Spirit Oath is an interesting take on the tower defense genre. It blends in elements of real time strategy as well as a card game to create an experience that is pretty unique. The game still requires the strategy and planning of a tower defense game while giving a frenetic energy to the action due to the real time strategy elements. The game requires you to be quick and nimble while taking away some of the more stressful elements of having to micromanage everything as in a more traditional real time strategy game.
The game starts you off on a board that is partially empty. Your main goal is to take out all of the enemy buildings or a boss unit while defending your main base from attack. As you play, you will have three cards spawn every few seconds. You must pick one of the three to place down on the playing field before a new hand will spawn.
The cards are how you create the buildings, which will spawn units to engage the enemy. Spirit Oath has an interesting system where you align symbols to create the buildings that you desire. The more rarer the unit, the larger the symbol required to spawn the building. For example, the base unit, the bunny, only requires two matching tiles to create the building. The flying unit requires three.
Once you have some buildings created, you can then take direct control over the units and send them to attack the enemy bases or defend your own territory. While this is happening the enemy is also taking over spaces on the game board and creating its own structures as well.
The game does require a bit of strategizing as the enemy is constantly building and attacking. The game board being partially empty requires the player to balance building enough board pieces to generate units, attacking the enemy, defending your own base, denying land to the enemy, and creating enough land on the board so you can physically move your units over to the enemy base.
On top of this, you have to decide on the fly, the make up of your army based on the random cards in your hand. For example, on a level where the map has the majority of the board empty, you may want to focus on prioritizing the flying units if at all possible.
Overall Spirit Oath offers an unique blend on the tower defense and real time strategy genres. The game balances the strategy and frantic action of both while benefiting from a more streamlined game play loop.