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Parents' Guide to

Art of War: Red Tides

By Paul Semel, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Flawed sci-fi strategy kills tactical play, is still fun.

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Is It Any Good?

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Though it's not as strategic as it could've been, this sci-fi fantasy, steampunk-flavored strategy game can be engaging at times. Set on a world where mechs, biplanes, and dragons are all part of the armed forces, Art of War: Red Tides presents an epic battle for supremacy in real time and from an aerial perspective. Rather than get your hands dirty, you're the commander, sending humans, machines, and beasts to fight your battles. It's just too bad this strategic game doesn't let you be really strategic. While you do decide what kinds of troops to send into battle, once they're deployed, you don't tell them where to go. Instead, they run headlong into the fight. That said, there's some thought required when it comes to which troops to send into battle, and which to call back so that you can send others in their place (you can have only 100 units at any time).

The game also has some technical snafus -- like how it slows to a crawl when you deliver the battle-winning blow -- but these don't usually impede gameplay. Usually. Still, for what it is, this has a lot of depth when it comes to battle options; you can play against friends or the computer in various ways. Which is why Art of War: Red Tides is a solid choice for gamers who are looking for a light strategy game but can't decide if they'd prefer to command robots, monsters, or prop planes in battle.

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