You're a tough, battle-hardened general on a difficult campaign... a campaign of freedom, liberation, and justice. Your enemy? A gray, totalitarian menace, filled with hard-edged soldiers that will stop at nothing to make all your bases belong to them as they leave behind a trail of destruction in their wake. Can you recruit enough troops to fight the enemy? Will your mix of leadership, quick reflexes and tactics win the day? Does this sound epic enough for a game about circles and squares? You'll find out soon enough in GameClay and Noonat's new strategy title, Blipzkrieg.
Blipzkrieg is a unique and stylized game that mixes simple, abstract graphics with intense real-time strategy elements. The objective of the 29-level game is to reach a portal on each stage that advances to the next level. This is a fairly easy task early on, but later levels require you to get past pesky barriers, hostile gray squares, and deadly laser turrets to reach your goal. Eventually you need to take out fortified enemy bases that spawn more hordes of menacing squares to reveal the portal. In order to be successful, you must rely on friendly troops to assist in capturing areas and destroying the enemy.
Meeting your objectives in Blipzkrieg requires an understanding of the controls, which are simple, yet surprisingly robust. When the game starts, you command a blue circle by clicking on it and dragging a path around the screen in a manner similar to mobile titles like Flight Control. The blue circle soon follows your path, and you can speed it up by clicking and holding the arrow icon at the path's end. A key skill in Blipzkrieg is attacking the enemy and capturing areas, which requires troops. Early in the game, you recruit disorganized troops (which are multicolored circles) by moving your blue circle near them, causing them to turn yellow and swarm protectively around you. Later levels require you to spawn new organized troops from a reinforcement portal, with more yellow circles appearing the longer you wait. To attack something, just move your blue circle (with its swarm of troops) near enemy troops or a capture point, and they will automatically fight to the bitter end, often leaving behind pixelated corpses. Capturing areas can also make deadly turrets your allies, helping to defend areas against the enemy squares.
Analysis: This is a game that takes some getting used to, but once you get past the learning curve (made easy thanks to an excellent set of tutorial levels) it can be quite fun and addictive. Many of the levels are cleverly designed, with the AI putting up a significant fight as you try to take over portions of each map section by section while defending your home base. I especially liked the ability to capture (and lose control of) certain areas of a map, with a clear system of dots and colors letting you know who currently controls a barrier or turret, and how strong or weak its control point is. Indeed, the game's use of symbols instead of detailed traditional characters allows for fast gameplay and quick thinking unhindered by unnecessary adornment. Just like a coach's playbook can depict a grinding football play using just X's and O's, Blipzkrieg's use of circles and squares depicts a truly epic struggle taking place.
Despite its deceptively simple controls and graphics, Blipzkrieg is not an easy game, and at times you may find it difficult to get past a level. Some of the later ones are quite tough, and can take up to 10 minutes to pass unless your plans are crisp and your luck is strong. This is part of the game's strengths though; not every map has the exact same strategy to win, and there are enough random elements to keep things interesting. Getting through the game is worth it however, as everything wraps up with a hard but satisfying final level that throws in some surprises. All in all, Blipzkrieg provided me with a challenging and satisfying experience, one where I was looking forward to beating each level to see what was coming next. Will you feel the same? Are you ready to get your war on? Then let's blipz this krieg!