Battle Worlds Kronos Switch Review – Storm the Beach

Battle Worlds Kronos harkens back to the glory days of the strategy genre. First released in 2013, the game is considered a spiritual successor to the popular Battle Isle series.

Now, developer King ART has brought this hard-as-nails turn-based strategy game to Nintendo Switch. The handheld/console nature of the Switch makes it perfect for playing Battle Worlds Kronos; as matches can last for a considerable amount of time.

Battle Worlds Kronos‘ selling point is its challenging difficulty and hexagonal strategy gameplay. For genre fans wanting to play a solid strategy game to play on the go; or Switch owners looking for something challenging to sink their teeth into; Battle Worlds Kronos makes for an easy recommendation.

Battle Worlds Kronos Switch Review

Despite its title, Battle Worlds Kronos is not a strategy game about planets duking it out. Rather, it’s a game about warring factions seeking to seize the title of emperor for themselves.

The factions at play include; The House of Telit; Yerla Inc; Order of the Lumati; and, the Residents. You’ll command/take on each of these factions across three differing campaigns; the original two included in the base game and the ‘Trains’ DLC.

These three campaigns provide Battle Worlds Kronos with around 50-60 hours worth of content; not including the challenge maps and local multiplayer modes.

As for the story itself; well, it’s a little convoluted.

While I enjoy a good space-opera as good as the next Star Wars geek, Battle Worlds Kronos‘ writing and world-building didn’t strike me as particularly interesting. As such, I don’t see this aspect of the game as its strength; more an annoying caveat you need to endure to enjoy the gameplay.

Pushing a Rock up a Hill

I think of myself as a bit of a control freak. So, strategy games like Battle Worlds Kronos are right up my alley. I enjoy maneuvering my battle units, lining up my next 3, 4 or 5 turns and get a thrill as I watch my enemies become decimated as my plans come to fruition.

Conversely, I also become seriously agitated when the enemy AI rips my plans to shreds.

Battle Worlds Kronos is a difficult game. Its default setting is ‘Challenging’ (medium), whilst hard mode is aptly titled ‘Hardcore’ and easy ‘Explorer’. The only difference between each mode, per the game’s setting, is the amount of damage you do to enemy units vs. how much damage they do to you; however, I imagine the difficulty setting also influences the AI.

I played the first mission on ‘Challenging’ and that took me roughly three hours to complete; with at least two restarts. Despite being guided by in-game tutorials for much of the mission, the AI still beat me into submission to the point where I barely scraped through.

While trying to complete the second mission, I had to change to ‘Explorer’; because after that sixth restart, I thought I might break my Nintendo Switch.

Assuming Direct Control

Battle Worlds Kronos‘ action plays out across a hexagonal grid (or, hexes). To move units you simply hover your cursor over them, press A and then select the subsequent hex you want to move them to. You can also use the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen to command your units, as King ART have implemented touchscreen controls.

I could go either way with touchscreen controls here. On one hand, they’re a welcome alternative for when playing in handheld mode; playing with a controller feels clunky and slow. Whereas on the other, it doesn’t feel anymore intuitive as playing with a controller.

Each unit can perform two commands per turn and there are three types of commands; movement, attack, and joker. Movement and attack commands are straightforward enough; however, joker commands can act as either a movement or attack command.

The majority of units, be they light, medium or heavy, have a movement and joker command they can perform. Certain medium and heavy units such as the Hydra (missile launcher) and Praetorian (tank) are bound to one movement and one attack command per turn.

Then there’s light units such as the Bandit, which has two joker commands; this means you can move it across vast distances, or attack a nearby enemy unit twice in a single turn.

Storming the Beach

Each unit has its own specific target range and positioning them for maximum efficiency is key to victory.

When positioning units for an attack, Battle Worlds Kronos will flash a target icon beside enemy units to indicate that it is within your unit’s range of fire. Moreover, the hex of nearby units will turn red to indicate that your unit is within their firing range.

