As opposed to the iPhone, the iPad gives developers more options for their point & click (or tap) games thanks to their larger screens. Because of the bigger surface area, RTS titles suit it perfectly allowing for a wider viewing area, easier unit selection and the improved precision that these games require.
Modern Conflict, released by Clickgamer is available for both the iPad and iPhone. Although this review is of the iPad HD version, the game is similar in gameplay and apart from superior graphics, iPhone users can refer to this as well.
Modern Conflict can be best described as a combo of the boardgame Risk!, Galcon and on a very limited level, the Command & Conquer games. You will be controlling tanks and helicopters to invade enemy bases in your efforts to expand your territory across the globe.
The game is broken down into three different gameplay modes; Campaign, Survival and Special Ops. Campaign mode revolves around an escalating conflict between the U.S.A, Russia and China with over 30 missions to complete and rotates between the opposing sides. Survival mode is a test to how long you can last against increasingly difficult opponents as you attempt to juggle upgrades and unit numbers accordingly. Finally Special Ops is like the Campaign mode but with varying objectives and challenges to test players that little bit extra once they have the basics down.
However the amount of control players get is limited and those expecting a full blown RTS along the lines of Red Alert will be disappointed. As mentioned, the game is a lot like the space conquest game Galcon. The map is divided up into a number of bases with links or roads between them. Units (tanks or helicopters) are generated at bases under your command at a frequency determined by the number of surrounding bases you control. You can chose to send half your forces, or all of them, to a nearby base by tapping once or twice respectively.
Because of this, the level of strategy is limited and it is difficult to categorise this game as a real RTS. However the easy learning curve and simple gameplay still makes Modern Conflict a fun and accessible game. A successful invasion of an enemy base is simply a matter of checking your numbers and ensuring you have more units than the opposition. For example to successfully take control of an enemy base with 7 units, players will need to send 8 or more to it. However unlike Galcon, units can engage with other units while moving toward their base. It is complimented by a visual of tanks shooting at each other but remains a matter of who has the larger numbers. What it does mean though is that players can intercept and lessen an opponent’s forces before they make it to their destination.
What compensates for the limited RTS features in Modern Conflict is the level of presentation. Although the animations are sparse, the menus, tutorials and visuals are very polished. The game also has a large amount of depth to it thanks to the progression of the Campaign mode and extras that will challenge some veteran strategy game fans. Successful players will need to combine smarts with quick reflexes as the difficulty ramps up. Later levels include upgrades to your units and also the ability to build walls or turrets around their bases to increase their defences. These extra features make Modern Conflict a lot more advanced than Galcon and this game is relatively well priced if you enjoy Risk!.