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iPhone  header logo

RAD Soldiers

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Pretty rad

Product: RAD Soldiers | Developer: Splash Damage | Publisher: WarChest | Format: iPhone | Genre: Multiplayer, Strategy | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.7
RAD Soldiers iPhone, thumbnail 1
There are some games that mesh together better with a freemium payment model better than others.

If, for example, you're supposed to be playing a soldier within a regular army, having to pay extra for nice boots and guns jars - you're in the army, so this stuff should be given to you on a mission by mission basis.

RAD Soldiers, on the other hand, uses the payment model to its advantage. You're playing as a group of mercenaries and guns for hire, so it makes sense that cash should be changing hands for shinier weapons and sillier costumes.

And while it's obvious from the outset that this is a game that's going to be asking you for money after a few plays, it's never done in an annoying or cloying manner. Throw in some truly engaging tactical violence and you're left with a freemium game that actually works.

Pocket rocket

The game is all about rockets. To be precise, it's about alien rockets that are falling from the sky. It's up to you and your team of mercs to make sure that those rockets fall into the hands of your colour-coded team.

It's not a particularly inspiring story, but it acts as a primer to the mathematical equation that's at the heart of RAD Soldiers - one rocket, two teams. 

Games take place over a number of different maps which are broken up into a number of squares. Your team consists of up to six specialists, each with a role to play, and each with a set amount of energy to use up in each turn.

You spend energy on moving, shooting, and using your special moves. Once you've used up all your energy for the turn, or you're satisfied with the positions your team are in, you end your turn, and play passes to your opponent.

There are challenge maps which pit you against AI controlled foes and walk you through the basics of the game. These are fun on their own, but in reality they're preparing you for the real meat of the experience - the asynchronous online multiplayer.

Free RADicals

While the offline modes are fun, they never ratchet up the tension in the way a one-on-one duel to the death with a friend or stranger can. It's here that the tactics of the game really come in to play, and where you'll quickly learn the best team for the job.

Battles and victories earn you coins and RAD bucks, all of which you can spend on either toughening up your squad or adding new specialists. There are snipers and healers, mechanics and grunts, and finding the right balance between attack and defence is key to success.

It's after your fourth or fifth battle, when you need a few more coins to add a turret-building mechanic to your team, that you realise how simple it'd be to spend a bit of real life cash to get one. And so begins an addiction that will empty your bank account.

Free, just play

Tactical nous and clever planning are always going to have the edge over super-powered squads, but that edge is tiny. RAD Soldiers rewards skill, and perseverance, but it also manages to make you want more, and that's where the in-app purchases come in.

This is a game that's incredible fun without spending anything, but opens up even more when you take the plunge and add some new guns or members to your squad. Sure, you could grind your way through a few matches to get that extra gold, but wouldn't it be easier to buy it right now?

RAD Soldiers caters to both sides of that coin, and makes sure you're having a blast whichever end of the freemium argument you come down on.
RAD Soldiers
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 8 January 2013
While some will be disappointed that RAD Soldiers isn't about armed surfers from the early '90s, it's still a massively entertaining tactical violence simulator with plenty of humour and charm
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