By Nathan Grayson on August 30th, 2012 at 9:00 am.
The Total War series is about armies the size of small countries crashing into each other, resulting in a deafening cacophony of clangs, ka-booms, ooooos, and ahhhhhs. It’s rather big, is what I’m saying. Small things, meanwhile, have not generally been known to create deafening cacophonies – well, aside from maybe babies or this terrifying breed of disarmingly adorable fox, neither of which are often featured in war. And yet, the iPhone – certainly a small thing if I’ve ever seen one – managed to play host to a rather solid re-imagining of Total War. But how? Well, Total War Battles: Shogun is on Steam now, beckoning you to find out with its sultry Japanese war screams.
Impressively, Creative Assembly didn’t simply hand this one off to a significantly less creative assembly in pursuit of a quick and dirty throwaway. No, it’s certainly not a full-scale recreation of Total War as we know and love it, but that would’ve been a disaster on phones anyway. So instead, Creative Assembly crafted a faster-paced, smaller-scale alternative with a fairly novel twist.
“Total War Battles: Shogun introduces a new real-time battle system that feels both familiar and fresh. The hex-based battle map allows for quick and simple unit movements that lead to deep and cunning strategies. However, as followers of the ‘Bushido’ code of conduct, your units can never turn back.”
As in, you can’t retreat. So Total War Battles is also kind of a puzzle game, insofar as maximizing positional effectiveness of your units goes. It’s also impressively sizable for an import from the land of text messages and touch screens, so the $7.99 price tag is pretty reasonable. I’m curious, though: have any of you written off games like this or, say, Hero Academy just because of the words “former mobile exclusive”? Also, does it worry you to see ports like these? I mean, I definitely think it’s a case of “the more, the merrier” right now, but with companies like Microsoft pushing hard to blur the lines between PC and mobile, the future could be a different story.