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App of the Week: Rival Kingdoms review

As the saying goes - when you can't beat em, join up with a few dozen others and siege em till they're squished

You may not have noticed, but we’re very much in the strategy era of mobile gaming, and Rival Kingdoms is the latest title to fancy a piece of the Clash of Clans pie. 

If you’ve not switched on your TV, your phone, or eye-things in the last three years and need to be told what the basic formula is, then here’s a quick summary: you build and control a fort, which allows you to control an army that attacks other people’s forts. Players can also congregate together in-game and form groups that can collectively declare war on yet other players and set out to tag-team their bases. Ergo the name: Rival Kingdoms (we suggested a name change to Rival Forts That Can Attack Other Forts but have yet to recieve a response).

The besieging of forts, which happens in real time, has to be meticulously thought out. Once a player’s offensive units are placed they attack enemy structures automatically and can’t be controlled directly, requiring players to rigorously plan where and when to drop in each one to achieve victory. It sounds deceptively simple but when you take into account the range of units, the range of defensive structures and the gazillion and one configurations they can be arranged in, you’ve got yourself a complex strategy game.