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Machines at War 3

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Machine made

Product: Machines at War 3 | Publisher: Isotope 244 | Format: iPad | Genre: Strategy | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | Version: Europe
Machines at War 3 iPad, thumbnail 1
Machines at War 3 is a scrappy little beast. It wears its RTS influences on its sleeve, nodding to Command & Conquer more often than coming up with its own ideas, and resorting to cliché when it comes to narrative and character.

While the game does its best to live up to its influences, it's a little too rough around the edges to sit alongside the very best of the RTS genre. That's not to say it lacks redeeming features, but a few niggles, and a lack of originality, keep it out of the big leagues.


Machines at War 3 is a top-down real-time battler that sees you collecting resources, building bases, and leading attacks against up to three other factions. The controls are simple taps and drags, and they work pretty well most of the time.

Selecting smaller units can be a little fiddly - especially if they're already moving around. Double-tapping selects all the units of a particular type, but even that can be a little stubborn, with some units getting left behind or striking out on their own.

Each of the single-player missions is broken up into a number of objectives, and you're walked through them by barks of dialogue from the cast of instantly forgettable characters. Go here, do that, watch out for that thing over there.

Occasionally things get a little more interesting, but in the early levels especially you're given the right tools to do the job one way. Trying to do things differently ends with failed objectives and heavy casualties.

War-n down

Machines at War 3 has all the modes you'd expect from a modern RTS, with skirmishes and multiplayer all present and correct, and its visual style could be lifted from any number of late '90s entries into the genre.

The package is a full one, then, but there's a lack of imagination at the very heart of the game that's more and more obvious as you get deeper into it.

There's a solid RTS base here, but it's rarely more than basic, and sometimes it creaks under the weight of its own dull objectives.
Machines at War 3
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 9 October 2013
There's a decent game here, but Machines at War 3 is far from original, and a little too rough around the edges to wholeheartedly recommend
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