17 February 2014

Draw Wars - Android Game Review

Draw Wars: Real-time strategy in bite-sized chunks

With Draw Wars, we have a unique and ambitious blend of puzzle and real-time strategy, combining the well-trodden ground of wartime tactics with the freedom of touchscreen manoeuvres.

In a sense, the name of the game says it all. Each level sets you on a terrain with a certain limited amount of resources (Tanks, infantry, planes e.t.c.) to attack the enemy’s base while defending your own. You do this by drawing paths for your vehicles to follow, destroying enemy vehicles and the enemy base to complete the level. Once you’ve decided your initial plans, everything goes into real-time and your tactics will require timing as well as cunning. Upon completion, the familiar three-star system rewards you for how well you did, as well as giving you cash to upgrade and buy items like mines and artillery.

Considering all the hurdles which could’ve led Draw Wars horribly astray, the developers have pulled this game off remarkably well. Once the tutorial levels are completed and you are settled in, the gameplay develops a rhythm and sucks you in, gradually introducing new vehicles and elements to keep its momentum. The freedom of how you approach each level makes completing them satisfying but enough effort is put into their design to make sure you (mostly) have to face a challenge to get there.

I do however have a problem with how your vehicles automatically stop, lock on to enemies and start shooting, even if you don’t want them to. While I understand how this feature may be sometimes convenient (for you and the developers), it is more often than not a real annoyance. Furthermore, I’m not a big fan of the vehicle upgrade system, which puts grinding into the equation and takes some of the puzzle elements out. If a sequel is ever made, it would be great to see the developers do something about these aspects.

o complement the gameplay, the graphics and sound design are very impressive, doing a good job of setting the tone and immersing you into the game. Due to this high quality, it is perhaps unsurprising that Draw Wars suffers from the dreaded Full Screen Ads Syndrome, sometimes even initiating them in the middle of gameplay. At this point, they become worse than simply inconvenient and detract from an otherwise excellent game. (Note: they only appear if you are connected to the internet)

Being a good all-round package, I don’t hesitate in recommending Draw Wars. These developers have shown that ambition, coupled with some innovation and attention to detail, can lead to success in the games market. Hopefully, there’s more to come!

Rating: 4/5

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