Battle Nations is a game you can download for your handheld mobile personal computer.1 You build up a military base set on the fringe of a militaristic empire and blow things up. You spend resources and time to expand your base from a couple of huts to an industrial powerhouse capable of building the largest tanks. While doing so, you’re off on missions, gaining money and experience points as well as broken equipment that must be repaired and shot-up soldiers who must be healed. If you’re at all familiar with the time and/or pay model of downloadable mobile games, you’ll understand the basic game play.
I’ve enjoyed this game in the time I’ve been playing it. I will even confess that I spent actual money to buy some of the special units that you can only get by spending “nanos”.2 I would recommend this game to anyone interested in a smartphone game. However, I’m not playing anymore. Why?
It’s because the model that the game uses doesn’t fit the model by which I like to play games. There is a significant social media aspect to this game, if you choose to use it. You can invade and occupy the bases of people you’ve “friended” in the game and by doing so, steal resources. This is important because some of the resources that you need to build powerful units are few and far between. Let’s have a for-instance: Gears.
You need Gears to build all sorts of big things that blow other things up. As you advance through the levels, you need big things on your side or else you’ll never win battles. This is by the design of the game. As you level up, your opponents do, too. You also cannot defeat quality with quantity; that’s not in the game play. You have to have powerful units. Gears are needed to have powerful units. Gears can only be acquired (as far as I can tell) by engaging in PvP battles and/or occupying other players territories. Herein lies the rub
I have no interest in engaging other players through this game. Zero. Zilch. I want to pull out my phone, blow some stuff up, then put it away. I’m perfectly happy to do the gold-mining necessary to pursue the missions and construct the buildings and heal the units, but I don’t want to have to friend people in order to generate the resources that I need to continue. This is my game style; this is how I roll, and unfortunately, I’ve rolled as far as I can in Battle Nations without either spending more money or doing the social thing. I just want to blow stuff up.
I’m not deleting my account or anything like that. I have hopes that the organization that makes Battle Nations will provide a method for people like me to do what we want to do, which in this particular instance is to have an organic method of producing those scarce resources such as Gears.
I imagine that the business model behind this game is heavily weighted toward the social media side of things, but I feel that I am not the only person who isn’t interested in that. Social media is not the be-all, end-all; sometimes you just want to explode things. Battle Nations, hear my plea!
Still, if you’re looking for a fun game with excellent in-game story arc and missions, you can’t go wrong with Battle Nations.