the board you’re playing on and the difficulty of the game, you get to pick the gender of your leader.  No large images flashing a disparate image of what the “male” and “female” leaders look like.  Just a name that changes depending on what you pick.  Now, what might have been nice is to include a non-binary option, or just remove the Gender all together and have it spit out a random name, and by random I really mean random). I mention this not to say that the game does something badly, but what they’ve done well and how they might take what they’ve done better than other games and push it further.

The game is great.  You have to balance the food that you grow, and scavenge from the outside against the people that you have living inside your complex.  You’ve got to keep them happy and defended from outside attacks, but you need more survivors in order to make sure that you can grow.  The start of the game is really a great position for a horror game.  You’ve got too many people, and a limited amount of resources before you run out.  It forces you to grow right away, or at least scavenge on a consistent basis in order to even maintain your current level.  Casual Friday - Rebuild 02

Even the types of survivors that you have makes sense.  You have the soldiers, the builders, the scavengers, the leaders, and the people who don’t have any discernible skills what so ever.  It’s great!  I know I would be nearly useless in a zombie apocalypse, at least until I learn something, and that’s exactly how the “no skill” people work.  However, another thing that’s great about the game is that the icons for the survivors don’t change depending upon  Another great thing about the game is that the iconography doesn’t change regardless of the gender of the survivors.

The game is a great challenge with a couple different endings.  I would recommend it greatly to anyone really.  Zombie survival at it’s finest.

Random Value Judgement Rating: [] [] [] [] []  Five food containers, good for one survivor for five days, or five survivors for one day

Flagstaff: Chapter One

From the interesting mechanic, to the most amazing game ever, to one that’s pretty graphically cute.  Flagstaff: Chapter One is a really cute strategy dungeon crawl.  You get four heroes, again the women are the magic users but they’re wearing clothes (It’s always so sad that there is a bar that you can walk over if your women characters are wearing clothing), and they are hired by the King to go clear out the dungeon of walking about skeletons.Casual Fridays - Flagstaff

I mean the dialogue is trying to be funny, and it kind of isn’t.  The game isn’t all that difficult, the levels come really quickly and it doesn’t take you too long to realize which powers are the ones to go for.  However, the game play is pretty solid.  There are no weird D&D esque rules that tell you that you can’t move and attack, or attack and move, or move, attack, and then move again.  The dungeons aren’t that big, and the monsters are just as cute as the heroes.

In the end, this game is a lovely little diversion with a save feature, so you can go back to it when you feel like you’ve got twenty minutes you’d like to use in destroying skeletons, and possessed guards, and whatever other monsters I didn’t get to see because my twenty minutes was up.

Random Value Judgement Rating: X X X X X Five fallen Skeletons

So I’m going to put out a question.  What’s your favorite strategy game?  What do you like about them?  What do you hate about them?  Let us know in the comments below.

Also, if you’ve got a game you’d like to get reviewed for Casual Fridays, or if you’ve got any comments, questions or anything about these reviews just leave a comment below, or email koipond at borderhouseblog dot com

Edited: For EmilyEmilyEmily’s comment, because point was gladly taken.

About Jonathan

Jonathan is straight cis-white male parent who does his best to make sure the laundry's done every day, but usually fails miserably at it. He does the Border House's Casual Fridays, as well as any other review stuff that he gets his hand on. He also writes, and blogs about table top games as Firestorm Ink and The Gamish Designer.
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6 Responses to Casual Fridays: Strategy in Various Flavours

  1. Korva says:

    The premise of Rebuild sounds really unique and interesting. A shame it’s web-based, I have something against games I can’t download. :/

    My favourite strategy game, if you can call it that as it’s more of a genre mix, is definitely Dwarf Fortress. It has both a sort of roguelike “adventure mode” and a sandbox-like strategy/buildup “fortress mode” and that second mode is what I play. However, DF is far from casual so I will not rave about it here.

  2. “Now, what might have been nice is to include a transgender option” < I think you mean 'non-binary' option. There's already an option for a lot of trans people in there. Female works pretty well for me, for example.

    (Please don't degender us)

  3. Matt says:

    I lost far too much of my Friday night’s beauty sleep because of King’s Guard. x_x

    What’s your favorite strategy game? What do you like about them? What do you hate about them?

    Richard Carr’s CTF. Youtube here.

    Like: Turn-based squad stuff like Fallout, Baldur’s Gate, the above CTF. Anything with lots of random variables that leaves room for a many unexpected comebacks or moments of panic, as well as variable starting positions with little to no control for fairness.

    Hate: Any game where you have to build stuff really fast in a specific order. All the twitch and anxiety of an action game and none of the freedom of movement and exploration of either an action or a strategy game. Nearly anything with no or negligible element of chance, or feels a little, well, too “balanced” (scare quotes) that it feels contrived. (yes, I’m one of those kids who still likes to play soldiers in their video games…)

    • koipond says:

      I’m also a big X-Com fan, my first game of that was Terror from the Deep. You had that spookyness going about and many levels of strategy to deal with. You had the base stuff, the hunting the UFO and then them crashing into the water or dealing with them on land.

  4. Shiyiya says:

    Flagstaff doesn’t have any other monsters – it’s a very short game.

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