Game: UniWar UniWar v1.8.53
Developer: TBS Games
Price: Now free!
UniWar is a compact classic-styled online multiplayer turn-based strategy game in which players take turns building up their army to fight against each other on a hexagonal map for territorial domination. UniWar is quite similar to the feel of chess, but offers three unique races with various abilities and five different map types where terrain features will affect attack and mobility of units. The game is considered to be a streamlined 4X title, which is an abbreviation for explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate; all being standard aspects of the genre to eventually overwhelm your opponent's units and bases to claim victory and escalate in global ranking. For the relatively small file size, UniWar boasts a generous single player campaign of 21 missions, solo play with another set of 31 maps, hot seat multiplayer on the same device and online multiplayer with a main chat room and large active community. Online multiplayer also includes team play with configurations offered as 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3 and 4 vs 4 to allow larger and more complex games that can include your friends in lengthier engagements. To bolster replay value and to keep things fresh, there is also a map editor included within the game and over 10,000 user made maps available to play in multiplayer game modes. There is an astounding amount of content stuffed into such a small 16 megabyte package in UniWar; there's always something to keep you busy, even between online multiplayer turns, which can range in duration between three minutes to three days.
Looking at the core game regarding single player mode, there is a campaign of 21 preset missions that scale in complexity as you unlock each map and progress to the next. There is a difficulty selection of easy, medium and hard settings to adjust the challenge level according to your taste. The player and AI opponents start each level with at least one base in possession and a predefined amount of credits to spend on unit resources during your turn. As each turn progresses, you are automatically allocated credits to either purchase cheaper units or save them for future turns in order to access more powerful units as their costs relatively scale according to power and function. This system clearly equates to the age old strategy of quality versus quantity as you must determine what types of units your adversary is sending out to attempt to surprise, overwhelm and overcome the opposing forces that engage you in combat. There are three factions with eight unit types each in Uniwar; United Planeteria, Gamric Empire and Cosmono Federation, all having different abilities and functions that can vary each game greatly as diversity brings more challenges to the mix. For every unit in the game, there is a countermeasure or strategy that works best; however, varying terrain attributes factor into skirmishes as it can affect your attack damage, defense rating and unit movement depending on the tile type. Your ultimate goal is to either capture or occupy all opposing bases to where they cannot generate any more units, rendering them inherently defeated. As the AI will attempt to occupy empty bases on the map to pump out extra enemy units, your task is to stifle opposition growth, gain possession of empty bases or capture empty bases and hone in on the enemy's remaining home base to claim victory.
In addition to the single player campaign, there are also 31 separate maps available for solo mode that can played repeatedly in any desirable order, selecting one of the three difficulty settings with any of the included faction combinations. This is a great way to learn the game and to understand the differences between faction units on your own before traversing into the vast realm of multiplayer games with seasoned players who have already mastered their strategies. As of note, these 31 solo play maps cannot be replaced or changed out for other maps, even with the included level editor to make your own custom battlegrounds, which is a bit unfortunate. As a workaround to this, you may create your own map and upload it to the server or select one of the thousands available online and start a non-rated game with AI players as opponents, but this method requires Internet access. As UniWar does not utilize a random map generator, quite a few single player fans have expressed their disappointment with the lack of ability to add custom maps to the single player mode. It's of minor concern at home on a WiFi network, but using mobile data to engage in single player games just to use custom maps leaves a bit to be desired. The last single player mode available is a local hot seat multiplayer skirmish to where you can pass the device to your opponent to take their turn, or actually play both sides yourself if you wish. This is actually a rare game mode on mobile devices as the developers usually steer all players to purchase a copy of the game to be able to match with their friends, so kudos for this nice inclusion within UniWar. As it stands, the single player modes are truly just convenient offline training grounds to acclimate and familiarize the player with the many mechanics within this complex game to be able to compete in online multiplayer, which is the game's primary draw. You have to start somewhere, and single player would be the suggested place to do this as the online community is collectively skilled and experienced; your losses will be many if you don't have a solid understanding of mechanics and strategies.
Multiplayer is the primary focus of UniWar with every aspect one could expect in a complex PC title, but in a convenient mobile platform. Up to 20 games may be played at once with notifications delivered on your turn, which range from 3 minutes, 10 minutes, 12 hours, 1 day and 3 day durations. As mentioned above, team play modes can host up to 8 players in several configurations, or you can opt to combat a single opponent in either a globally ranked game or completely non-ranked just for fun, which is suggested for starting players. You may also play against AI opponents in the same fashion to bolster the single player mode with over 10,000 custom maps available or make your own with the map editor featured in the multiplayer section. There is a Worldwide Global Ladder feature to keep track of scores and ratings of all ranked games and even occasional tournaments you may register to play in that are also ranked separate from the Ladder system, which gives everyone a chance to win. Communications are well handled with global chat rooms divided into seven languages; English, Portuguese, French, Russian, German, Spanish and Polish, which one may participate in after winning five games in total. There's also in-game chat during the game, giving players a way to communicate between team members or perhaps even taunt opponents for fun. Nearly every feature you would expect in a classic online multiplayer turn-based strategy game is here at your disposal; even an information screen on damage and defense values for each unit on all the varying terrain types, which is extremely handy to assess attacks. Full statistics are shown during the game within the information window, as well as a final screen showing the end results and complete details of the entire skirmish. Games can range between minutes or even weeks depending on how many players are included and also due to the nature of being turn-based with lengthy timers set. Whether you wish to start an informal game with bots to check out new maps online or engage in full scale warfare with teams of up to eight players, UniWar will scale to your expectations and keep you entertained for endless hours.
Due to the very compact size of UniWar, weighing in at a paltry 16 megabytes, with beautiful production values throughout the game that won't kill your device, it's a fantastic game for even low end smartphones. You may pinch zoom into the map to see all the details of what's going on and the art is very crisp, clear and colorful; giving UniWar a very classy appearance with high production values. As the game is quite complex and deep with a very large following, the official web site is chock full of information and even keeps your statistics handy at a glance. There is extremely detailed information available on each unit type, Ladder rankings, tournament announcements and a forum loaded with strategies and tips to study, which shows just how deep this little game really can get. If that is not quite enough, there is also an Unofficial UniWar Damage Calculator available on Google Play for free that a lot of players swear by to get the most out of every turn in a ranked game. The resources exist for UniWar because it's just one incredible package and a required game for all those strategy lovers out there who demand the best, especially on a mobile platform. As UniWar normally sells for $4.99, which is still a great deal considering the level of replay value it gives, it goes on sale frequently throughout the year and is sometimes the Free App of the Day on Amazon. As of this writing, you can pick this title up right now for a mere $0.99 on Google Play or Amazon, which is what I would consider to be a steal of a price. I highly recommend UniWar to those who enjoy deep strategy games as it will deliver all the replay value you could possibly want in a lifetime and might even make you some new friends in the process.
- A full featured online multiplayer turn-based strategy title.
- High production values with nearly every feature you could want.
- Nice selection of units that are balanced with detailed statistics.
- Sharp, crisp and colorful graphics with pinch zooming for phones.
- Custom maps are not available in offline single player mode.
- Requires some research before playing ranked Ladder games.
Device/OS used: Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 2012 / KitKat v4.4.4, Lollipop v5.1.1
Purchase at Google Play
Purchase at Amazon
Mobilism: UniWar v1.8.47