BATTLE OF POLYTOPIA Review: Pocket-sized Civilisations

Battle of Polytopia

Discover new worlds, develop new technologies, and advance your tribe into world domination in Battle of Polytopia. This turn-based game by Midjiwan will challenge your strategic senses.

The premise of Battle of Polytopia is one that will be familiar to people with experience in the Civilization games, or Age of Empires, or any other 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) series of games. What Battle of Polytopia does is bring the turn-based strategy of the big 4X games into pocket form. If your addiction to Civilization VI is still going strong, this might just be the thing to tide you over when you can’t be at your computer.

Alternatively, if you’ve always been curious about the Civilization series but intimidated by how complex it looks, Battle of Polytopia is a great way to slowly introduce yourself to the turn-based strategy genre!

Basic Gameplay

You start out with a tribe, a city, and one unit in a map that’s newly generated with each new game. Tapping on tiles with resources on them (fish, food, ore) allows you to see what you can do with them. You can collect them or build structures (ports, lumber huts, roads) that will allow you to make use of them.

Battle of Polytopia
Look at all that unexplored land waiting for you to conquer.

Everything in the game, from structures to creating units, to even collecting resources requires resources. You start off with a fixed amount of resource income that can be increased by increasing the levels of your cities, or through building more structures.

Collecting resources like fish or food within a city’s border increases the population of the city. Beneath each city, you can see a bar that slowly fills as you increase the city’s population. Fill it up enough, and it increases the city’s level. Increasing a city’s level makes it bigger and more badass looking, but more importantly, it also gives you a bonus. Early levels give you the option to increase your resource income, or to send an explorer around the map – vital in the early game when you have few units and limited movement. Later in the game, higher city levels give you powerful units that can be used to conquer other tribes, or increase the defenses of your city.

Another way in which you can use your resources, is to learn new technology that will give you access to new structures and units. The technology screen looks kind of overwhelming at first, but it’s pretty self-explanatory!

Battle of Polytopia
Technology!! SCIENCE!! (Only not really).

There are two game modes right now, Perfection, and Domination mode.

Battle of Polytopia
Perfection vs Domination, which game mode is your style?

A game that lasts only 30 rounds, where the goal is to have the most points at the end of it. You acquire points through exploration, making use of natural resources, and conquering neighboring tribes. The 30-turn limit keeps things snappy; you don’t really have time to slowly explore and consolidate your forces before the other tribes are attacking you. Things move fast, your enemies move faster, and the rounds last just long enough for you to feel satisfied without feeling like the game is getting draggy.

Domination mode

In Domination mode, there is no 30-turn limit, and the game ends when you’re the only tribe left standing. There’s less of a rush, as you don’t have to try and get everything in order within the first ten turns. However, this means that the other tribes also have time to get their armies ready, so it’s not entirely pressure-free.

Pass and Play

Battle of Polytopia

The recent update also introduced Pass and Play, which lets you play with your friends in person! There’s a very real possibility that, like playing Monopoly or Risk in real life, this could severely affect your friendships. That’s always a good risk to take for video games, right?

In-game content

Battle of Polytopia

When you first get the game, four tribes are available for free: Xinxi, Imperius, Bardur, and Oumaji. There are 6 more tribes, each of which are available to unlock at SGD $1.49 each, except for the Luxidoor, which costs SGD $4.48. Each of the tribes have their own starting technology and aesthetic, but everything evens out by mid-game, so it’s not that much of a worry! Instead, each tribe changes the way you play at the beginning so you can switch things up and challenge yourself!

Battle of Polytopia is great for beginners and noobs
  • It’s great if you’re looking to get a taste of 4X games like the Civilization series but are nervous about the strategic requirements.
  • It’s also fun for Civilization fans who are looking to continue their experience on mobile as well as their computers!
  • Simplified 4X gameplay.
  • No tutorial, but everything is straightforward enough that the gameplay mechanics can be picked up easily.
  • Cute graphics that almost make you forget you’re basically conquering the world by killing other tribes in a rather bloodthirsty manner.
  • Game modes that cater to both a relaxed and more driven style of gameplay.

Difficulty: Easy

Battle of Polytopia is available on the App Store and Google Play

Source for Images: In-game screenshots