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City Conquest

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

War of attrition

Product: City Conquest | Developer: Intelligence Engine Design Systems | Format: iPad | Genre: Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
City Conquest iPad, thumbnail 1
Fighting on two fronts is rarely a good idea, and should generally be avoided if at all possible.

One of the key reasons behind Germany's defeat in Word War 2 was that it tried to take on the combined forces of Europe and America in the west and Russia to the east.

City Conquest attempts a dual-assault of its own, attempting to weld tower defence to elements of RTS in attack. It's a noble effort, but ultimately it gets a little overwhelmed.

Tower offence

At its heart City Conquest is split into two phases. First there's the defensive phase, in which you slide gun turrets into twisting maze-like configurations in order to lead opposing troops a merry dance whilst whittling down their health.

This is nicely handled, and is made more interesting by a territory and resource-grabbing element borrowed from classic RTS games.

The attacking phase, meanwhile, sees you building up troop, tank, and robot dispensers in order to take the fight to the enemy.

Initially, these phases are separated into standalone missions, but eventually they get mashed together into one epic battle simulator.

Game of two halves

The trouble is, even when these two elements are brought together they feel like two completely separate games. You take it in turns to attack and defend, but there's little if any correllation between the two - they even have their own separate currencies.

Your enemy can't destroy your troop dispensers, only your main base, so there's no need to stretch your defences to cover them.

It becomes a case of simply finding enough space to build your launch points without disrupting your carefully concocted enemy contraflow system, or the constant to and fro of your resource-gathering units.

You begin to feel more like a local council town planner than a warmonger.

Repelling the attack

In fact, the whole attacking side is woefully thin. Once you've built your troops, that's it - they trot off on the most direct path to the enemy base, probably to be cut down in a hail of lasers.

There's absolutely no strategy to it - it's one colossal tank-rush slog, as you grind your enemy down not with tactical acumen but with sheer weight of numbers.

All of which makes you wonder - why bother with the extra RTS elements at all?

City Conquest is a moderately diverting tower defence game with one or two interesting diversions - including an online multiplayer mode. However, the attacking side is too crude and underdeveloped to warrant extended play.

It presents a war on two fronts, but it can only hold the line on one of them.
City Conquest
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 12 December 2012
In attempting to add further RTS elements to the tower defence genre, City Conquest has failed to produce much in attack, leaving an experience that's only half-satisfying
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