When the king turns to you for help, how can you refuse? Fight your way through untold danger to find and defeat the Orc army in Pocket Titans, a delightful turn-based RPG strategy game from Noisy Orc Games. The goal is to clear all the monsters off the board. Each turn you are given two movement points. Slide any row or column back and forth to position your characters, or to move enemies into attack range. If you don't use both your movement points, you get extra attack power that round. Most attacks need line of sight, and attacks can be blocked by obstacles or teammates on the board.
Before each level, you'll be able to select a set number of your unlocked characters to take into battle. Tap on a character or enemy to examine their stats, abilities and gear. Each character has two regular abilities, and, when high enough level, one bonus ability that charges up over time. The game will always choose the higher power attack when available, so after you position the board, sit back and watch the action. But don't take your attention away! Occasionally you'll be able to tap a character repeatedly to up his or her attack power. You gain gold and XP when killing enemies, and as you level up, you get more powerful attacks and better stats. If you lose a battle, don't worry! There's no penalty, and you can choose another crack team and try again. If you are struggling to pass a level, you can spend earned gold on better equipment. While you can purchase additional gold via micro-transaction, it's really not necessary to enjoy the game fully. Gear and gold drop at fairly high rate during battle, and you can always replay levels to earn more cash.
Pocket Titans is one of those games that seems simple at the get-go, but reveals a lot of hidden depth and strategy as you go on. The level design varies, adding things like boards with squares that help or hinder you, or having to protect helpless townfolk, which keeps things from becoming repetitive. There's a multiplayer mode seamlessly integrated where you can challenge your friends or strangers on line. Navigating the world via the map is a little clunky, but otherwise the controls are great, especially the undo button. Eight playable characters and five distinct areas to explore will keep you busy for awhile, and leave you wanting more when it's over. So whether you are new to strategy games, or old hat, the king has requested your help. And who are you to deny your king?
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad 2. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.