Price: $9.99    Score: 9/10    Category: Games

Land Air Sea Warfare HD is one of the best Real Time Strategy titles I’ve played on the iPad yet. It’s well thought out, extremely involved, and absolutely epic. Created by Isotope 244, the game puts you at the helm of a modern warfare situation.

It’s your task to save the world from enemy troops, starting with building up your own arsenal and then conquering the enemy. Like most real time strategy games, it takes some time to get used to LASW.

For starters the tutorial is straight up text that you must read fairly carefully in order to understand the game. The game could benefit from an interactive learn-as-you-do tutorial, but beyond that LASW has it pretty much figured out.

Once you’ve got a hold of the game though, expect to spend the rest of the night in. There’s something extremely addictive about the way the game is set up. You build your army’s infrastructure from the general energy sources right on down to the research lab and building of ships and aircraft.

Building this involved groundwork for war starts with a single wind power unit in a small lit space on some sort of terrain (water, land, volcano, etc) in a varying climate. Expanding your area of visibility is simply a matter of expanding your infrastructure (and eventually building a structure that allows you to see the entire world’s terrain from space).

As you build up your arsenal you have to make sure that you’re creating more energy than you’re using. Numbers in the lower dashboard keep track of these performance indicators, and when you get enough energy your capabilities increase.

After you have enough energy you can jump into building storage units, aircraft and ship building headquarters, and much more. Once you have a few ships or planes under your belt you can give them a series of commands.

In the beginning you’ll want to send your troops off to explore the land so you get a sense of where the enemy is building. From there the strategy is up to you. You can invest in research facilities to mine precious resources you discover (which is really a fancy way of enabling upgrades that increase power and defenses throughout the game), build a ton of troops, create an offensive strategy, or just sit back and build a solid empire before the enemy tracks you down.

Depending on your level of play, casual gamers can engage in Newbie 1 while more advanced players can go to battle against more skilled computer opponents. Either way the game is fun and engaging, creating the kind of experience that can leave you sitting with your iPad for hours at a time.

For a sense of how detailed this game gets, you can see this guide from the creators. No matter your level, if you’re a fan of real time strategy this is a great title for your collection. If you’re still not sure of the genre, LASW is one of the more accessible titles and it might just get you hooked.

Except for the lack of an interactive tutorial, the overall interface is great. Holding different options in the buttons panel provides a quick description of what everything does, and touching over the zoomed out map in the dashboard lets you move more quickly from one area to the next.

Controlling troops is fairly straight forward and you have the option to circle around, sit idly no matter what, return fire, attack everyone within view, and much more. You can select more than one unit at a time with two fingers but sometimes figuring out how to handle troops was problematic.

It would help to have the option to deploy every submarine you own, but because a select all option doesn’t exist it’s easy to lose track of your troops. This is a minor point though, and the game is still great from the industrial feel techno music to the troop voices, warfare sounds and much more.

All said and done, LASW is the most fun I’ve had with real time strategy on the iPad. The game is smooth, fast paced, and unique every time you decide to go to war.

Bottom Line: Land Air Sea Warfare HD is an excellent real time strategy game that creates an engaging sense of urgency when attempting to save the world from your enemies.

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