Microcosmic warfare plots a course for cuteness in Amoebattle’s pastel world of Pokémon-like critters, but don’t be easily fooled. The colorful real-time strategy offering from Grab Games boasts a brisk challenge to match its enticing gameplay.
Aided by a robot advisor, your initial battles to cleanse each map of rampaging rogue amoeba do a great job of setting up the familiar-yet-fresh RTS game. The hefty campaign soon grows tougher as new units, enemies, and challenges are layered-on to the core foundation. Fortunately, well-designed touch controls make directing multiple groups of microscopic comrades a comfortable process.
A mix of defense, search-and-destroy, and exploration missions also add variety that encourage you to test out different tactics for wrangling your forces effectively. Amoebattle doesn’t let you purchase new units like in other RTS offerings. Instead, consuming food and defeating your foes stores critical energy that lets your amoeba warriors split and reproduce, which is a neat way to expand your armies in order to overcome your enemy.
The campaign’s impressive scope and creative design make up for the lack of extras, and while Amoebattle’s gameplay sometimes devolves into moments of occasional frustration from the trial-and-error nature of certain difficult stages, it’s an entertaining RTS romp nonetheless.
[Nathan Meunier is a freelance writer based in southern Vermont.]