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iPad  header logo

Axes & Allies


For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Orc-ward

Product: Axes & Allies | Publisher: Everplay Interactive | Format: iPad | Genre: Line- drawing, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Axes & Allies iPad, thumbnail 1
Axes & Allies is a real-time strategic skirmish game that sees you taking control of three different orcs as they battle against the forces of darkness to try and retrieve their fallen comrade from the jaws of a giant dragon.

It's a jocular sort of setting, but behind it there hides, at the very least, an interesting idea. Part arcade hack-and-slasher, part RTS, part RPG, there's a wealth of fresh concepts in Axes & Allies, and it almost manages to bind them together into a welcoming whole.

Unfortunately, it just falls at the last hurdle, crushed a little by the weight of its novelty. It's still fun, but you can't help thinking it could have been something a little more special.

We will fight them in the graveyards

You control your three orcs by tapping and sliding. Tap on one to select it, then slide a finger either to the place you want it to walk to or the enemy you want it to attack. Each hero also has a number of special attacks it can use, represented by a bar at the top of the screen.

IAPs explained
There are two currencies in Axes & Allies. They are Gems and Gold. You can spend Gold on improving your abilities and toughening your heroes.

Bundles of it range from £1.49 / $1.99 for 5,000 up to £13.99 / $19.99 for 100,000.

You can use Gems to revive fallen heroes in the middle of a scrap.

The cheapest bundle gets you 5 for 69p / 99c, and the most expensive gets you 100 for £6.99 / $9.99.
The three orcs all have their own strengths and weaknesses. There's a Tank, a Healer, and a Ranger. Keeping all three of them alive is essential if you want to succeed in the later levels, and learning their roles, and the best places for them to stand, is important from the off.

The game plays like a panicked juggling act. You need to keep the damage flowing, but you need to keep your heroes alive too. Staying mobile is essential, and keeping a close eye on your health bars can mean the difference between a wipe and a win.

You'll hack down skeletons, zombies, and nippy little bats in a variety of spooky fantasy locations, and when the violence is working well it's an enjoyable spectacle.

Drag on

But the little niggles that plague the game are sometimes too frequent. The controls aren't perfect, and if there are plenty of bad guys and good guys in a scrum picking the one you want can be hit and miss. It's even possible to lose your heroes and villains off-screen, leaving them stranded.

It's a shame, because there's some real promise here. With a bit of tightening and a bit of polish, Axes & Allies could have lived up to its potential. As it is, it's an entertaining game of 'what if'.
 
Axes & Allies
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 6 November 2013
It'll likely find a sizeable audience, but there are problems with Axes & Allies that keep it from greatness
 
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