Kaiju Wars is an interesting take on a turn based strategy game. The whole goal of the game isn’t to destroy all the enemies, but only to survive. As the name implies, you are fighting Kaiju, gigantic monsters of destruction.
The game simplifies and reduces the elements of a turned based strategy game down to the essentials. It reminded me of the simplicity found in the Advance Wars series on the Game Boy Advance. The game removes a lot of the tedious and sometimes obtusely complex mechanics that come with the genre and boils it down to just the combat.
You simply spawn a few select units from a few select buildings and focus more on the strategy required to either bring down the Kaiju or slow it down enough to win the game. There’s a convenient plot device of a Kaiju serum being developed that reduces aggression in the Kaiju and makes them go away. If you can buy enough time, the serum will be completed and you will win the level.
The combat is pretty simple, intuitive, and fun. You don’t have to worry about micromanaging your economy in the game, it’s all automatically handled for you. You just pick where to place the building you want, spawn the unit you want, and carefully maneuver all the units into the optimal place.
For example, missile launchers deal massive damage but don’t have any counter attack damage. So if you place the missiles in front of the Kaiju’s path, it will just be destroyed. It would be more effective to place the missiles behind the Kaiju so you can deal the most damage while staying alive.
It’s not quite this simple most of the time because many of the Kaiju will have secondary abilities that deal damage or remove a nearby unit. For example, a Kaiju with the tail swipe ability can remove one random unit from behind it every turn. This requires you to be more thoughtful in your approach to placing which unit where.
As the game progresses, you unlock new buildings, new units, and new abilities. For example, you will have some pretty neat mecha units (with references to Gundam and Macross of course, I do love me some Macross). You also have hero units which can be leveled up with medals you earn from meeting side objectives for each level. There’s a lot of progression available in the form of unlocks and upgrades which adds a nice feeling of replayability.
In addition to this, the game’s overall presentation is well done. The minimal graphics look very stylish and keep the focus on the combat. The backing soundtrack is extremely well done and very catchy in my opinion. The game is presented as a comic book and even has some live action video segments which took me by surprise. The game is well produced.
Overall, Kaiju Wars is a neat little package of turn based fun. The game’s concept of just struggling to stay alive against Kaiju translated into a pretty darn fun game. Combined with the overall excellent production value, it is a solid turn based strategy game.