Monday, July 28, 2014

Ground Pounders Gameplay Review

I'm playing Ground Pounders, a turn-based strategy game by Kerberos Productions.

Featuring two campaigns concerning two of the races from the Sword of the Stars universe, the game also features a skirmish mode against the AI on ten maps, comprehensive tutorials, and asynchronous multiplayer where Steam will let you know when it’s your turn. The interface is designed with mobile devices in mind (lacking tool-tips and displaying at a fixed, windowed resolution). Cards drawn from a custom deck can grant improved or special abilities during gameplay. Action takes place over several phases: units are placed, cards are discarded, supply lines are determined, units are given improved attack ratings by distributing ice rolls, and, finally, movement and combat. Infantry, armored, artillery, and air units can have special attributes, like engineering or transportation. Ground Pounders uses supplies, unit control zones, terrain modifiers, fog of war, reaction fire, and support fire during each scenario. Detailed combat results are somewhat randomized, and the AI is good at picking out favorable combat matchups. Ground Pounders is a mix of some advanced strategy features with approachable sensibilities that would have benefited from more varied, or randomized, scenario design.