Hands-on with Rapture: Getting argy-bargy to conquer the world and escape the apocalypse
The problem I have with Civilization is that each 'game' takes so long to play. I've heard of people taking weeks to complete one cycle. I don't have the time or attention span for that.
Tundra Games's Rapture - World Conquest isn't like that. It's an arcade strategy game that squashes Civilization into five minutes or less. It's perfect for me.
You play as a god and control a civilisation with the default being the Romans (you can unlock others). You're told that the rapture is coming in 3000 years, and when it does, everyone on Earth will be killed.
The only way to save your people and have them ascend to heaven, rather than perish in the apocalypse, is to conquer the globe. But that's not made easy as there are other armies fighting for the same celestial existence.
When I first started playing Rapture I was overwhelmed with the amount of festering activity going on, as well as the many buttons on all four sides of the screen.
It was too much, and too fast, and even though I had completed the tutorial I was feeling a little panicked.
With a minute or two, though, I had picked it up and was well on my way to dominating a third of the global land mass. Then the meteorites came and everyone died. Somehow the Russian's won as they JUST had more land than me. Typical.
As you can tell, I have got very into the competitive side of the game. It's hard not to given the simplicity of the controls and the impact a couple of taps can have.
You tap to select a country you own and all of the people within it. You can then tap on an opposition's country to invade, so long as your army can travel there on land, or across small stretches of sea.
Your people are represented by chunky arrows that scurry over the Earth's surface. When you send them over to enemy territory, all they have to do to take it over is reduce the enemy's numbers in that region to zero.
It all happens right before your eyes, and it generally goes that those with the bigger army will win in a battle. However, you can win with lesser numbers if you're, say, in the Middle age and the enemy is back in the Stone ages.
At it's most basic, that's how Rapture works; it's just a series of taps. Of course, you should be taking in what the progress bars and numbers are telling you (and, very clearly, I might add), so as to come up with strategies. That's where all of those buttons come in.
On the left you have one-time boosts that can help productivity. By using them you can have a bigger army faster, or a stronger army, or one that's more technologically advanced.
On the right there are four buttons that can be selected to have your nations focus on a certain mode of production at the forfeit of the others: cash, mana (for miracles), armies, and science.
As you gain more followers you'll become more powerful and will therefore have access to more miracles - that's the buttons along the bottom.
These include volcanoes, tidal waves, plague, and drought. It's very fun seeing the resulting destruction and the numbers of the enemy drop after sending in a natural disaster. There are other miracles, too, such as Courage that boosts your own troops temporarily.
I found that the miracles had the biggest impact on proceedings. This caused me to employ a very aggressive strategy of sending over natural disasters to opposing countries and then sending in several of my nations to take it over.
When I realised that I could hold my finger down on the screen and all of my troops would gather at that point, that's when things got really nasty.
Suddenly I outnumbered everyone and was moving like a corrosive acid across the world, eating up enemies. But, as said, it was too late by the time I found this bludgeoning tactic and my people were crushed like everyone else.
Poking around after the game had finished (just five minutes long) I was able to spend gold on improving boosts for my next go at it.
There was also a chance to purchase new playable nations and different shaped worlds (including cuboid and cylinder). As expected, there are IAPs for the gold so you can afford these extras without putting the time in.
I won't be doing that, however, as Rapture seems to be the type of fast-paced strategy game worth replaying. Over time, you'll steadily become a better god through your own tactics as well as the improved boosts.
Yes, it's similar to First Strike in concept, but Rapture is even more chaotic, which entices me to replay it more. Rather than waiting for missiles to be built and slowly fly across the world, as in First Strike, you feel like you're getting stuck in there with the frontline troops.
While there are certainly tactics to employ, the tactile feeling of guiding troops over and the drag-and-drop miracles makes Rapture feel very argy-bargy.
Unlike other strategy games it gets your mind racing, reacting to what's happening, and before you realise it's all over and you're raring to go again.
Rapture - World Conquest will be coming to iOS very shortly. It has already been submitted to Apple for review. You can find more information on its website.