Game Reviews

Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch - Tyranid Invasion - A squelchy blast of gothic violence

Star onStar onStar onStar onStar off
Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch - Tyranid Invasion - A squelchy blast of gothic violence
Subscribe to Pocket Gamer on

Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch - Tyranid Invasion has a long title, and some of the words in it are heavy with the sort of intimations of lore and backstory that might put off casual observers.

But they shouldn't. Yes, this is a game that's thick with Games Workshop's special blend of gothic futures and slobbering monsters, but the mechanics underneath it all are wonderfully satisfying.

And despite the fact you're playing as a squad of seven foot tall, heavily armoured instruments of death, there's a panicked frailty to proceedings that makes you watch every gloomy corner with your heart in your mouth.

Corridors of doom

If you've played Rodeo's Hunters series, then you're going to feel at home here from the get-go. This is a top-down, turn-based shooter that sees you poking and prodding a squad of Space Marines through a variety of levels.

Each of your squad has a number of action points, or AP. You spend these on moving, firing, and setting overwatch.

Overwatch lets you fire in the enemy turn if anything comes into your field of vision, and it's probably the most powerful weapon you have at your disposal.

There are RPG elements here too. Each mission you complete earns you XP, which you can spend on toughening up your squad. There are cards to collect too, which give you wargear and new characters.

The violence is sharp and fast. You're almost always outnumbered, as genetically mutated horrors crawl out at you from hellish breeding pits or leap at you around arch-sided corridors.

Most of the foes you face are pretty squishy, but there are always more than you have the action points to deal with. Figuring out how to keep your squad alive while completing the mission you've been set is half the fun.

Watch it die

Deathwatch is probably the best of the recent slew of mobile games based on Games Workshop licences. It catches more of the spirit of Space Hulk than Space Hulk did, and the tight strategic skirmishes are smart and tactically rich.

There's plenty to do as well, and the game mixes things up with different mission styles, and multiple difficulty settings.

Even if you're not a diehard 40K fan, there's a brilliant game here. And if you are, the trappings wrapped around the battles will probably make you squeal from time to time.

Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch - Tyranid Invasion - A squelchy blast of gothic violence

A squelchy blast of gothic turn-based violence that ticks the right boxes for 40K fans, and offers enough for everyone else too
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.