Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: Free to download (with in-app purchases up to £99.99)
Release Date: September 14th, 2019
Prepare the Troops
Generals is a mobile game where you put together an army, then send them off to do battle with an enemy castle in the hopes of destroying it before they destroy yours. The title is a little plain and doesn’t exactly stand out from the mobile crowd. But if you can find it there is a casual strategy game to sink some time into.
The game begins with a King obliterating your castle because you appear to have dated his daughter. A rather odd premise which never seems to be revisited again later. I guess the idea here was to show you how powerful the armies get later in the game and you as new to the castle defence scene have a long way to go to improve. The graphics are cartoony and cute making this a game friendly for all audiences.
Strategy With a Tap
The gameplay is designed to be fun and simple. The touch controls are quick and responsive. Basically, you choose some troops and you drop them on the grid at the bottom of the screen. These troops vary from front-line soldiers, walls, cannons and various warriors to help take down the enemy castle. Before a battle begins you can observe the placement of the opposing soldiers so you can strategize and put your troops and defenses in the right place. When you tap ‘fight’ you lose control of your troops and you simply watch to see if you are successful. You win the battle if you take down the enemy castle or if the game timer runs down to zero and your castle is still standing. You don’t need to destroy all the enemy troops to win. There’s also not really any penalty for failure. If you lose you don’t lose any troops or money and you can reattempt the battle as often as you like playing around with different troop arrangements. This makes the whole experience quite relaxed and welcoming for casual audiences. The game also offers a cool little feature where you can create mock-up battles with your troops and enemy troops so you can practice different troop placements for success.
I was successfully able to hop from level to level tapping away and winning battles. But since this game is free to download there is a wall to hit at some point. Eventually, I found myself poorly equipped to take on the enemy army leaving me with two options. Wait to upgrade my troops with coins or gems or of course pay some money to get these unlocks quicker.
Is it Free?
Since Generals is free to download that, of course, does mean the game has micro transactions, which I’ll go into some detail here. There are two currencies in the game gold and green gems. Both of which can be obtained in-game without spending any money but the green gems, in particular, will take quite some time to acquire unless you pay for various tiers to obtain them much faster. These gems can then be used to spend on various tiered chests which when unlocked will randomly reward you with more gold and cards the latter of which could give you new warriors, defenses or cards which will help upgrade existing ones. I’m not personally a fan of micro transactions. I would rather pay a set fee for the full game experience. However, we do live in modern times and I respect why game developers incorporate them.
Easy to get Hooked
Generals is a game that encourages you to play it often in short bursts. You are constantly unlocking rewards for ticking off various daily objectives and even as you level up you receive more rewards. If you log in at different times of the day the game does reward you with daily gifts. Though I noticed one of the daily rewards doesn’t unlock till midnight and there is absolutely no way I’m staying up late for that. You can also join clans, link your social media, get notifications and even battle other peoples armies online to gain more rewards.
If you are prone to addictive tendencies with video games I probably would advise approaching this game with caution. While I don’t think the developers mean to cause any harm to anyone, this mobile design of encouraging gamers to log in regularly is not healthy for everyone. Know your limits and don’t spend any money you feel you shouldn’t. I felt like a significant portion of playing Generals was tapping to unlock more chests and achievements rather than playing the fun strategy part.
I played Generals extensively without spending any money. Unlike many mobile games, I do feel you can enjoy playing Generals this way if you choose to. My approach was about half an hour a day daily with notifications turned off. I didn’t link my social media either and I was still able to make gradual progress if your patient you can still enjoy Generals for free.
Generals is a cute looking mobile game that is a nice time-waster for the casual gaming audience. I don’t personally care for the games approach to micro transactions or encouragement for the gamer to log in regularly to be rewarded. But it doesn’t feel as predatory as some mobile games I’ve seen.
Overall, a casual time to dip in and out of whether you’re on the sofa bored by what’s on TV or you’re waiting for the bus in the rain. Just make sure not to get your phone wet.
Final Verdict: I Like it