For some reason, this interesting strategy game on iOS didn't display ads properly at first, when I got it. The IAP to get rid of them was there, but I never saw any. Maybe if I had, it would've gotten a 3/5, depending on how frequent they would have been. But I still say it's an interesting game because grid-based strategy products aren't that abundant on iOS - even if the platform should suit them well - and the team building with new units you unlock after completing certain missions is a pretty good drive to keep playing.

The game is mostly you fighting aliens and other monsters on a spaceship and you make a team of five units. You start with a few choices, but you build your team up with unlocked troops you get for completing certain missions - I kinda wish it had told me which missions gave me units, or even placed the unlocking of these units behind secondary objectives to give a better replay value to levels. Most maps require you to kill everything, but some others ask to survive for X turns or to get a certain place on the map. Then you get graded, mostly on casualties, but maybe there are others, not well explained requirements to get three stars.

My main issue with the game is how finicky the controls are and how easy it is to waste your turns. Your characters have two actions per turn, so they can move twice, attack twice, or move and attack. Different characters have different movement range and attack patterns, some will shoot, others will attack all around them, some will heal and others boost the attack of your characters. The issue is that if you have a character selected there is no easy way to deselect that character and most of the time I just had my guy walk to a spot where I'd tapped to deselect it. There should be an easier way, either tap twice to confirm a movement or something.

Besides that, your enemies are quite tough too, so you'll need to use your troops well and probably retry maps a few times if you want to get through them without casualties. That being said, there is not much in lieu of reason to do so - stars don't unlock anything - so if you manage to kill everything and win a mission, you safely can just continue through the campaign, with it's okay humor and new content slowly trickling in. I had a fun time with it!

That being said, just before I stopped playing it, another update hit where they added another gameplay mode and big screen video ads, so I didn't hate my decision to stop right at that moment. ASM is a cool little strategy game and while it probably would've been better as a paid product, it still has good ideas!

AuthorJérémie Tessier