Art of War: Red Tides is building an empire. Granted that’s essentially what you’ll do as the commander of your own fleet of real time fighting troops, this is the start of something much bigger. Playing in a traditional tug-of-war style, AoW pits players against each other in a one-lane, wave-after-wave game mode in 1v1 or 3v3 battles. The play session is fairly straightforward, and players have a simple resource-gathering mine that may be upgraded twice throughout the game in order to speed up the resource gathering. Choosing from a limited set of units, you will use available resources to decide which units to populate each wave with, and how many will appear. The waves are only seconds apart, so it’s imperative to survey the current wave, observe what is working in your favor and what isn’t, then either sell or buy certain units to assess each situation. Turn the tide of battle with a counter-push or watch your squad get demolished before your eyes. The object of the game is to destroy the enemy base, which all players will have one base, one main turret, and two outer turrets as protection.
The player doesn’t choose targets for their units, the game is completely automated. Waves of units pour out and auto-attack the most available unit or emplacement. The only thing the player controls is the economy of their army. Dynamic events may be initiated by using commander powers, such as a bombing run or airdrop which can be a lifesaver in the most dire moment of need. The action of course takes place in the skirmishes, which are intense and uniquely paced, however the preparation before game can be instrumental in dictating whether or not you’ll conquer or perish on the field. Choosing the composition of your army starts with deciding which units to make available. These pages can be saved for quick picking, and there are three different factions to choose from. However, the player begins at level one, and other armies and units are only unlockable by reaching higher levels. There’s a wealth of features from unlockable units, to store-bought items and runes. Like League of Legends, there is a rune page available that can be assembled with different runes giving the player slight upgrades to certain stats. Art of War: Red Tides is ridiculously addicting, and it’s only in a free-to-play early access stage on Steam. With a ranked mode, special missions and more already available in this online matchmaking strategy tug-of-war, AoW is a great time killer in its current state.
Download the beta here.
Played it? We’d love to know what you thought about it.
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