Feb 8, 2012
The rise of mobile devices has refuelled the turn-based strategy genre, and you won't find a better example - at least on Windows Phone 7 - than the slickly designed Armed.
Forgive us for being so shallow, but it's impossible to ignore how good Armed looks nestled in the palm of your hand. Pinching the screen alternatively zooms out the camera to a bird's-eye table top viewpoint, or allows it to delve right in among the rumbling sci-fi tanks and laser-fire-filled action.
You'll be hard-pressed to pick a favourite between the two camera styles. The more panned-out perspective offers the best overview of the battlefield, but you'll still need to scroll across the game's map to keep all of your forces in check. At the same time, you'll be forced to zoom in to properly select and manoeuvre individual troop units, which can become a little fiddly from too great a distance.
Players receive an allowance of funds each turn and must strike the right balance in finding the best outlets for their money. This means building and reinforcing your base while keeping your production line churning.
Advanced technology is unlocked slowly, with trees of upgrades to acquire until you get to the really juicy stuff. Still, it's easy to get carried away and splurge your latest paycheque on some of the pricier offerings too early in a match, which is something you will suffer for later.
Units range from tanks and walkers to defensive structures, missile turrets and laser cannons. Each can also receive temporary buffs, which are handy if you spot your enemy closing in. Highlighting and commanding your troops is as simple as touching and dragging a path for them to follow. Multiple units can be highlighted at once and grouped together to move en masse.