You can also select enemy units to see what their firing range looks like in order to better plan your advance. Considering all of this information in your decision makes all the difference in Battle Worlds Kronos.

Across Land, Air and Sea

The range of different units in Battle Worlds Kronos is staggering; even if they all look slightly similar.

The first campaign slowly introduces you to all of the different units. You start off with land-based units before the game moves to sea-based combat (with just a bit of aerial thrown in for good measure).

Sea-based combat is by far the most exciting in my opinion. In addition to your standard battleships, there’s submarine units that can vanish underwater and be used for surprise attacks; as well as huge transports ships you can use to move ground units across waters.

Whilst each mission has a primary objective you must compete (as well as secondary ones if you so choose), Battle Worlds Kronos empowers the player to tackle combat how they see fit.

I always attempted to flank my enemies by loading units into transports (either on trucks or sea vessels) and moving them behind the enemy while a small advance party hits from the front.

Build the (War) Machine

In addition to attack and transport units, Battle Worlds Kronos also features a number of building types that serve a number of purposes.

By far the most useful are the factories. As their name implies, you can use collected resources to build new units in the midst of battle. Then there’s the Depot Invaders, which can repair and restock units using collected resources; certain units also require ammo. Ammo can also be collected around bases.

Other building types include gun turrets, harbors, airbases, radars, and headquarters. Taking control of enemy headquarters usually leads to immediate victory; of course, losing your headquarters to the enemy means an instant loss.

Buildings can be captured by infantry units; just move them up beside a building and target them for an attack. Smaller buildings generally only need to be attacked once, while bigger builders (such as headquarters) require upwards of three.

Warring with Friends

Battle Worlds Kronos includes a local multiplayer mode called ‘Hot-Seat’. This involves two people playing on a single Nintendo Switch. Each person carries out their turn as they would in single player, then once the turn has ended they pass the console over to their friend.

Despite my attempts, it doesn’t appear that Battle Worlds Kronos supports single Joy-Con use; meaning if you’re playing together in handheld mode you’ll need to pass the Nintendo Switch between you both.

However, if you have a Pro Controller or second set of Joy-Cons, you can play Hot-Seat multiplayer with separate controllers; be this either in handheld mode with the Joy-Cons detached or in docked mode.

Hot-Set mode features a number of maps made specifically for multiplayer; as does the ‘Single Player’ challenge maps mode.

Bring it Home, Commander

While Battle Worlds Kronos feels a little rough around the edges, it’s still an enjoyable, albeit difficult, strategy game.

However, it’s not for everybody. Missions can drag out for upwards of three hours, depending on your level of skill, and gameplay moves at a relatively sluggish pace; you can, however, turn off game animations to speed things up.

Then there’s the matter of the difficulty. This is a challenging game that will turn off quite a lot of people. But as Battle Worlds Kronos itself says; you can learn how to beat the game!

Good luck, commander.

Battle Worlds Kronos was reviewed using a digital code provided by the publisher.

PowerUp! Reviews

Game Title: Battle World Kronos

Game Description: Battle Worlds: Kronos is a turn-based strategy game deeply rooted in the hexagonal tradition of the genre. The planet is once again torn by war, for the succession of a new emperor. Its destiny is in your hands!

  • 9.5/10
    Deep strategic gameplay - 9.5/10
  • 4/10
    Terrible writing with SW Episode 1-style storytelling - 4/10
  • 9/10
    Loads of content across three stories, challenge maps and multiplayer - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Wide range of unit types; even if they all look the same - 8/10
  • 7.5/10
    IS A HARD GAME; but that doesn't mean you can learn to beat the game - 7.5/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Jayden Williams
Jayden Williams
I started playing video games on my grandmother's Sega Master System (go, Alex Kidd!) and after almost 3 decades haven't looked back. I've written for various gaming outlets over the years and enjoy playing across all console platforms and genre types, though have a penchant for action/adventure, RPGs and loot-shooters. Pokémon is my favourite franchise and was there at the birth of the infamous 'rare candy' hack.

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