Do You Have What It Takes to Stop the Strain? Strain Tactics Review

It never ceases to amaze me how many solid games seem to come out of nowhere. Unlike the Battlefields, Call of Duty and Tomb Raiders out there which boast big time development and marketing budgets, these games often originate from small, obscure indie development teams. Strain Tactics from Touch Dimension Interactive has the polish and quality of a game made by the big boys.

“You’d think that after being invaded for the 1000th time we’d be smart enough to mind our own business and not get in the middle of some intergalactic shenanigans.”

From a top-down tactical perspective, you play a squad commander tasked with eliminating a viral strain that has overtaken the planet. You’d think that after being invaded for the 1000th time we’d be smart enough to mind our own business and not get in the middle of some intergalactic shenanigans.

With over 80 playable characters each with their own individual traits and personalities, you’ll battle against hordes of infected enemies while leading your 1-5 member task force over 30 different maps and scenarios.

“Although the special effects looked great the animations are rather lean; once you see the lackluster movement of your troops you can definitely tell that the animations were not a top priority as the graphics and sounds were”

Every successful mission rewards you with points which you can use to purchase upgrades for yourself as well as your teammates. You can also salvage upgrades to sell from fallen comrades.

Unfortunately, the lack of information on what specific upgrades do means you’ll be mismatching and combining items that may or may not benefit you at all. And in the heat of a raging battle, this little nuance can be catastrophic.

“One thing to note is that the interface is a bit clumsy which indicates to me that the game had its roots in mobile phones and tablets”

Strain Tactics boast some pretty impressive graphics with a good amount of detail to the characters and some solid lighting effects especially when you let loose with a barrage of explosions.

Although the special effects looked great the animations are rather lean; once you see the lackluster movement of your troops you can definitely tell that the animations were not a top priority as the graphics and sounds were. While the game possesses a post-apocalyptic look, the bright colors and cutesy feel of the game tend to take away from that experience. Frankly, I would have preferred fighting in a barren landscape devoid of any life.

“But even with the shoddy controls, the game’s sheer addictiveness more than make up for its shortcomings”

One thing to note is that the interface is a bit clumsy which indicates to me that the game had its roots in mobile phones and tablets. Still, it’s easy to learn and the in-game tutorials will have you commanding your troops like a pro in no time.

On the negative side, however, the AI pathfinding needs some polishing as you’ll need to to keep an eye on your men to keep them from getting stuck between walls or the local flora. This can get rather annoying because the action is so fast-paced that any mistake made -whether from you or the AI- can literally cost you the game.

“Despite my issues with the controls and user interface the core gameplay is intact and that’s what is important”

Controls were also a bit dicey which I think is the games biggest flaw. It often feels unresponsive especially when you have to make moves in quick succession like running, moving and dodging at the same time.

But even with the shoddy controls, the game’s sheer addictiveness more than make-up for its shortcomings. The music is a compilation of fast tempo beats and rhythms that fit perfectly with the over the top killing mayhem.

Playing Strain Tactics is an exhilaratingly unique experience, to say the least. Despite my issues with the controls and user interface the core gameplay is intact and that’s what is important. The overall presentation will draw you in, but it is the unique diversity and mind taxing strategy that will have you begging (and playing) for more. Games like this, when done correctly are the most fun to play regardless of platform you’re playing on.


 

GreenMan Gaming ________________________________________________________________________________________

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Nolan
Guest

Game looks good! Thanks for the review!

Pass By Me
Guest

Can you play with a controller?

Randall
Member

Hmmmmm, the game reminds me of Doorkickers.

DumpTrump!
Guest

I’m liking what I see

DumpTrump!
Guest

I like what I see

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