What's a Star Hammer then?

Well, in this case it's an iOS port of a PC RTS that launched on Steam back in June. You're the commander of a space navy and have to tactically direct your fleet to destroy an army of invading aliens.

Why are they invading?

Probably because you've settled dangerously close to their home planet. It's set in the future, see, and the human race has had to abandon a dying earth and find a new home on a distant habitable planet.

Okay, I see. So how do these battles work?

You begin by selecting your fleet from a bunch of different ships. They come in different classes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. It's your job to choose the right one for the mission and then move it strategically about the battlefield.

You haven't answered the question

I'm getting to that. Once in battle you control where your ships move, the weapons they use, and which enemies they target. There's much more to it than that though. You can also choose how much energy they dedicate to their engines (to increase the distance they can travel), their weapons (to do more damage), and their shields (to, yup, take less damage) per turn.

Woah. Isn't that kind of overwhelming?

It appears so at first but it's actually incredibly intuitive and opens up a bunch of exciting tactical options. If you're pinned down you could send all energy to your shields and dig in while you wait for reinforcements to arrive.

Alternatively, you could send all of your energy to your weapons and hope you can destroy all the enemies before they kill you. Or even a mixture of the two!

That does seem useful

It gets better. You can also strengthen individual sections of your shield. So if all enemies are attacking from the right, you can increase your protection from that side. It does mean you'll be vulnerable from the left though, but be careful with your positioning and it's a vital feature.

So is fighting all there is?

For the most part, yes - every level in the game is a combat sequence, and the objective varies drastically from mission to mission. That being said, the plot is a pretty standout feature on its own and has an interesting development process.

What do you mean?

Well, say you're an aggressive commander who doesn't really care about the life of your troops. That will be reflected in the story, and you'll end up in a totally different place plot-wise to a commander who is cautious and protective of their troops.

So it seems like the complete package then.

If you're looking for a deep and tactical turn-based RTS on your iPad then you'll absolutely be satisfied with what Star Hammer has to offer. You'll be pleased with the the sheer amount of control you'll have over every aspect of the battlefield and your individual troops.

The fact it's a good looking game and has an interesting plot with a unique development system is just the icing on the cake.