Real-time strategy games have long been shackled to the mouse and keyboard. Warfare Incorporated, however, proves that real-time strategy games and touchscreens go together like the smell of napalm and any time before noon.
Assuming the role of rising ACME field commander Andy, you begin the game by shuttling down to the planet Icarus.
ACME, the company for which Andy works, has deployed its private militia in an effort to mine the precious resource galaxite from the remote planet. Inconveniently, ACME is not the only interested party.
Upon arriving you are faced with rival mining corporation OMNI and a rebel faction known as the Free Radicals. On top of that, you stumble across some extremely valuable ancient alien technology and the pressure is on for OMNI to stake its claim and defend it.
Predictably, a ruckus ensues, necessitating all the tenets of real-time strategy gameplay. You need to build a headquarters, barracks, a raw resource refinery, a vehicle factory, and power plants to run it all.
As the escalating war over galaxite intensifies, several new building options appear, bringing with them new vehicles, defensive structures and soldiers.
But as the title suggests, war is an enterprise in Warfare Incorporated and you need to think about your profit margin if you want to be promoted. Building a nation-sized army to take out a small battalion of disgruntled stick-wielding galaxite diggers won't earn you the respect of your superiors.
The aim is to defeat the invading hordes as efficiently as possible, always keeping an eye on the bottom line.
You conduct full-scale invasions, one-man reconnaissance missions, fort holding missions, and straight resource gathering missions.
The varied objectives are delivered via intermittent missives from headquarters. These transmissions not only thread an interesting narrative and back story through the game's seam, but also deliver a progressive structure that avoids the slog of gradually bigger firefights, common in the genre.
The overall feeling is of balance, both in the game's overarching structure and on the battlefield.
The attacking forces, though challenging, never have an unfair advantage and poor decisions are never punished beyond the scope of their folly.
The drip feed of controlled panic achieved through the pitting of finite resources against a foe of unknown size and power encourages careful consideration, as opposed to mechanical gathering and building.
The interface is practically invisible and every touch gesture works as intuitively as you would expect. Tapping a unit selects it and then placing your finger on another part of the battlefield or enemy unit directs it there.
As for selecting multiple units, you simply place two fingers in the opposing corners of a square or rectangle around a group.
Visually the game is merely functional, though the front-end presentation and in-game menus have been carefully tailored to the iPhone's user interface. This is definitely a case where gameplay trumps graphics.
Soundtrack-wise things don't fare so well and there's a conspicuous lack of music, with a limited pool of sound effects that occasionally jar against the game's quieter moments.
With twenty story missions, plus another 200 developer and community created missions available via free downloadable mission packs, Warfare Incorporated more than justifies its minor foibles with supreme value for money.
For carefully balanced gameplay that has depth, challenge and fun in equal measure Warfare incorporated is a real-time strategy title that cannot be conquered.