Deep inside all of us, there's a brilliant tactician yearning to break free and conquer the gaming world one carefully placed unit or well thought-out move at a time. But even if, like me, you're a little more Leeroy Jenkins than Sun Tzu and you'd need an excavator to find any secret lurking strategists in your psyche, that's no reason not to enjoy the games that get you thinking! Here are three of our favourite strategic titles you don't need a degree to get addicted to.
- Lock 'n' Roll - James Prucey and Sean Hawkes' fiendishly simple puzzler is something you try to forget... not because it isn't good, but because if it gets its hooks into you, it's one of those effortlessly addictive little gems you might find yourself orbiting back to when you should be taking care of other priorities. All you have to do is place dice down in certain row combinations, such as colour or number, and keep going for as long as you can without locking up the board. Sounds easy? Sounds easy, yeah, sure, but Lock 'n' Roll's simple premise and gameplay delivers a remarkably compulsive challenge that's just perfect for endlessly procrastinating.
- Super Energy Apocalypse - Basically, Lars A. Doucet does terrible, wonderful things to your free time, and this entry into our 5th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is a prime example. I mean, come on... strategy... upgrades... zombies. Yes, it seems the world has (once again) succumbed to an undead apocalypse, but that's only an issue if you don't have upgradeable turrets and massive heavy weapons at your command. And really, what sensible household doesn't? With a fantastically camp design and clever gameplay that revolves around corpses and pollution, it's easy to see why this real-time strategy game can suck you in for a good long time.
- Bubble Tanks Tower Defense - Tower defense games aren't always welcomed with open arms, but Hero Interactive managed to crack the code for wonderfulness in this squeaky clean title. With its clean visual style and soothing soundtrack, it doesn't look particularly threatening, but make no mistake... there's a challenge to be had here. Unlike most tower defense games, Bubble Tanks allows you to place your defenses virtually anywhere you like, allowing you to manipulate the environment and the flow of your enemies to your advantage... if you're clever enough, that is. Levels get harder and more elaborate as you progress, and you'll have to make careful use of your upgrades and precious bubbles to succeed. It's a surprisingly robust game with a lot of depth that makes it the perfect choice to sink into for a while... not unlike a warm bubble-bath!
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!