It started as an iOS app, and now it is available on the Mac OS X platform, too: Battle Nations is a free game that combines city-building -- including harvesting resources and creating goods -- with combat, as you are also in charge of training troops and defending territory. While the combination of too many elements results in simplified building mechanics and combat (maybe too simplified), the overall gaming experience is enjoyable.
Everyone has a story, even the virtual characters, and we liked the action-movie type introduction of the characters at first launch; we wondered if this aimed to replace the missing Help file or Support for Battle Nations. The game isn't as intuitive as the developers would probably like it to be, despite the on-screen help. Novice users will feel kind of lost, and they will need to spend extra time working out how the app and its controls work. As the Mac application is exactly the same game that users can download for free from the App Store on their iPad or iPhone, it's interesting to continue the game on a bigger screen that reveals the graphical user interface in full.
While the story isn't one of the game's strengths, some of the characters are fun, especially the young mechanic. We loved the fact that players have some goals to reach. However, the most fun can be had if you don't try to play against the computer, but rather against your friends or someone you connect with on the developer's platform.
During our testing, the game performed well, and it was a more pleasant experience than on the iPhone's small screen; it loads faster. However, there is room for improvement: both the city-building and battle elements are perhaps too simplistic, and advanced-level users may hunger for more.