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Gaming Review

Mobile reviews: 'Leviathan: Warships', 'Ace Patrol', 'Blitz Brigade'

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Released on Tuesday, May 14 2013

Each week, Digital Spy rounds up the biggest mobile gaming releases with reviews and trailers. This week's games include two new strategy games for both naval and airborne battles along with an attempt at online FPS domination for smartphones.

Leviathan: Warships
Platforms: iPad, Android
Price: £2.99 / $4.99

After a surprisingly sultry trailer, Leviathan: Warships brings turn-based nautical combat to iPad and Android tablets.

The game's remarkably deep strategy revolves around players taking simultaneous turns in two phases. The first phase has all players and computer opponents planning out their ship movements and actions.

'Leviathan Warships' screenshot

© Paradox Interactive



Players chart their ship courses by dragging a marker with their finger, letting you set waypoints for a path that could span multiple turns. You can also rotate your ship so the cannons are facing the right direction, specify cannon targets and activate ship abilities like shields for a great degree of tactical control.

The second phase is when the action plays out, with all of yours and your opponent's ships moving at once. It forces players to plan very carefully several moves in advance, especially since the ships behave realistically with momentum so that you can't perform sharp turns and quick changes in direction.

Ships can be customized with a variety of armaments, allowing players to create their own fleet for battle. A point system is also in place to ensure that each player's fleet is relatively balanced, making each match about tactical skill rather than just who has the best cannons.

There is a nine-mission campaign, along with four challenge missions, all of which can be played alone or co-operatively with up to four players. Players can also dive into competitive multiplayer matches, in two different modes, letting them pit their customized fleet against others online.

While matches take place in real-time, you can set the timer for the planning phase of each turn to take anywhere from 30 seconds to 7 days, so it can be played like an asynchronous multiplayer game if you don't have the time for a full match in one sitting.

The game is also cross-platform compatible between the iPad, Android, PC and Mac versions, letting you take on opponents online regardless of what device they play on.

Leviathan: Warships has some issues in its controls, with buttons that can be slow to respond and ship menus that can get cluttered if you zoom out, but the game's solid strategy foundation still makes it a great pick for armchair tacticians.


> Download 'Leviathan: Warships' from the App Store
> Download 'Leviathan: Warships' from the Google Play Store




Sid Meier's Ace Patrol
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free demo, with in-app purchases for full campaign

From the mind that brought players the Civilization series, Sid Meier's Ace Patrol offers a tactical look at fighter planes during the first World War.

Players take turns moving their squadron across hexagon grid maps, taking on a variety of missions that can range from shooting down spy planes and enemy zeppelins to escorting bombers and intense dogfights.

'Sid Meier's Ace Patrol' screenshot

© 2K Games



Planes move by picking arrows on the map, indicating both the direction and altitude of a particular movement. As planes level up they will learn new maneuvers like barrel rolls and flips, which are also represented by new arrows on the map making it intuitive to pull off more complicated tactics.

The game is available as a free download, which offers a portion of the British campaign to get you started, and the full campaign unlocked for 69p / $0.99. There are also German, American and French campaigns available for £1.49 / $1.99, or £2.49 / $3.99 for a bundle of all three.

While each campaign will be completed after playing through a handful of missions, there are over 100 missions in total that rotate each time you play, so there is a lot of replay value in returning to each campaign multiple times.

You will want to play through the campaigns again too, thanks to the game's simple but effective controls that allow for combat that is quick without sacrificing any strategy.

Give the free levels a try, and you will have a hard time not downloading the additional campaigns right away.


> Download 'Sid Meier's Ace Patrol' from the App Store



Blitz Brigade
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android
Price: Free

Gameloft has a tendency to mimic other games and bring them to mobile devices, and in that tradition Blitz Brigade is the studio's attempt to replicate the ever-popular Team Fortress 2.

The online first-person shooter offers five character classes, and lets players jump into matches with up to six players per team. Players can initially only choose from the soldier or gunner classes, but by gaining levels, or an in-app purchase, the medic, sniper and stealth classes will also unlock.

'Blitz Brigade' screenshot

© Gameloft



A virtual joystick is used for movement, while sliding a second finger lets you look around and a fire button can shoot. There are also alternate control schemes if players prefer a virtual joystick or tilting the device to control the camera, and they work as well as one can hope for a first-person shooter on a smartphone.

Players can also hop into a tank or helicopter for a vehicle advantage, while competing in matches that are either about capturing territories or simple team deathmatch.

The class-based combat and cartoonish art style could have made Blitz Brigade great, but the game is held back by an obscene amount of lag. Enemies regularly teleport around the map online and it's rare for a match to actually finish before the servers simply lose your connection.

There is a single-player mode with 120 training missions for players frustrated with the connection issues, though they are little substitute for actual online matches against other players. They also have rather steep unlock requirements to progress, so only the most skilled players will actually get to see more than a handful of missions.

Blitz Brigade is nearly the go-to online fist-person shooter on the go, but the servers behind it just are not anywhere near ready yet.


> Download 'Blitz Brigade' from the App Store
> Download 'Blitz Brigade' from the Google Play Store



What mobile releases have you been playing recently? Add your comment below!

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