Xbox One, PS4, PC
January 17, 2017
Well everyone, it’s a new year! With that, I’ve taken it upon myself to expand out of my survival horror and Overwatch comfort zone, and start playing games in genres I was never fond of. With that in mind, I dove into Siegecraft Commander with a healthy dose of optimism, and I can safely report that said optimism proved to be worthwhile.
Siegecraft Commander is an RTS game from Sydney developers Blowfish Studios, who already get all of my respect for being an Australian developer (an area that we are growing in). The game is the latest in a series of previously mobile games and gives a fresh spin on the RTS genre with the way the base-building and strategy elements are implemented.
The game works on a base-building mechanic in which you catapult your desired base in any direction you please, which allows you to strategically out-build the enemy. It allows for really interesting approaches to a level. Sure, you could just beeline straight to the enemy keep, or you could make a strategic maze of indestructible walls to slow down the enemy assault on your own keep.
The game offers a variety of different buildings, ranging from an armory to building mortars and airships, to a library which allows you to put buffs on your towers, and attack the enemy towers.
The way you place the towers does seem a bit off to me however. Countless times I would launch another garrison as a last line of defence, only to have it clip a bit of tree or dead body or the inch of wall next to it and watch it helplessly go up in flames as lizardmen slaughter my own troops. Perhaps changing the cursor colour when the launching tower won’t land safely would prevent a lot of new players like myself getting quite frustrated.
“The cheery, pop-up book style visuals make the massacre of the lizardman tribe fun and engaging and helps the game feel more alive, as well as easy to follow when you’re frantically moving back and forth…”
A better notification of when you’re being attacked would also be nice. When I was off attacking an enemy outpost spawning airships, some of their troops had sneaked up beside me and completely irradiated my keep without me knowing, and the only way I would have found out would have been if my screen was directly over. In saying that, I probably would be much better at this if I was a more experienced RTS player.
The visuals and game world are where Siegecraft Commander shines for me the most. The cheery, pop-up book style visuals make the massacre of the lizardman tribes fun and engaging, and helps the game feel more alive, as well as easy to follow when you’re frantically moving back and forth between your forward assault and the damn lizards doing a cheeky sneak attack on your other outpost.
The game did bug out on me a little. Along with the previously mentioned cursor issue, sometimes fallen enemy troops will expand and rag-doll across the screen, impairing your vision. Also, occasionally my TNT barrels would directly hit a tower, but not do any damage. These aren’t total deal breakers however, and the issues I did come across just motivated me to do better and keep playing.
- Fun and engaging approach to Real-Time Strategy
- Appealing visuals
- Addictive gameplay
- Controls are a bit wonky
- A few small bugs
My experience with this game was positive, and it was a great game to attempt to get into the strategy genre. It’s short, punchy and memorable enough for anyone to have fun with.
Its nice to see Australian developers get their games out there, and hopefully we can see more great releases from Blowfish Studios in the future.