09/07/2017

☆ Review: First Strike: Final Hour "Prepare to Prepare to Fail" ☆ #GameDev

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First Strike: Final Hour - PC
What’s that old saying, “If you fail to prepare then prepare to fail”. Well, this does not apply to newcomers to this strategy video game. I prepared for ages, I prepared so much that I was completely unprepared. Perhaps they should rename the game to prepare to prepare to fail. That’s enough of that word, for now, I’ll dig the thesaurus out to find any other way of describing my unpreparedness (that’s the last time honest).

From the outset, the task seems simple. Decide on your nation, defend it from gentle incoming attacks from rogue nations and watch them destroy each other. In the meantime, you can happily sit back, upgrade, expand and build your arsenal. “Easy,” I thought, “not much strategy in this” then WHAM!, the first strike happens and all of my careful planning is destroyed in one foul swoop.


I’m left with a few irradiated areas that can be rebuilt but when, how long does this take. All the while other nations are taking advantage of my unready state and slowly picking me apart. I frantically click on each section of my now smashed super state, building cruise missiles to defend from incoming dirty irradiating super weapons but to no avail, it’s all over, I’m finished.

From the outset, the game looks good, think Google Earth meets Tron. The music is inspiring and fitting to the theme and it all seems uncomplicated. It’s quick to start and if you want to skip the tutorial then it kind of takes you through it anyway. A few clicks later and you’re in the game. It’s difficult at first to figure out what and where to click but the layout is clean and eye-catching. The mechanics such as the cool down, time to build and research are easy to see and don’t take long to complete and you can upgrade sections of your nation simultaneously. The game itself is fairly simple and keeps the objective focused.



My only gripes were the lack of multiple selections such as “refill all cruise missiles” or distance lines when hovering your cursor over the selection of attack missiles. There doesn’t seem to be a clear definition or objective or mission which would be nice, such as, expand all territory on a continent. In some places, it isn’t completely clear how to advance. Can I expand into an irradiated region, can I repair an irradiated region, does it heal over time, can I forfeit points or XP to recover a region?

I like the fact that this is a short sharp arcade strategy game. In the last week, I’ve been able to fire this up and dive in quite quickly. There is less effort than some of your typical strategy games as the Age of Empires this is definitely not.



Summary:
The key to newcomers is in the title “First Strike: Final Hour”. Strike first and set aside the last hour of the day as that’s pretty much all you need to keep the game fresh and challenging. I played this game on a PC but when browsing my steam library in the future would probably not have it as a top choice. If you’re into your straight up simple strategy games that aren’t too taxing and simple to get along with, then grab this for your tablet or smartphone instead. The save option means you can easily kill time on your train journey and be ready to strike again when on the move. You’ll play it more, progress further, unlock more and hopefully, strike first.

Game Link: Steam
Dev Link: Blindflug Studios
Review By: Martin Humphrey


"STAY FROSTY!"