The pacing of a turn-based strategy game is perfect for playing on the go, and Hunters 2 ($0.99, universal) delivers on that in so many ways. This is one game that didn’t get the amount of buzz and praise it deserved when it first released to the App Store, but it’s definitely worth going back and playing now.
If you’re a big turn-based strategy fan, you really can’t go wrong for a dollar.
If you’re already familiar with the turn-based strategy genre, you will quickly understand how Hunters 2 plays. First you must tap the unit you want to move, then double tap the spot you want to move to, and repeating for subsequent units.
Attacking works in much the same way, except instead of tapping an empty square, you are double tapping the unit you wish to attack.
Like most iOS strategy games, this one sees you controlling only a handful of units. Larger PC strategy games typically have players controlling an entire army, but it makes sense to scale it back a more streamlined mobile experience. Hunters 2 strikes the perfect balance between making fights feel exciting, while not overwhelming the player with unmanageable numbers of units on-screen at once.
Much of this game is based on the position of your units, so for example you want to make sure your shotgun wielding soldiers with heavy armor are in front, as they will be able to take more damage from the enemy. This is where your skill comes in, as the game is not just a simple matter of clicking on enemies until they die. Instead, every move needs to be calculated, especially when you make your way up to the harder levels. That’s not to say this is an especially difficult game, but you’ll soon be able to spot situations where poor positioning decisions have led to the entire crew perishing.
In-between each of the missions, you are taken to a hub screen where you can level up your units with new skills, and arm them with new guns and armor. This mechanic blends some RPG elements into the game, which helps give you a real sense of progression. This in turn helps make you feel more attached to your small squad, as each levels on his or her own, which makes them feel like a real person and not just a faceless member of your army.
Audio & Visuals
Graphically, this is a polished game. The top-down perspective uses 3D graphics that are rendered beautifully, and most importantly, run extremely smoothly without even seeing a hitch even during big fights. Unfortunately, the game has not received an update since 2012, and as such, it is not updated to support the larger screen of the iPhone 5, 5S, and 5C.
This results in small black bars on the side of the screen when playing, which for me is a minor problem, and not one that detracted from the enjoyment of the game at all.
In-game music does the job, and fits the war-themed feel of the game very well. Gunshot sounds and fight ambience works well within the context, and at no point becomes annoying while playing the game. The sound here is not exactly vital, but it’s definitely worth leaving on if the situation allows as it does add to the experience, but there’s little need to reach for your earphones on the bus.
Game Life & Value
The campaign mode is plenty long, so there is a lot to do and there are plenty of weapons and armor to unlock through playing the game. Factor in the added realism of permanently dead soldiers when lost in a battle, and you’ve got a unique and addictive turn-based experience. For a dollar, this is a fantastic game from a value perspective.
There are in-app purchases, but they are just additional credits that you can use to buy items in the game. It’s not a separate currency, so it’s just for players who want to make the game easier. They are not shoved in your face at all, but if you want to seek them out, they are on-par with prices you expect elsewhere from the App Store. Thankfully, there is no crazy $100 purchase in there, which always annoys me.
If you are looking for a deep turn-based strategy game that’s really, really cheap, Hunters 2 is worth a look. It’s an enjoyable game with plenty of depth that will keep you coming back for more. We’ve even featured it on our Best iPhone Games page, so you know it’s gonna be good!
Download: Hunters 2 ($0.99)
Have you played Hunters 2? What did you think? Hit the comments section below and let us know!