It’s official: The Retro Revolution among smartphone games is so big it can hardly be considered a revolution at all anymore. Mecho Wars, a new, $1.99 strategy game on the Play Store, looks like the 16-bit tactical titles of yore at times – but fans of the art style, not to mention some of the incredibly deep games the genre has produced, would probably tell you that’s not a bad thing anyway.
The game’s trailer video, which foregoes marketing copy and prerendered sequences in favor of straight-up gameplay, certainly looks interesting. A top-down overworld map gives the player a tactical view of the enemy and friendly units on the field and serves as the main battle staging area. When you engage an opponent during the fight, however, the angle switches down to the battlefield level, showing you a quick (and, frankly, strange-looking – but in a good way) shot of your units making their attack and another of their victim receiving it.
The character design looks particularly awesome: Even in the short-three minute clip, the game displays a huge number of downright odd-looking critters, from mechanical scoripion-wolves to bipedial antelope-looking creatures with glowing horn appendages above their heads to what appear to be melted plague doctors with bazookas. Menu navigation and management, another key feature of any solid strategy game, also looks intuitive, with tons of information spread across the screen without interrupting the flow of battle.
For two bucks, Mecho Wars certainly looks to be a fun time for strategy fans of all types. It’s also developer Nine Tales Digital’s first foray into the Play Store if you’re into the whole “supporting new developers” thing. Either way, it appears to be a borderline can’t miss if you’ve ever lost hours to games like Final Fantasy Tactics or the venerable Tactics Ogre series… check it out if that describes you.