Review – VideoWars

VideoWars is the latest game from Baaad Dad (not the Adam and Joe one) who previously brought us Comet.

VideoWars differs quite a lot from that, though, and is a grid-based real-time strategy action game thing.

Your goal is simple, just destroy the enemy’s base before they’re able to destroy yours. It’s not a particularly new concept as the RTS genre goes. Where VideoWars does differ is in its inclusion of basic tower defence and action mechanics.

And now, with the aid of a screenshot, I’ll explain. You’re the green half. If you’re colourblind, you’re probably the odd yellow-brownish half. The grey square-like structures are the most basic thing you can build, and if they all get destroyed, you lose. As you build, they expand how much territory you own and the more territory you own, the quicker your money increases. Obviously, they’re also what you want to destroy on the enemy side too to lower their influence and strangle their cash flow.

To attack, you have two options. You can either launch units which just head to the nearest enemy structure and start attacking it, or you can spend a few extra dollars on missiles which are more powerful and just head towards your target from off-screen. Your opponent has exactly the same offence, and so as well as attacking you need to worry about protecting yourself too.

To defend, you can set up small turrets which will shoot at any enemy units that come nearby. To defend against missiles you first need to upgrade one of your bases which gives you the ability to press B to intercept an incoming missile, but timing is important here.

Alongside this, you also have a special power that can be activated whenever it’s charged up, which can do things such as double your attack, or repair your bases and turrets amongst others. Which power you have depends on which team you’re playing as.

If it all sounds confusing, it’s not, it’s a very simple game to play once you’ve got to grips with it, it’s just that getting to grips with it takes a few minutes. The first thing you’ll want to do is skip the quick tutorial because it’s a bit too quick, rattling through how to play and hardly stopping to give you a chance to take it in. Instead, go for the slightly more in depth tutorial and pay attention. Then when it’s done, feel a bit silly at how easy it all is after all and wonder why it ever confused me in the first place. You. Why it ever confused you.

Unfortunately, once you realise how easy it is to play, you start to realise how easy it is in general. Starting a skirmish against the AI on the hardest difficulty didn’t pose too many problems for me, and I’m a man that celebrates if I manage to complete the tutorial in Command & Conquer without dying.

Another mode tasks you with completing progressively more difficult stages and keeps things interesting by changing which team you play for in each round. This still remains easy for an awful long time, though, and it might be that its your own boredom that defeats you before the AI does.

None of which is to say the game is boring, even though I did just specifically say that. It’s a very enjoyable RTS game that has none of the frustration and micro-management that is so commonplace in the genre. It’s not a game you’ll be able to play against the AI forever in, but if you’ve got someone real to play against then there’s a decent time to be had here.

VideoWars is available now for 80 Microsoft Points.

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