Published on July 20th, 2015 | by thermoplastics2
Siege Commander Review
Indie developer Onion Core has released their first endeavor onto the Google Play Store, a real-time ‘lane based’ battleground strategy game called Siege Commander that has both single and multi-player modes. Upon opening this stylistic pixel affair for the first time, players are greeted with a gift for 10 onions (coins) of in-game currency (yes there are in-app purchases), though the 10 onions can not be used to purchase anything right away since the cheapest item in the game is 30 onions. Luckily the onions are given away as a reward for coming back to the title once a day, so they do add up over time. There is also an optional “watch advertisement” button in game that will allow the user to earn ten onions per watch, which seems to be limited to once per day as well.
When starting the game the first thing the player is directed to do is navigate to the “units” button on the main menu, wherein they can choose what units they want to use for their first mission. At first there are only three available units to choose from, where each is only select-able once for the players lineup of nine empty slots. A miner, a swordsman and an archer are what the player can choose to fill in three of those nine slots. Once the team is selected, the player can now navigate back to the main menu to choose the “missions” or “multiplayer” menu buttons in order to begin a battle. The multiplayer section of the game allows for logging in with ones Google account to then choose a “quick match”, though sadly I was unable to ever find an opponent, most likely due to the low amount of players currently.
Moving on to the single player missions, when a mission is selected there is a list of tasks. These range from things such as completing the round before a certain time limit to completing the round without the players base being harmed. Once the mission is started the player is greeted by a five lane board with rock mounds on it and a timer in the left bottom corner that is counting up with currency. From here the player can choose one of the three available units to send out, once the currency has built up to reflect their price for being played. The first to become select-able will be the miner, who are used to mine the rock mounds on the board, which speeds up the ever building currency in the corner, which is then used to purchase more units to send out on the board, either miner or fighters. Each side of the board is now sending out their units to mine and fight, with the fighters either fighting the miners, fighting each other or fighting the players base. The goal being to eventually overtake the other side by depleting the opposing sides health-bar when reaching and attacking their base. The action of juggling how many miners to send for out for currency versus how many fighting characters is actually quite a fun mechanic and takes a good balance of fighters to miners to succeed against the computer. After completing a round the player earns onions depending on how many of the missions tasks they completed. These onions can then be used to purchase new troops to use in battle who range from different kinds of close combat fighters, ranged fighters to defensive units.
After levels are finished there are advertisements, windowed but mostly taking up the whole screen. Luckily since they are between rounds of play they are not too intrusive, but if found irritating can be removed with an included in-app purchase. Which is where the in-app purchases come into play, users can purchase to remove ads for $0.99 as well as purchase more in game currency ranging from $0.99-$3.99.
The in-app purchased currency can be used to unlock new units (just as the in-game eared currency), with the highest priced unit costing 150 onions.
Luckily it does appear as though the game doles out onions during play adequately enough that the purchase of more onions is unnecessary unless the player wants to unlock new units faster, which seems to be an okay option, though could lean a little towards paying users in the beginning for the multiplayer section. There are 18 units available to use in game (with more coming in the future) that can be played in the 20 available single player missions. So far, a really good start for what is a pretty fun real-time strategy game.
Two things of note, one is that I found that Siege Commander does utilize immersive mode, a feature that allows full screen gaming on devices that use the Android software navigation bar (instead of hardware navigation keys), which is always a great thing to see. The second is that the game does open upside down in landscape mode (though it does correct itself after a few seconds), while not a huge deal, it could stand to be corrected.
Summary: While it may appear basic on the outlook Siege Commander is a fun real-time strategy game that is intuitive while also having an evenly paced challenge.