We're starting to see a lot of really, really cool games coming out for mobile devices. I recently picked up Iron Marines which came out on September 14, 2017, and have had a blast.
Iron Marines is a RTS/Strategy game with some minor 'defense' or 'tower defense' feel to it. It's made by the same people who made Kingdom Rush, which is another one of our favorite mobile games.
There's not a lot of story here. You're commanding the Iron Marines with one of 9 heroes trying to beat 14 Campaign Missions and 10 Special Operations. Each mission grows in complexity requiring more thought and strategy of how to overcome the challenges.
You'll command everything from simple marine-like infantry up through mechs and and all sorts of special weapons to get the job done. Defending your base is done with various towers, and will be necessary since the enemy seems to constantly bombard your base.
There's an obvious sense of Starcraft meets Starship Troopers vibe throughout the entire game.
The video above was taken when I was only an about an hour of gameplay in and on the 5th mission.â€‹
How It's Played on Mobile
Each unit/set of units can be moved by pressing your finger and dragging to where you want them to go. This works pretty well, though at times I do wish I could move multiple units together. There's also no attack-move (A-click), so you'll want to be careful not to send your units walking through a blockade of enemies. You can still tap your unit then tap an enemy to attack them directly.
Building units and buildings are pretty simple. You simple click the pad where a tower goes, or the base where you build a unit, and tap to build.
In general the game poses quite a challenge for me. I started losing and having to try again around mission #5. In fact, I think I spent over an hour trying to beat this mission because I would get to a point where the enemy just overwhelmed me.
You'll need to find a healthy balance of offense and defense, and use abilities and powerups to your advantage.
Upgrades & Skills
Each hero has a set of skills that can be upgraded as you level them up and play them more. Additional abilities can be purchased in a skill tree that offers choices for upgrades to make you feel more powerful as time goes on.
You can also buy what I consider power-ups which act as special bombs you can drop or mines you can lay -- things to help turn the tide in a bad situation.
Despite being a paid game, there's still a cash shop. You can buy in-game currency and specific heroes. I haven't felt a need to buy anything yet, but the options are there. Currency seems easy enough to earn, especially if you're willing to go back and play some levels or take on the challenges in the Special Operations.
Time played so far: 6 hours
Overall, I recommend Iron Marines for anyone who enjoys the RTS/defense type games. There are plenty of missions to justify the sticker price, and if you're look me you'll curse the game on more than one occasion because of the challenge some levels present.
Between the various units you can build, heroes you can play, and upgrades you can purchase, Iron Marines definitely scratches a RTS itch in a mobile kind of way.