It is clearly impossible for any free text-based iPhone MMO RPG company to stand on its own in terms of game theme. Instead, they continually inspire copies from the other competitors. iMob Online led to PlayMesh’s iMafia. Street Racers 3D led to Race or Die. All the major companies have themed text based iPhone MMO RPGs representing the major themes of the mafia, racing, vampires, and now war.
Engines of War is Aftershock’s contribution to the war theme free text-based iPhone MMO RPG genre. This really means that it just takes the Mark of Mafia design that we have come to know and paints it with a tired war motif. It is almost as vacant as it sounds, but you still may want to shoot for it.
War Themed Mark of Mafia
The real criticism of this app is a criticism of Mark of Mafia over all. Mark of Mafia, and its subsequent sequels and off shoots, is primitive in design to its counterparts from companies like PlayMesh and Storm8. This is not to say that this game is terrible by any means, but not quite up to the standard set up by other titles like World War.
The one thing that Engines of War does do to counteract this is it tries to add a more linear RPG element to gameplay by directing you in certain ways, especially right at the beginning. You also have to reach certain levels to unlock different aspects of the game. This holds a duality as both a positive and negative aspect. In one sense, it nullifies the normal tip for this genre by telling players to hold off leveling because it requires you to level in order to really gain things. On the other hand, it forces you back into classic RPG modes without acknowledging that this specific subgenre has its own unique characteristics.
This makes what is going to happen and how much experience you may receive from it a little bit of a mystery to new players, but over all other games have brought similar elements with a slightly better presentation. The most notable annoyance is in the slow response time that you have inside.
This game does return many of the classic elements we have come to expect from Mark of Mafia and other text-based iPhone MMO RPGs. You will use Engines of War Command Numbers to add different players to your army. This Command Number system is similar to Friend codes in similar titles, and you will want to spread your Command Numbers like a virus. My Command Number is 226047712, so add away. This recruitment system is a little more complicated than you will remember as you have to type in different sections, and the place where you enter this game’s Command Number is a little bit hidden.
Better than Some
In the grand scheme of things this game is actually a slightly better free text-based iPhone RPG than many others, but not as good as games like Military Might or World War. I am going to give it a moderately good review because it is still in the modestly better half of this genre of free iPhone games. Try it out, but there are still better alternatives on the market. Five and three quarters out of ten stars.
This post is part of the series: Mark of Mafia Series
Here are reviews for different Mark of Mafia games for the iPhone and iPod Touch.