RTS is a genre I have loved ever since I first got a hold of Dune 2 when I was about 7.
You could argue that it was the dawn of the RTS and it spawned a lot of amazing games such as the Command and Conquer and the Warcraft series. Unfortunately, as time passes the genre stagnates, having peaked over 10 years ago.
There have been a few notable titles in recent years but they grow fewer and further apart. It’s a style of game that seems to defy innovation, with developers opting for over-complication and micro-management to add variety to their games.
Siegecraft Commander is a recent addition to the RTS genre and in many ways a breath of fresh air. While many game have moved towards crazy amounts of micro-management, requiring the player to control every individual soldier in battle, Siegecraft has instead simplified and merged the standard RTS model with aspects of tower defence and even turn based strategy games.
The primary gameplay mechanic is very simple, but very quickly leads to a need for some real planning and strategising. Think of the slingshot from Angry Birds, from a top down perspective. Starting with your primary building, you fling out new buildings.
Each building launched out this way will create a wall linking it back to the tower that generated it. The walls are indestructible, but the buildings are not. If a building at the start of your ever expanding tree is destroyed, then all of its child structures and walls are also destroyed. Trying to flank you enemy and take out the roots of their base is key!
Some types of building create soldiers that automatically attack the nearest enemies, others can create defensive structures. Eventually you end up with a large network of wall linked buildings that can all be destroyed if your primary structure is taken out.
Using buildings like this as the main expansion method is great fun. It means you have to plan your base carefully so you can defend against the enemy while simultaneously not blocking the advance of your own soldiers or building yourself into a corner as walls cannot cross.
On my first match I managed to trap myself pretty well, having to destroy one of my own building to open up room for expansion. This gave my opponent a bit too much time to expand and made it very difficult for me to mount an effective comeback.
The developers, Blowfish Studios has also included the option to play in a turn-based mode. This changes the way you approach Siegecraft Commander drastically. Emulating a tabletop game, the slower pace means much more time is available to consider just how to sneak around to the back of your opponents base and hopefully take out their entire network in a one go.
I have really enjoyed Siegecraft Commander, the learning curve is not too steep so it would be great for casual player. I can see it being a big hit in a LAN setting. After all who doesn’t want to fling building , dragons and airships at their friends?
Siegecraft Commander was reviewed on PC using a promotional code provided to PowerUp! by the publisher.
Game Title: Siegecraft Commander
Launching Castles - 9/10
Tedious Campaign - 6/10
Great Multiplayer - 9/10