Crush your enemies is an action, indie and strategy game that uses the medieval /barbarian theme. The game was developed by Vile Monarch, who were responsible for the indie hit ‘Oh Sir!’. This real-time strategy (RTS) game relies upon the player’s ability to micro-manage various types of units and manage resources while planning attacks and taking enemy territory. Games that share similar grid based strategy are games like Warsong (Genesis) or Front Mission.
The game begins with you learning basic functions of the game with tutorials, such as attacking the enemy. As a barbarian leader you raid and pillage the lands as you drink beer and mercilessly slaughter enemies dozens at a time. Along the way you meet magicians and enemies who will oppose you as you recruit more barbarians to fight for you. While the game has a simple plot, the campaign has a variety of cut scenes where different characters will interact with one another.
However, while Crush your enemies provides some medieval satisfaction in winning against your enemies. The game does not implement much strategy, resource management or depth to make it memorable in the genre.
The game features one campaign mode which features dozens of levels that spand across the gametime of at least a couple of hours. This may affect the games longevity and replayability in the long-run as it offers no further incentives to continue playing the game other than completing optional objects per level. The demo featured twenty levels for the player to fight in that offers a range of different scenarios that teaches you about unit types throughout the course of the demo. While the game offers you the chance to reset the campaign, it also allows you to unlock everything in the game automatically at the click of a button. This feature affects not only the immersion into the game, but the progress and satisfaction of being rewarded hard-earned victories.
The gameplay of Crush your enemies involves building peasants at the inn/tavern to create more peasants. This unit is the bread and butter of the game. With more peasants occupyng the inn the faster players can create them. By building more peasants the player can accumlate more troops and thus defeat the enemy. The simple strategy of the game is to manage which type of unit your peasant will turn into while keeping you tavern stocked up with plenty of units to keep the deployment fresh. Whether it will be a warrior, archer or shamans, the player must use a combination of these to fight enemies on a grid-type map where the armies will first have to fight for the land before building a barracks for warriors, archery for archers or constructing a watch tower to take over the land. While the gameplay offers simplistic strategy it does offer satisfaction because of the fast-pace of the indie game. However, one of the problems of this game is that once the player or bot has the advantage, it is hard to lose it. The nature of the game – to take over land and buildings means that if one player has more than the other, the game can turn into a slow grind of just churning out units which grinded the enjoyable game experience to a halt.
Another issue with the game is the lack of tutorial or in-game options and guides. The demo of this game had no options to tinker with nor was the tutorial of this game in-depth. The lack of tutorial in this game does a injustice to what strategy it has. In example there is no level to explain that the player must first take over the tile before advancing onto the next one. Nor does it teach about the unit creation at the tavern that is essential to the core of this games strategy.
The graphics of this game offers a simple cel-shaded style that fits to the comedic theme Vile Monarch are aiming for. However, the transition from the retro in-game pixel units and the cut scenes creates a sense of conflicting styles that fight to establish the main aesthetic of the game. In current standards the in-game art such as the cut scenes has various wonderfully illustrated characters. Players of older nostalgic RTS games will appreciate the battles for their pixel graphics.
Crush your enemies also gives newer players to the RTS genre an easier time getting used to the game with the ease of controls. In a genre that requires players to micro-manage the controls for this type of game is essential, and the game does gives easy control over the units but lacks any in-game guide or tutorial to explain the controls in a practical sense. While the controls were easy the game gave a steady incline of difficulty as levels became progressively harder and required more strategy. However, for newer players of the RTS genre this game offers no difficulty menu to adjust the menu. Thus more casual players may find themselves struggling later on the campaign.
In conclusion the lack of options or in-game tutorial to fully explain the mechanics will put off newer players to the RTS genre. While players will find amusement in the variation of levels the campaign offers, takes a long time to fully show off the extent of the game mechanics or the depth of the game. For a demo the game offers good longevity and looks promising. However, Crush Your Enemies provides short-term satisfaction for players looking to quench a couple of hours in strategy, but fails to establish itself in the RTS genre because of the minimal resource collection and simple strategy that focuses around building peasants.
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