Just bought a shiny new Surface tablet? Have some time to kill? Are you feeling rather war hungry? Then look no further. Armed is a futuristic turn-based war game available for Windows Phone and Windows 8.
To win each battle, players must build armies to take over enemy structures and defend their own. At the start of each battle, users are given funds to build factories or defensive turrets to fight off ground and air units. Each building is upgradeable; investing in a factory, for example, lets you get upgrades for your armies and even build more advanced units later down the line.
The building and upgrading system boils down to two hammer icons located on the bottom right of the interface. These are universal actions for every building and unit in the game. A third lightning icon lets you empower certain units for added buffs. Each unit's attack path can be set by tapping on the vehicle, then sliding your finger to any any direction. You can set these rally points one by one, or you can group units into clusters for more army on army action.
Once you've completed your preparations, a play button on the bottom right unfreezes time for about 7 seconds, during which players can briefly monitor if their strategic decisions pay off. Though the first moments of every fight is generally uneventful, watching large scale battles later down the line can be downright entertaining. The Surface version also allows you to decrease graphic settings in case things get too chaotic.
Having the universal build control sometimes got confusing at times as it forces users to select each unit or building individually before setting commands. This quickly becomes a very tedious process so we recommend utilizing the group control function, which is activated by holding a group number icon and tapping the units you want to control. Without this feature, it gets really easy to lose track of what forces you have. Despite being a turn-based game, the battles felt more like an erratic real-time strategy game. You're barely given time to marvel at a battle before being forced to set your commands once more.
The game's decent mechanics are offset by the lack of any single-player campaigns. Armed is strictly a combat-based game that felt a bit slow for a multiplayer-only. Still, we'd consider it one of the more upper-tier games available in the Windows store.