I expected very little of Swords and Soldiers (S&S), as it was an extra, unknown game in a Humble Bundle that started its life as a console game. I was pleasantly surprised!
S&S is a curious blend of two genres I don't usually enjoy: 2D side scroller and RTS. However, five minutes into the game, I could see through the cutesy graphics and I found a game of surprising challenge and deep gameplay. S&S is now available for tablet play, but it's far more challenging than the average casual tablet game.
Without going into the game mechanics, I'll briefly say that the challenge of S&S is about recruiting the right balance of each unit type into your army to make your forces competitive in groups. Also, staying focused on the big picture while also assisting your units at the strategic level. The game plays at a very brisk pace, which makes it difficult to manage all aspects of your forces at once.
The levels are bite-sized; about 5-15 minutes each, perfect for a game that was born as a mobile app. But the levels become increasingly more complex. A couple of hours into S&S, and you'll find a staggering number of things that you have to manage simultaneously. You have to juggle more and more types of units and one-off attacks to reach victory in each new level.
S&S also includes an online mode for playing competitively against friends.
If you like RTS games, give this a go. It's a pretty good game at a budget price.
As for me? Lesson learned: Play every game. I expected little, but Swords and Soldiers impressed me.