Super Tribes by N

I love Advance Wars to bits, so I’m always on the lookout for iPad games that can offer me a similar experience. My search on the App Store led me to Super Tribes, and I haven’t looked back since.

Super Tribes is a simple, turn-based strategy game that can be played offline. You choose your tribe and go to war against AI opponents. Key elements of victory are conquering villages and then upgrading them to increase the money you earn after your turn. You use your earnings to upgrade your “technologies” web which will allow you to: (1) use the resources surrounding your city; (2) deploy specialized, stronger units; (3) fortify your cities; and (4) build structures that will help you win the game.

What I Like About It

  • Offline – We can’t always connect to the Internet, especially when we’re not at home, so any game that can be played offline automatically earns a plus in our book.
  •  Turn-based – There’s no pressure to come up with your next move ASAP. You know how you have to really concentrate and find the perfect position when playing games that make you race against the clock? You don’t have to worry about those things here.
  • Mentally stimulating – It’s not chess, but you do have to think about your moves if you want to win or crack the high score list. It can be challenging, especially to kids, so it’s a great game to teach strategy to the young ones.
  • Free – And we’re not talking “deceptive-free” where if you want to gain access to the full version or you want to advance in the game you have to pay up. Here you only need to make a purchase if you want to unlock other tribes – which isn’t necessary because you already have 4 to choose from in the beginning. I reckon you can play Super Tribes and enjoy it for a long time without spending anything.
  • Ad-free – This is always a nice surprise, especially when it comes to free games.

A Few Cons

  • Lags / crashes – A few updates ago we often encountered these problems, especially lags. Now the game doesn’t crash anymore (hooray for game devs who listen to consumers!), but occasionally it doesn’t respond so you have to exit and then resume your game. More often than not your last move is saved, but sometimes you need to retrace your steps on your last turn.
  • No PVP – Not a big deal, but it sure is awesome if you have the option to play against tribes controlled by other players when you’re online.

Cost

FREE, but you’ll only be able to choose from 4 (out of the available 7) tribes. You can purchase the remaining three tribes in-game for very reasonable prices (USD 0.99-2.99).

OK for Kids?

A resounding “YES”! Super Tribes has a 12+ tag in the App Store, but I think younger kids can play and enjoy it. Y is 9 and she likes the game. She got frustrated a few times in the beginning but eventually developed her own strategy for winning. It helps that you can choose the difficulty of the game as well as the number of AI tribes you have to defeat. She started with just 1 enemy tribe on “easy” mode, then went on to the more difficult settings when she got the hang of it.

Screenshots

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You have to purchase the Kickoo (USD 0.99), Hoodrick (0.99), and Luxidoor (2.99) tribes to unlock them.

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Gameplay is always “fog of war”, meaning you won’t be able to see the whole map, as well as who your opponents are and what they’re doing in the beginning. You need to explore and scout on enemies to uncover the map and gain the upper hand.

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This is the fully unlocked web. When you start you’ll only see the first circle, and you can only use your starting technology (which depends on the tribe you choose). You need resources (stars) to unlock other technologies.

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