Normally, when thinking about strategy games, your mind will likely gravitate towards PC games of the ’90s and genres like real-time strategy and turn-based tactics. However, whether you like it or not, technology is at a point where most genres are now being executed fairly well on mobile devices. In fact, many strategy games feel more at home on phones and tablets, especially because the majority of the genre is slower-paced and doesn’t require the twitch reflexes that touchscreens have a hard time keeping up with. Games work best when they are optimized for the platform that they’re on.
BattleTime, brought to us by the developers at FoggyBus, is a fun Android strategy game with loads of color. Seriously, this game is worth recommending based solely on its art style. It goes for an old-school look, but not a derivative style that’s trying to ape Minecraft or anything like that. The aesthetic is similar to that of a PlayStation 1 game, but without the “we can do 3D graphics now, but not really” awkwardness of that era. It’s charming and ensures that the game runs smoothly.
One of my favorite aspects of BattleTime is how colorful it is. A lot of combat-based strategy games are focused on wars and battles for obvious reasons, but too many of them are gray, beige, or brown. What you’ll get from this game are primary colors and graphics that truly pop off the screen and look especially fantastic if you turn up the brightness. A sleek, cartoony art style and bright colors go a long way in making something look nice. If you’re going to be staring at a screen for a while, it might as well be pleasant to look at.
As for the actual gameplay, it’s relatively simple, but that’s not a negative point at all. BattleTime is a mix between RTS and a tower defense, pitting you against two or more opposing colors. There is a bit of strategy involved, but the main tactic in this game is simply blitzing the enemies’ castles. Sending dozens of your men on suicide missions is how you make progress in the game. Is this a gritty commentary on warfare? Probably not, but it’s pretty fun using your soldiers’ faces as battering rams!
You do all of this in real time, so you don’t get much time to form a strategy, not that you need to. Your soldiers capture castles and need to protect them from the enemy by making sure that they’re fortified with men. That’s where the tower defense element comes in. There are tug of war matches between castles, forcing you to send all of your reinforcements rushing to one spot. This creates a focus on territory control that makes BattleTime get pretty intense. Well, as intense as little red and blue soldiers bumping into each other can be.
Despite its simplicity, BattleTime provides a lot of colorful fun. The battles are bright and enjoyable, and there’s a great aesthetic to bask in. The strategy, while there, doesn’t get in the way of the cartoony blitzkrieg that is this game’s battlefield. The only thing that annoyed me was the lack of replayable missions, which means that grinding in hopes of leveling up was impossible. This wasn’t a problem for me, but it means that players who would have a hard time with the game are out of luck. Other than that, there’s not much to complain about. BattleTime is an extremely solid game, especially for those who want a more lighthearted approach to Android strategy games.
BattleTime’s delightful visuals and streamlined gameplay will please all but the gloomiest of strategy fans.