From the makers of Clash of Clans comes a new, multiplayer base-building strategy game. I know what you’re thinking. Another game where the key to success is spending gems to speed up timers and buying victory. Well, if that’s what you’re thinking, you’re right. That’s pretty much exactly what Boom Beach is. If you think the studio that brought you Clash of Clans, the highest grossing app on the app store, was going to change their tune Boom Beach is likely to leave you sorely disappointed.
The gameplay is actually pretty fun when you can play it. If you’ve ever played Clash of Clans, you’ll be instantly familiar with the formula. Build a defensible base, form an army, attack other bases and defend your own. The more you expand your base, the bigger you’re grow your army. Building requires gold, which is passively generated over time by residence buildings and merchant ships, and wood, which you can harvest in exchange for gold.
Battles are fought by any combination of six units; riflemen, heavies, zookas, warriors, tanks, and medics. These attacking units go up against defensive turrets, canons and land mines. Controlling your units in battle is simple and intuitive. Firing flares sends your units toward them, though they otherwise attach whatever is between them and their objective. You can medkits to aid wounded units, as well as fire from your off-shore gunboat’s canon. At the end you’re rewarded with experience and, of course, a score based off the three-star system.
Because the battles are largely tower-defense style, i.e., the defender does nothing but set up defenses and hopes they’re enough to hold off attackers, PVP is only played by the attacker while the defender is offline. If I want to attack a similar-level player, you attack them just like you would any NPC. When that player logs in, they can review a replay of the battle to see where defenses were strong or needs to be boulstered. Fortunately losing a battle doesn’t mean your buildings are destroyed. You simply lose some gold, wood and
The graphics and UI of Boom Beach are top notch. The game is gorgeous and sounds great. The music is appropriately militaristic without being too stuffy. The sound of the guns and explosions make battles feel much more exciting that the visuals alone would lead you to believe that they are.
So the million dollar question is this: Is Boom Beach play to win? The answer is undoubtably yes. If you were hoping for a more fair version of Clash of Clans, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Not surprisingly, Boom Beach uses in-game currency, diamonds, to speed up the games build timers. While there’s no way to directly purchase gold, the primary currency used get anything done in the game, with diamonds, you can speed up the production of residences, which generate gold. Want to compete on the leaderboards? Expect to drop some cash.
But it’s not the pay to win aspect that is so off-putting, at least to this reviewer. It’s the pay to play aspect. A typical play session for me goes like this: 1) Tap the gold buttons to collect all my gold that’s generated since the last time I played and start construction on one new building or upgrade, 2) Attack bases until my army is no longer effective, 3) Start train new army units, 4) Go play something else because now my screen is filled with timers. The entire process takes about ten minutes.
Other than that, the game is solid. If you either don’t mind the timers or are OK with spending money on IAPs, give Boom Beach a shot. If not, move along. Nothing to see here.
Boom Beach Review: Cash Grab King
-Combat is simple, yet engaging
-Graphics are industry-leading
-Buildings can be moved after initial placement
-Pay to win IAPs