There are now so many free-to-play, base-building strategy games out there that it is easy to dismiss Siegefall as just more of the same. But, while it is borrows heavily from titles like Clash of Clans, it manages to do enough differently to be worth a second look.
Build your kingdom
Siegefall starts off slowly as it lays out the game’s story and mechanics with a tutorial. If you have no concept of the genre this will no doubt prove welcome, but anyone familiar with this kind of base-building strategy will find the pace frustrating.
Once the opening is complete you get to start developing and upgrading your small kingdom. For this you need wood and gold, both of which are slowly produced by various facilities. The more powerful your kingdom’s keep, the more facilities you gain access to. These give you increased resource gathering, better defenses to protect from invading players, and better attack units.
The grind is slow, as you wait for resource gathering and then building construction. Fortunately in the early stages Siegefall gifts you dozens of gems, a currency that enables you to construct buildings instantly. Of course once these are gone you are left waiting - or having to pay for more gems with real cash - but it gets you off to a decent start.
Here is where Siegefall begins to differentiate itself from much of the competition - offering you plenty to do while you wait. There is a campaign mode that will challenge you with it's slowly increasing difficulty, other players’ territories to attack, and a challenge mode that provides more insight into the game’s advanced tactical play.
Hire a hero
The combat is an entertaining blend of direct control and suggested tactics. You have one hero, and a selection of different squads at your disposal - ranging from rogues to trolls. Your troops line up at one end of the level, waiting for their first order, only starting to move once commanded. Heroes can be redirected at any time just by touching them and drawing a line to the desired target. Standard units are more fire-and-forget, constantly heading to the next closest target after you set them off.
This gets interesting because your goal is not only to beat your opponent, but also take their resources. You must try to weave your troops through each area to find a route that won’t have the majority of your army making a beeline to the enemy’s fortress.
This can lead to your retrying levels to get highest three-star rating, a frustrating process that demands you navigate through several layers of menu. It is worth it though as working out each combat puzzle is satisfying, especially when you factor in special hero abilities - such as the knight’s dash that can quickly get him out of danger - and cards which gift you additional magical powers.
Like the gems, cards are consumable items, but they can offer huge boosts to your troops in battle. These can range from healing your warriors to calling in a dragon to turn huge strips of land to charcoal. Be careful though, any of your units caught in an affected area will also be damaged.
Claim the crown
Siegefall is a great iteration on a well-worn genre. If you are already invested in any of the competition then it is hard to recommend giving up the time - and perhaps financial - investment you have made there. But the polished gameplay and visual style of Siegefall mean that, personally, this is the one I am keeping installed.