Art of War «

It’s hard to fault this mobile strategy game for trying so hard to live up to the expectations of demanding real-time strategy fans. While Art of War doesn’t even come close to the depth and complexity of StarCraft, its obvious inspiration, it’s enough to feel like one small step (or rolling tank tread) toward that ultimate goal.

You are a commander in the war between the NSA and the GEA, two fictional Asian armies that fight with squads of tiny, boxy tanks and pixel-high foot soldiers. Keeping the unit sizes small means that the huge maps give you plenty of room to expand and build a sprawling military base (with some limitations).

Click the image above to check out all Art of War screens.


Your army is constrained to 30 buildings and 50 units, but that’s more than enough to confront your opponent with and watch the rockets fly. Moving all those units around the satisfyingly large stages can take a while, but it’s never hard to command your army with precision.

Art of War intelligently copies some of the controls from PC RTSes, like the ability to drag the cursor, highlight several units, and then bind them to one of four buttons. These controls are surprisingly effective, but by the time you master them, the experience will be almost over, since Art of War only contains five missions.

This isn’t a title that relies on stellar visuals or an endless campaign mode to make its mark. Instead, Art of War expertly handles complex controls to deliver a brief but gratifying challenge. For a mobile RTS, Art of War isn’t a bad attempt, and it might someday be regarded as a precursor to the better mobile strategy games to come.

Played on a Samsung A717


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