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Turn-based strategy games might seem like a somewhat complex genre for iOS’ pick-up-and-play market, but Outwitters seems primed to sell players on the approach with ease. Essentially, it’s an asynchronous online (or local pass-the-device) multiplayer board game utilizing hexagonal grid maps and a colorful, quirky art style, with the goal of maneuvering your team of odd creatures -- ranging from salty sea critters to sugary rainbow-pop cuddlies -- to destroy the enemy’s base on the opposite side of the board.
This may be easier said than done, since your opponent also has units working towards the same goal. Each type of monster (or robot, or teddy bear) has varying stats depending on its class abilities; for instance, scouts have a longer range of movement but low health, while snipers can shoot enemies up to three spaces away, but can only move one space themselves. Each team also has an exclusive unit type that will, say, teleport an ally or brainwash an enemy.
On top of that, all player activities cost wit points that recharge after each turn, while each unit is only allowed to move and attack once per turn. Part of the challenge comes from deciding which units to use and how aggressive to be, or if you want to spend your wits on new a battle recruit. Choose wisely, because you won’t have enough for everything. Outwitters is highly enjoyable, yet I really wish there were an option to make your base stronger, or that the maps were larger. A game may last just five minutes -- a scout can theoretically reach and attack a foe’s base on the first turn, and it’s easy to overwhelm them shortly thereafter. Still, two-on-two team matches add more strategy, and the goofy cartoon violence is fun.
The bottom line. Outwitters is great for casual-minded strategists on the go.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later
Wonderful and twisted art style. Solid strategic gameplay. Offers both two or four-player matches.
Can be pretty easy to win. Free version only unlocks one of three teams. No single-player.