Battle Worlds: Kronos for OS X review

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Battle Worlds: Kronos looks familiar—something like a Starcraft clone made up of just the human armies. The story feels familiar, too—the armies of megacorporations transform an entire planet into a huge battlefield. But once you get past the surface, Kronos harkens back to tabletop wargames, prizing tactical play over the story elements, and never holding the player’s hand.

Battle Worlds: Kronos

Battle Worlds: Kronos is a turn-based strategy game of mixed-arms troops. Each level assigns you your starting troops, and you can gain more by discovering them, calling for reinforcements, or building them in factories. As you’d expect, each troop type has its own strengths and weaknesses based on weapons, armor, and speed. The objectives are simple: kill them, don’t let them kill you.

This can be a difficult game at first, especially if you’re used to other turn-based games like Starcraft or Warcraft. Whereas those games feature narrators and training missions, Battle Worlds: Kronos gives you basic instruction on how units and factories work, then expects you to figure out the rest. This is not a game where the opening levels are tilted towards player victory; winning each one will require careful use of each unit you’re given, because repairs are hard to come by. Resources are very scarce, and the the choice between repairing a unit and building a new (or better) one has to be thoughtfully considered.

Battle Worlds: Kronos

More than anything else, Battle Worlds: Kronos requires patience. The factories, harbors, and headquarters that are vital for securing victory can only be captured by infantry units, and those are the most susceptible to damage. Run out of foot soldiers, and you can’t win the game. Also, the AI is cunning and aggressive, knowing when to pile on strikes and also when to move out of range. Levels that require coordination with naval units are especially challenging; you can’t load armor units into hover-carriers, only larger transports that can only dock at harbors. That means sending in light units to capture the harbors so you can bring the heavy stuff in.

Battle Worlds: Kronos features a story, of sorts. The megacorps are scheming against each other, and there’s a rivalry with a fellow member of your team, but these are the merest gloss. The dialogue trees don’t affect gameplay at all and don’t really provide much color.

Because of the limited resources, the tactics of the game are much more like a tabletop game of Warhammer 40K than anything else. It’s an unforgiving game where you might reach the end of a level after hours of play only to realize how screwed you are in the endgame. I’d replay levels, get frustrated, and quit, only to come back hours later after analyzing the level in my head. And yet, after completing a level, there was no sense of accomplishment, just the ambivalent realization that I’d have to go through it again in the next level.

But if you like the challenge of carefully analyzing each bit of terrain while making lightning-fast decisions, this might be the turn-based strategy game for you.

Appletell Rating:

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Buy Battle Worlds: Kronos

Category: Turn-based Strategy
Seller: King Art Games
Requirements: OS X 10.8.5 or later, 2.4GHz Processor, 2GB RAM, 3GB of available HD space, OpenGL 2.1 video card, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or better
Version Reviewed: 1.2
Price: $29.95

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