It's also kind of pretty

Iron Marines storms the App Store beaches

iOS Universal, Android •

You know what doesn’t work on touchscreens? Real time strategy games. Getting one to work with less than accurate touchscreen controls is akin to putting that rubber band on those posts in a game of Operation, very few people can pull it off. A new title has just sauntered onto the App Store looking to buck the trend, however. It’s called Iron Marines and it looks like it might just succeed.

Reading the description, it’s hard to tell exactly what genre Iron Marines fits into. It seems to be a cross between RTS and tower defense, with different towers and weapons to defend your bases, but also heroes and other upgradable units that you can send at your enemies en masse. Once you play you realize that’s pretty much the deal, and the RTS control scheme is actually pretty easy. Simply tap on a unit or their portrait and drag where you want them to go. No need to tell them to fire at enemies, as everyone in Iron Marines seems to have a trigger finger in need of a serious dose of calamine.

The game offers a campaign of 14 missions spanning two different planets, with each scenario boasting something new to force you to alter your tactics. There are also 10 Special Operations missions which are one-off maps with the difficulty set to Darkest Dungeon levels. There’s more, so much more that it deserves a blurb rather than me trying to type it all up:


  • Lead your troops in 14 campaign missions across two different worlds. Get ready to launch bold attacks, hold your ground, rescue civilians, hack supercomputers and all kind of heroic stuff. Each mission requires new tactics and actions to achieve victory. Have I mentioned fights against the tentacles of bizarre underwater creatures?
  • Test your wit on 10 Special Operations with their own combat rules and no mercy at all. Each stage a challenge to remember, with scars to prove it. We dare you.
  • Unlock the Impossible Mode. Only for the most reckless of the dauntless. We double dare you.
  • Defeat massive and unique Bosses in epic battles. They are mean, they are really really huge and they are determined to crush you. Suit up, Marines!!
  • 40+ Upgrades to improve your strategy and empower your units with defense drones, napalm rockets, ricocheting blasts and much more.
  • 9 Heroes with outstanding powers at your command. Train them to their full awesomeness or annoy them at your own risk.
  • 8 Special Weapons to unleash hell on your enemies and give your tactics even more depth. What’s better than a well placed missile? An orbital strike of 50 high explosive ones!
  • Complete any of our 50+ Achievements and claim your well deserved reward
  • Find your fair challenge choosing your difficulty mode: Casual, Normal or Veteran. Don’t get cocky! Or Do! Your choice!

While the game isn’t free to download it does, unfortunately, have some freemium-like aspects to it. Each mission will earn you a little coin which you can use to purchase special weapons for your next battle. The amount you earn seems a bit on the wee side, with more coins offered via IAP or by watching an ad. I know, it’s pretty obnoxious, but you can ignore the IAP and ads for the most part.

Iron Marines launched today for iOS Universal and Android and will run you $5 even before you consider spending money on IAP (don’t). I’m not sure it’s worth the price of entry, yet, but if you’re looking for an RTS fix on the go, Iron Marines might be the way to go.

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Notable Replies

  1. athros says:

    The IAP currencies are shortcuts.

    The Premium Heroes are just different ways to play.

    If you want to see an hour or so of gameplay: TouchArcade First Impressions.

  2. If the IAP is anything like the Kimgdom Rush series, it isn’t even remotely necessary. While the heroes would be fun to play with, I never once felt the need to spend a cent on any Kingdom Rush IAP.

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