Game: The Battle of Polytopia
Genre: Adventure, Simulation, Board Game, Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, Windows, macOS Linux, iOS & Android)
Developers | Publishers: Midjiwan
Age Rating: US E | EU 7+
Price: US $14.99 | UK £13.99 | EU € 14,99
Release Date: October 12th, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Midjiwan.
Initially released as a mobile game, The Battle of Polytopia is a 4X strategy genre. 4X in the strategy genre stands for Explore, Expand, Exploit, and Exterminate. So let us have a look at it.
Go To Battle
If you are a frequent visitor to LadiesGamers, you will know that strategy games are my favourite genre; I’ve spent many hours playing Civilization and Old World, to name a few. Nothing is better than planning your moves and then watching your plan come to fruition or not, depending on other factors on the map.
However, the Civilization series, which is on the approachable side of the genre, can be pretty daunting for someone who’s not played many strategy games. Enter The Battle of Polytopia on the Nintendo Switch.
It’s a simplified 4X game that removes most of the difficulty related to the genre and brings it down to the basics. As a result, you have a 4X game that can be beaten in half an hour and is friendly to newcomers without being too easy. It’s the perfect mix of fun and difficulty.
In the game, you take on the role of ruler of a tribe and attempt to build a civilization and conquer the map. But you aren’t on your own on the map, as there are other tribes who you will attack in turn-based battles.
After a short tutorial, you start every game by choosing a tribe, then proceed to make your move when it’s your turn. Every turn, you can do things such as harvest resources, create troops, move units, develop buildings, attack enemies, or purchase skills. The Switch edition has twelve tribes to choose from and four unique tribes in the four DLCs (bought separately) for the game.
The skills you gain allow you to create better units, harvest different resource types, and further develop your civilisation. However, each skill costs stars, the currency of Polytopia, and purchasing skills will leave you with fewer stars for troop production or harvesting. Like any strategy game it is a juggling act, do you progress the skills or build up your cities?
Cities Generate Stars
Your cities will generate more and more stars as their populations continue to grow. This is because a bar underneath each city fills up each time you add a new building or gather resources, and you get a reward once it’s complete.
Since the game’s primary focus is using a chosen tribe to take over the world or get the highest score, every tribe is entirely different, and tribes all have their tactical advantage. I had fun testing out the various tribes; they add a little variety to the game. My favourite tribe is Imperius, as they have a quick start and can access shields very early on, plus they look good!
Three Game Modes
There are three game modes in Polytopia. Perfection mode gives you thirty turns to achieve a higher score than all rival civilizations. Domination mode is basically a battle mode where you must conquer every city and eliminate your opponents.
Finally, Creative mode lets you set the limits of the match and play however you like. Each mode gives you difficulty options from easy to crazy and allows you to compete against up to eleven other Polytopian tribes or fifteen if you have the DLCs. It also has a local Pass and Play multiplayer mode, which I haven’t tried. The auto-generated maps help make each game a new experience, as you are never sure what the map will be like.
Visuals and Controls
The Battle of Ploytopia has cute colourful, blocky graphics that remind me of Minecraft. The music is good, which surprised me as I wasn’t expecting much from the soundtrack. It plays and controls well on the Switch, and the controls are very responsive, as they should be.
The Battle of Polytopia is not too simple, however, the system makes decision-making interesting and meaningful. The Battle of Polytopia would make an excellent starting ground for players who want to get into the 4X strategy before taking on other games in the genre similar to Civilization and such. The game is suitable for all ages and is family-friendly, a great starting ground to teach youngsters the skills of strategy gaming.
Final Verdict: Two thumbs Up