Published on July 1st, 2014 | by Patrick Garde0
Skulls of the Shogun Review
Skulls of the Shogun made its debut on Android devices through Humble Bundle after being available only to Microsoft and iOS platforms. This Android game is a turn-based strategy game developed by 17-BIT featuring battles between undead samurai.
In Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-a-Fide Edition, you will manage General Akamoto, a former Samurai General, who takes pleasure in a recent outstanding conquest. Unfortunately, he got killed by an enemy’s razor sharp sword. Thereafter, the strong and powerful General has become one of the floating skeletons in the afterlife. Akamoto was surprised to see that the queue to eternity is a long line of dead warriors. He was fuming mad when he learned that the projected time to enter eternal life will be a thousand more years. Hence, he decided to go and battle his way to be first on the queue.
The game has a remarkably long campaign which is full of funny and witty dialogue to reveal the General’s tale. It also introduces new units and strategies you can use depending on the terrain, at a pace that’s not overwhelming. Tactics can become quite detailed as the game offers plenty of depth with simple taps on the screen to control your soldiers. At the onset, you are given a number of moves each round. Touch anywhere on the battlefield and drag to move your current unit. It is presented nicely with a white circle representing the range of your movement. As soon as you get close to an enemy, you now have an option to attack by pressing the attack button. Once you are done with your moves, you can let the troop wait on its last location, move it farther away from the opponent, if possible, or form a spirit wall together with other units in your army to fortify your defense. Along with the sizable single player campaign, Skulls of the Shogun offers a multiplayer game mode where you can play against other players (up to four) whether online or local. Both works well but the latter really stands out as you pass your Android device to your friends and/or loved ones. If you choose the online route, make sure to have some patience as a match might take several minutes or so.
What I loved about this Android game is its well-polished presentation. The visuals are excellent; the music is nice to the ears, and the writing is sharp witted. As soon as you have settled on the game’s unhurried pacing, you will discover a flexible and stylish approach that allows you to welcome fresh ideas and new kind of soldiers. Aside from attacking and defending, you can make use of the landscape. Your unit can stand behind a bamboo to evade an attack or drive the enemies down to the river when they stand too close to the edge. These are just the basic concepts to give you an idea on what to expect on every level. If your strategies get nowhere and you could not get past the enemies, you can change the difficulty setting to suit your skill level.
One flaw that I noticed on occasion is the trouble distinguishing units on the battlefield – some looks the same. Also, since it is still not yet available in the Play Store, expect to have few multiplayer matches available. Be patient as well with individual battles as it might take some time.
Nevertheless, Skulls of the Shogun is still one of the best Android strategy games to come in the platform. Strategy fans should not pass this up and they should mark their calendar once it launches on Google Play.
Summary: Skulls of the Shogun is a challenging turn-based strategy game. It is very stylish with plenty of content. Newbies looking to get into the genre will find this Android game accessible while veterans will embrace the challenge.