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The Modern Combat team at Gameloft has a new game out, and it's not what you might expect.

Siegefall isn't a fast-paced first person shooter in a modern setting, instead it's a steady and methodical strategy management game set in a medieval fantasy era.

Can the team that made the FPS work on mobile revolutionise a genre still pretty much dominated by Clash of Clans?

Find out as I play it for seven days and report back my findings.

First impressions

I've already played a little of Siegefall for my video preview on AppSpy, so if you're interested in getting an immediate take on how the game moves and flows, then go have a look.

If you'd rather read those first impressions in the form of words on a page, then keep scrolling down.

Siegefall immediately gets you into the core loop of what you'll be doing for the countless hours you decide to stick about.

You use one type of currency to construct and upgrade buildings and defences within your kingdom, and another currency to train up troops for use in battles. Currency is produced slowly at home or pinched from rivals.

You place tar pits to slow down would-be attackers, set up archer towers to defend your HQ, and form mighty walls to keep invaders at bay.

The areas where you train troops are held away from the field of combat, allowing you to focus on defending your resources, which makes a nice change from having to fit as many buildings within city walls as possible.

But it's a small change, and Siegefall will need to do a lot more to impress people who have played dozens of these types of titles by now, myself included.

Day 3: Fiddle

I'm steaming through the upgrades to my buildings in Siegefall each day, thanks to fast upgrade times in the opening hours of play.

It's frustrating not having access to a second builder, as is de rigueur, but there's always the premium currency to hurry things along faster, I suppose.

I do have access to a Workshop now though, which allows me to upgrade my units, and I can expand my troop areas so that I can field more of those units.

Building can be a bit fiddly, especially on smaller screens. I constantly find that my default view is really far away from the kingdom itself, so I need to manually zoom in if I want any precision over where I place obstacles, walls, and so on.

Finding a new building to make is easy enough in the fast moving menus.

But pulling that building out from that menu (like a card from a deck) and placing it within your kingdom is an action that occasionally confuses the game engine to the point of it giving up and pretending you never made the request to build a Gold Storage in the first place.

Combat also suffers from this issue, again, especially on mobile devices. But more than that the AI is almost unreasonably stupid.

You have total control over your hero units, which you can order umpteen times to attack specific constructions or move to a variety of spaces.

But normal units can only be commanded once, and their priority list for targets seems way off. Is it too much to ask for a unit being attacked by an enemy building to treat that as the greater threat, rather than a few crates sitting next to it?

And after the speed of Rival Kingdoms, where troops are automatically restocked, having to train new soldiers every time you want to enter battle feels slow.

Siegefall's not doing enough to grab me and convince me that I should be playing it at the moment, but there's still a couple of days remaining, and things could still turn around.

Day 7: Things are different now

Crushingly I'm finding that Siegefall does have the depth and variety I've been craving, it's just not presented up front.

This revelation came from finding the Challenges in the battle map.

These Challenges give you practical experience of the game's more intricate elements, teaching you why deploying all units at one time may be useful, showing how you can queue up commands before a battle starts, and analysing each hero's abilities and why you might use them.

The reason it took me close to a week to find them is partly due to a lack of guidance, but partly because the battle map is so cluttered.

There are loads of bases you can attack, missions you can undertake, PvP battles to engage in, but it's an overwhelming amount of information that ensured I stuck with the single player for the most part.

I've really started mixing up my unit types and the cards I use during battle too. The AI is still unbearably stupid, but playing a little faster and looser with the cards has aided it no end.

It's immensely satisfying to see your Trolls batter an enemy's defences, before whipping out a special card and commanding a huge dragon to rip apart the rest.

Aside from the zoomed out view mentioned previously, the rest of the presentation is top rate.

The game's clearly had a heck of a budget thrown at it, and consequently each character model is animated well, the environments look sharp, and special visual effects pop off regularly.

It never worried my device either, running smoothly and loading quickly.

I feel like I'm only now starting to get to the really good stuff in Siegefall, and among its handful of flaws this feeling of directionlessness is probably the biggest.

There's loads to build, upgrade, cast, and conquer, but Siegefall rarely explains why you'd want to. Opting instead to hide away the complexity that strategy management fans are increasingly looking for in their games.

How are you getting on with the game? You can tell us and the rest of the PG community about your experiences by leaving a comment in the box below. Click here to learn about our free-to-play review policy.


Siegefall is an attractive and structurally sound strategy management game, but if you want to uncover its tactical complexity you'll really have to work for it