Game Reviews

Leviathan: Warships

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Leviathan: Warships

Combat is rarely as simple as modern shooters make it look. There's a lot of planning and strategy involved in making sure the right grunt is in the right place with the right gun in his hand. That's why there's always a place for games with a little more strategy and a little more depth.

Cross-platform turn-based strategy game Leviathan: Warships is certainly deep. From the outset it's obvious that this isn't a game for those who are faint of strategic heart. If rushing in guns blazing is your plan then Leviathan: Warships will ensure your armadas are scuttled and your cannons fall silent.

Cannons can

Your ships are controlled with a clever menu that pops out when you tap on them. Arrows at the front and back let you move the ship, a compass lets you angle it, and various icons represent the guns and shields at your disposal.

There are two phases to each turn - Planning and Outcome. Planning is when you give out your orders, while Outcome is when you see whether your clever plan has paid off or you've presented your flank to the enemy's rail gun.

Complex orders can be given with a series of taps. Long-pressing a directional arrow and then dragging lets you place a waypoint. From there you can aim your guns and angle your shields to make sure you're still in offensive mode as you move.

Different ships have different strengths and weaknesses, and different weapons have different ranges and degrees of power. It's possible to charge a huge warship with a scout, dodging its heavy weapons and taking a chunk out of its health in the process.

Sinking ships

The battles can appear slow-paced, especially as your ships ponderously reposition themselves in the brief turns. But the maps are small enough that conflict is inevitable, and even the speediest player can only dodge an assault for so long.

While the campaign takes a while to get going, the multiplayer options are impressive. You can build up a series of different armadas designed to take down different threats, and there are plenty of different scenarios you can build to take on friends and foes.

But make no mistake - it's tough on the seven hypothetical seas. More experienced players will make mincemeat of you before you even get a chance to react, and it's likely that your first few games will result in disheartening whitewashes.

But it's worth persevering because there's plenty of fine details to tinker with if you want to turn your ships into finely tuned enemy-sinking machines.

If playing together is more to your taste, you can team up with up to three friends to work your way through the campaign, or take on five different challenge missions.

Throw in pretty seamless cross-platform play and the ability to sync accounts across iPad, Android, PC, and Mac, and you're left with a go-anywhere strategy experience.

Mine, all mine

Leviathan: Warships is unashamedly tough, and from the menus to the tutorial through to the game proper it's easy to get intimidated by the options and jargon that's thrown in your direction.

This isn't a game that welcomes newcomers, but it's one that rewards time and effort with a well-built and almost endlessly intriguing set of seafaring possibilities.

If you're not a strategy fan then you'll probably run away to sea within the first couple of minutes, but Leviathan: Warships shows how deep, entertaining strategy games can work on touchscreen devices.

Leviathan: Warships

Full of strategic potential and with more fleet options than you can dance a jig to, Leviathan: Warships is a heavy, engaging naval simulation
Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.