Art of War: Red Tides

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Art of War: Red Tides App Poster Image
Flawed sci-fi strategy kills tactical play, is still fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Simple touch controls, but still complicated.


Players use guns, explosives, animals, other things to attack people, but no blood, gore.


Players can use real-world money to buy in-game currency to then buy loot crates containing playable characters, game augmenting boosts. Promotes subscriptions for bonus items, experience boosts for winning matches.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Art of War: Red Tides is a strategy game. While players use guns, explosives, beasts, and other things to attack people -- who can be computer controlled or other players online -- the game's aerial perspective means there's no blood or gore. Using real-world money to purchase in-game currency, players can buy bundles that have playable characters and other augmenting boosts, while subscribing also gives you free items as well as more money and experience points when you win a battle. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content. Read the app's privacy policy on the game's website to find out how information is collected and shared.

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What's it about?

Set on a world that's equal parts science fiction, fantasy, and steampunk, ART OF WAR: RED TIDES casts you as the commander of an army in an epic battle for supremacy. But while the opening movie is long and involved, there isn't a story-driven single-player mode. Instead, players just battle against the computer or other people online with various units, and take their winnings to upgrade their units or purchase boosts for new games.

Is it any good?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. In this game, you battle human enemies -- computer controlled ones as well as other people online. Do you feel differently about killing them if they are human controlled vs. computer controlled?

  • Talk about the responsibilities of command. In this game, you're not doing the killing, but are instead commanding troops who you may be sending to their deaths. Do you understand what that means? Do you think you could do this in real life?

  • Discuss money management. Given that you can earn in-game currency by playing, does it make sense to spend a lot of money on this game? What about a little bit so that the people who made it can pay their rent?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: free with microtransactions
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: October 27, 2017
  • Category: Strategy Games
  • Size: 1020.00 MB
  • Publisher: Hero Entertainment Co.
  • Version: 1.0.5
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later
  • Last updated: February 25, 2020

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