Romans from Mars is a free-to-play game claiming to offer premium level fun, for low up-front costs. The title really says it all; Martians, with a battle style similar to the ancient Romans, are attacking earth. Set 2,000 years ago, you must use you basic weaponry such as a catapult or bow and arrow to defend earth.
This castle defence games places you in a fixed position on one of the high walls. You must fire your weapons down onto the advancing enemy. Often, they come in waves, charging in lines or in broken formation.
Initially, your weaponry is limited to a simple bow and arrow. To fire, you simply tap the screen. You must judge where your enemy will be by the time the projectile will reach them which adds an extra element of difficulty to the game. Direct hits are not necessary however; when your arrow hits the ground a radius is emitted which will damage all enemies that fall within it.
As you progress through battle your weaponry will increase in power if you spend your in-game currency in the armoury.
However, the ‘Godly’ powers are where the real destructive elements come into play. Fire, Ice, Earth and Lightening can be beamed down on advancing enemies by holding your finger on the screen. This drains your power bars which are recharged by killing more enemies.
The games graphics are bright and vibrant and aim for a cartoon look. Colours pop off the screen and game effects, such as the circular radius illustrating successful enemy hits, are easy to see.
Nevertheless, it’s not without its faults. For example, when enemies breech the castle walls the only indication of your demise is the reddening of the edges of the screen. The game lacks even basic cut-scenes and offers no real storyline aspect.
Sounds are limited to enemy grunts and the sound of your weapons being used. I really feel a Roman-Martian invasion from Mars demands a little explanation.
There’s No Such Things as a Free Lunch
Like most freemium games you eventually reach an apex of acquirable currency and the need to shell out cash to acquire more. After an hour or so of playing I began to notice a dramatic increase in the cost of new weapons and upgrades. Although enemies were now worth more per each kill it wasn’t relative to the increase in prices – this leads to a requirement to repeatedly play battles to work up enough currency to advance.
Overall, this is a pretty straight forward castle defence game. For a free title, the gameplay, challenge level and graphics are really good but it loses its charm after an hour or so of playing. While it’s a worthwhile download for eager gamers, there are much better alternatives out there.