When the App Store was first released, I remember that Reign of Swords: Episode I was one of the games that looked really cool, and I wanted to buy. They had released a free version, but good news for me, the free version contained a lot more content than I expected. So, I never bought the full version and played the free version for months on end, building up an unstoppable army full of wizards, druids, etc. Now that Punch Entertainment has released Reign of Swords: Episode II, I couldn’t find a reason to not buy it, and boy am I glad I did.
The gameplay in the sequel to Reign of Swords is pretty much the same with a few twists like portals and different enemies. I’ve only finished the first “country” along with one campaign level in the second country. In the first Reign of Swords, little houses were provided for your soldiers to heal back to normal. Well in Episode II, you control these little characters called Craftsman that build these Middle-Eastern huts for you so that your soldiers can heal. The Craftsman can also be used as ranging characters, throwing their deadly hammers for atleast 20 damage against the enemy. These Craftsman are one of the most important characters in the beginning of the game, and the strategies found in the first version of Reign of Sword are pretty much useless when it comes to Craftsman. Other characters found are Body Guards, Dune Sirens, Ballistae (range weapons that shoot electric bolts), Blood Gorgers, Sappers, and Conjurers. If you haven’t played the lite version for this game yet, this game plays very similar to Oyaji Games’s Mecho Wars, but in this case, a turn-based strategy game with soldiers and a medieval theme.
Artwork is ok, but I’m a bit disappointed that they didn’t improve the graphics at all from the first one. When I was contemplating buying the first one back in the day, the graphics was the main thing that was holding me back. Well, I’m sad to say the graphics in Reign of Swords: Episode II are not any better; they don’t look absolutely horrible, but they’re still pretty bad. I’m not sure if Punch Entertainment was going for some pixelated, retro look, but I would have liked some improvements in the graphics and artwork department.
All in all, Reign of Sword: Episode II is an excellent turn-based strategy game with not so great graphics. The design is nice, but in-game graphics should be improved if they ever make an update for this game or an Episode III. I also found the game to be a little difficult, even though I had played the free version over and over including the online mode and every single raid for every country. The first country in the second episode was somewhat easy, but once you get to the next place, the difficulty is upped by a lot and that may turn off some casual gamers. It’s a nice game, and with a few improvements I think Punch Entertainment will have themselves a hit. I did not try the online mode yet, but it is said to be turn-by-turn and not the type of online battles we saw in the first version. A note to people who have never played Reign of Swords: go try out the lite version and practice a little bit before playing because it WILL be difficult if you don’t. The price is $4.99.