Social and mobile game developer Game Insight has released its newest title, X-Mercs, on iOS devices. The turn-based strategy game sees players lead a team of mercenaries through missions to free the world from mutants created after a comet brought a ‘space-born substance’ to Earth.
In each battle, players tap on the ground to direct each unit’s movement through the environment. Units have a limited number of action points to spend on each turn for tasks like moving and attacking, as examples. Players are encouraged to move their units between cover positions in the field to avoid enemy attacks.
Gamers can also put their units into special defense or sentry ‘modes,’ which are active during the enemy’s next turn. The former protects the unit from damage if they’re attacked by the enemy, while the latter allows the soldier to automatically take a free shot if a new enemy enters their line of sight during that turn. In addition, players have access to special items during battle, like grenades and med kits, as examples.
In between battles, units may earn promotions, allowing gamers to upgrade their soldiers by unlocking nodes on a skill tree. For instance, players can unlock the Trained Shot ability for their sniper, which, when activated during battle (by tapping a button in the corner of the screen), increases the damage of their next shot by 50 percent. Once a unit reaches Rank VI, players can select one of two specializations for the unit (these can be changed after the fact by spending currency).
Outside of single-player missions, gamers can build and upgrade their base using the materials they collect over time. Building projects take time to complete, but can also be completed instantly using nanites, one of the game’s many currencies. Similarly, units wounded in battle take time to heal, or can be healed instantly using drugs.
Players can use their base to research new weapons and items for their units. Gamers can also upgrade their squad to take more individual soldiers into battle. These team upgrades, as well as new soldiers themselves, are available to purchase with credits, the game’s main currency. While gamers can purchase permanent soldiers for their team, special soldiers are also available to hire, and will be available for a limited amount of time.
In addition to a single-player campaign, X-Mercs offers social features like syndicates (alliances) and player-vs-player battles. Cooperative multiplayer will also come to the game in a future update.
In a statement, Anatoly Ropotov, CEO of Game Insight, commented:
As fans of classic turn-based strategy titles, we wanted to celebrate what we love about the genre while at the same time giving it something new. By adding clans, PVP battles and more, we truly believe X-Mercs combines the best of what the genre has to offer with the multiplayer components that gamers crave today.
X-Mercs is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store.