Finally, a Decent Real-Time Strategy Game on the iPad

RTS games have been tried on the iPad before, but have usually resulted in stilted affairs, or simple attempts at cloning a PC control system. Autumn Dynasty, on the other hand, gets things right.

I picked up the game on Friday when it went on sale, and it's the best $5 I've spent to date for my new iPad.

The "Total War meets Okami" predictions were a little off; this is instead a fairly traditional RTS, with unit caps and buildings to be built so you can build more units. The key here, though, comes in the interface, which takes established genre mechanics like the way you move, group and attack and turns them into gestures and actions appropriate for the platform.

So instead of simply clicking somewhere on a map, you trace a unit's destination, meaning both the journey and the waypoints are taken care of in one motion. It's fast, and it's a joy to use.

While things can get a little hairy when there's a lot of units on screen (some gestures take a while to complete) and the AI could do with some work (once two or more units enter melee it gets messy), on the whole this is easily the most elegant and effective implementation of RTS controls I've ever seen on a handheld.

Autumn Dynasty [$4.99, Apple App Store]