It’s been only six months since Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol brought its unique, tactical take on World War I air combat to iOS, and already we’ve got a sequel. Pushing the action forward to the Pacific during World War II, Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies pits American and Japanese aces against each other in missions that range from simple dogfighting to defending or destroying vital ships, bases, or other structures.
There was never any real doubt that 2012’s turn-based strategy darling XCOM: Enemy Unknown would be a good fit for iOS. Its isometric battlefields, uncomplicated menu-driven controls, and methodical turn-based pace all practically screamed for a touch-based interface. The only question was what it would look like once it got there—and now that it's here, we can say it’s lost impressively little in the translation.
Firaxis, the developer behind Civilization, has been busy on Apple platforms lately. The past few weeks brought us an excellent Mac port of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and the kid-friendly iOS strategy game Haunted Hollow, and now the company's rolled out Sid Meier's Ace Patrol, a free-to-play, turn-based tactics game set in the skies above World War I.
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 mobile games thing is for real -- if anyone anywhere needs one more shred of proof, it’s Bungie Aerospace, a new mobile development arm of Bungie, makers of seminal games like Marathon, Halo, and Myth. Crimson: Steam Pirates is their first title, combining steampunk aesthetics, pirates, and pitch-perfect combat on the iPad.
War has broken out on the moon -- again! -- and Allied victory is up to you in Military Madness: Neo-Nectaris, an iOS sequel to 1990’s venerable turn-based strategy game, Military Madness. True to its old-school roots, Nectaris delivers hours of simple yet deep solo gameplay and occasionally punishing difficulty. Despite a clunky presentation, die-hard touchscreen generals will find plenty to like.