Crush Your Enemies is a real time strategy game, developed by Vile Monarch, and published by Gambitious Digital Entertainment, releasing on PC, Android and iOS in July 2016. The game has a humorous take on the real time strategy genre, the same developers who brought us This War of Mine invites you to a magical world of Generia.
Whilst Crush Your Enemies is part of the RTS genre, it feels a little like a tower defense style game as well, I think this was because of the UI and some of the game mechanics which are on show though. The game is split across numerous levels which have three different objectives. The game has it’s own gating mechanism, meaning in order to progress further in the story you’ll need to complete a specific amount of objectives, which gives you good reason to replay previously completed levels, just to beat the extra objectives on offer. The objectives in each level will vary from straight up wiping your opponent off the map, to defending a building for an amount of time, or even something as simple as making sure you end the level with a certain number of units left.
The actual gameplay from CYE is square unit based; you have a select amount of units to begin the mission with, and you can turn them into different styles of units, simply by entering buildings, units can be guards, armored warriors, archers, or builders. These units count as your resources for building more units. You’ll need to have a constant churn of units being built in order to combat your opponent’s forces. It takes a little bit of skill to finely tune the amount of units for each task but it is very satisfying once you figure out the perfect balance. The game has a very well done tutorial that doesn’t hand hold you throughout, but gives you plenty of helpful hints along the way when you encounter new mechanics. You learn as you play which is the best way of working these games.
On top of resource management for your units, you’ll also get a number of consumables which can be used throughout a mission too, such as potions that ramp up units strengths, quick tents that allow you to build more units if you are in a little bit of a bind, and many more. These do become a little bit of a forgotten part of the gameplay for me though, as the UI has them hidden away in the top corner where you don’t really see them unless you are specifically looking. I thought they could have been displayed a little clearer in the regular UI to allow players to take full advantage of them, rather than realizing at the end of the mission they just struggled on, that it could've been much easier with the use of the extra powers. The game’s AI is very intuitive, it has a sufficient challenge level that you never feel like you are being completely out matched, but also you never find yourself just waltzing through missions effortlessly.
The art style on show here looks beautiful when you look at the graphical title images and character art, but the in game graphics a little bit basic. They do have a pixel art style that is definitely much better than the majority of games that try to pull off this look, but I do think they could have been made much more detailed. Like I said above, the UI could do with a few improvements to make it a little bit more accessible.
CYE also has fairly unmemorable sound effects and soundtracks. There is also quite a fair bit of text to read in between levels and the lack of voice acting is also quite clearly a missing factor. The comedy aspect of the game is lost ever so slightly because you don’t get to be completely immersed into the world due to having to read the text yourself. It loses a little bit of it’s umpf sadly.
The game does come with a long enough campaign that you won’t be left short changed, not to mention a fairly active multiplayer scene too. I managed to get a handful of matches in multiplayer within seconds of opening the matchmaking system, and on top of the lengthy campaign, you are definitely going to get a title that’ll hit the double figures mark in time.
I had no technical issues when playing, granted there isn’t any options menu in order to change any settings, but that’s fine since everything worked as I hoped it would anyway. It is also worth noting in this technical section that the game has a cross-platforming multiplayer mode in, meaning you can play against people on Android and iOS which is a brilliant move by the developers as it will keep the community going long term for this game, as I can imagine it being a much better mobile game than PC as it has a very touch screen friendly vibe to it.
Overall Crush Your Enemies is a tactically interesting game; it does lack a little bit of that pazaz we all look for in a PC game nowadays, but where you will get the most of this game is on the mobile market. I will for sure be downloading this game on my ipad for hours worth of content on the 10 hour flight I am going on next week. That being said though, the price of £6.99 on PC is very fair given the amount of content and replayability you are getting from Crush Your Enemies. It is for sure a more advanced RTS game than others on the market right now such as 8 Bit Armies, but still definitely worth your time if you enjoy this genre.