After a very long journey, your vessel, the Ark, reaches New Eden. Your crew has trusted you to get them this far, but it is just the beginning. It took all of your supplies to reach this new world, the Ark is low on energy, and enemies approach from the strange horizon. Do you divert energy to the shields, or to bring soldiers out of cryo? Or do you send out an expedition with a chance to bring back enough energy for both?
This is the premise of Ark of War, one of the latest Online Strategy Games to hit the app store. Unfortunately… it hardly delivers on all this potential. Instead you get yet another cookie cutter OSG.
It doesn’t matter what you were thinking in the situation above. What you actually need to do first is upgrade your Diner Ship. And after that you need to upgrade your power station. Then after you finish upgrading all your buildings to level 1, you’ll do it again to level 2. You are of course drowning in resources in this stage of the game, so instead using one shred of strategy or independent thought, just trod along the linear path set out for you, pausing a few minutes between each step to wait for it to upgrade.
In Ark of War’s favor, it has a great theme and the art helps to sell it. It has three classes of troops in the expected rock-paper-scissors relationship, here it’s infantry, mechs, and airships. What is unique is that you give your troops formations when you send them to battle, which are fully animated which you can replay from the reports. It’s pretty cool actually, even if it has little to no impact on the actual gameplay.
Ark of War offers everything you’d expect from a modern iOS strategy game, including a free daily spin in the casino that makes no sense in the lore, and a bunch of commanders you can “fuse together” to level them up, as if that ever made sense outside of Dragon Ball Z.
At the end of the day there’s little reason to play Game of War over Ark of War, but at the same time Ark offers little over Game, so they will probably have a hard time convincing players to make the jump.