- Developer: Warcave
- Publisher: Crazy Monkey
- Release Date: 27/3/2019
- Price: £19.99 / $24.99
- Review code provided by: Crazy Monkey
I have to admit, I was reluctant to begin my adventure in the real-time strategy game, Warparty by developer Warcave. The idea of an RTS that doesn’t have touch screen support doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence, if a real-time strategy game has ever inspired confidence on a handheld device before.
Warcave must have known the potential initial repulsion to the idea so they seemed to have decided to put a rich story to pull players in narrated by an articulate orator that gently lays the back drop down before even starting to play.
The campaign puts you in one of three different faction leaders’ shoes; The Wildlanders, the Vithara, or the Necroma. Each faction has its strengths and weaknesses and its own campaign objectives, making each playthrough of the campaign unique.
Warparty tells a story of the G’on that go extinct long, long ago and left behind artifacts and clues to activate ancient relics containing vast amounts of power, knowledge, and energy. It is your job to get your people the resources they need to extract this knowledge and power.
Controls not a Tyrannosaurus Wreck
The real question of course for any RTS on almost any system is usually “What are the controls like?” The real-time genre is especially sensitive to this question and to be honest, RTS fans should feel a moderate amount of relief in the way Warparty operates.
Instead of the standard method of box selecting, you can click and hold down the select button and a circle beneath the player quickly expands until the button is released. You are able to hold down a particular button to do things like select all idle workers, select all military units, etc. While the control scheme is far from perfect; if you’re playing online against other console users, then you’ll be going up against people with similar disadvantages.
Don’t Dino-snore on these Modes
Warparty provides a decent chunk of modes and content for the player to enjoy, with a moderate amount of re-playability.
The tutorial gently sets players in a scenario in which players will be able to learn all the little tips and hints to help micromanage and macro more effectively. Usually I skip tutorials, but the nature of RTS games especially on handheld or mobile devices demanded I go through this one before starting. It was very gentle slope into a control setting that could have ended up frustrating and disastrous.
The Survival Mode is another self-explanatory mode in which the player has to defend their base against waves of constantly increasing hordes of enemies. This mode, when played on an easier difficulty, can be very long winded. Depending on your level of experience, just getting to the challenging part can potentially take quite some time, up to 45 minutes or more.
Jurassic times call for Jurassic measures
Graphically, the theme is fun and engaging because who doen’t love dinosaurs? The models are simple, but unique enough to know what units you might be looking for on the screen at any given time. The colors are simple and easy to see while also falling into the overall theme and style.
While that won’t be winning them any awards, for an RTS running on the Switch it’s actually pretty decent. The sound sampling is about on par with a standard game, it’s not bad by any means but it’s also not anything particularly amazing.
The soundtrack has a nice relaxing caveman or ancient-esque vibe with hand percussions, xylophones, shakers, and other atmospheric instruments. It fits well with the theme, but isn’t overly spectacular or memorable.
A Clean Bedrock Slate
As reluctant as I was to go through the nightmare I was anticipating originally, there were very few bugs or glitches. There were a small amount of frame drops during heavy activity like a 3 person FFA match with everyone’s army in the same place, but this was a rare occurrence in my experience. Other than that, there were really no other technical issues that I ran into.
It should be mentioned here that there was, at least at one point, a bug or unimplimented feature to save during your campaign. Therefore, at this moment, you cannot save during a level in the campaign, you must save either before or after a particular scenario.
Singing Praise with Tyranno-chorus
Warparty shows that the RTS genre can have real potential if controls are well implemented. It never really felt frustrating or awkward trying to accomplish tasks with a controller; it is weird however that touch screen isn’t supported for the Switch version.
Overall, Warparty felt like a complete game with a generous amount of content for the price, which is generally around $25.00USD. It’s a great way to get your feet wet in the RTS genre while not having to spend AAA prices. The themes, music, and models all tie this game together in a nice bow. Outside of the control mechanics though, there are few new takes on already established RTS mechanics.
If you’re thirsty for an RTS, I can highly recommend Warparty for the Nintendo Switch.
- Dinosaurs will never be not cool
- Unique control features make the transition to console RTS easier than most
- Polished, few bugs if any in my personal experience.
- Cheap game for the amount of content.
- Basic units between the factions feel slightly stale
- Modes like survival can take a long time to become a challenge
- Slight frame drops in very busy areas