Hands-On Preview: Siegebreaker

What would happen if you took A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, replaced the Connecticut Yankee with a neon-haired punk rocker, added the undead, and made a Real Time Strategy game out of the whole thing? You’re about to find out courtesy of Crazy Monkey Studios! The Belgian developer intends to bring Siegebreaker, the wackiest Real Time Strategy title ever, to iOS on December 2. Through a little time displacement magic, the devs were able to send us a copy one month early and we’re ready to give you the lowdown on this totally rockin’ game!

The story goes like this (we kid you not): a rock star gets sucked into a medieval fantasy realm where a dark lord wants to eliminate birthdays. Naturally, turning everyone into marauding undead is the most efficient way of going about this, and soon a number of kings are left to fend for themselves against their own skeletonized and zombie-fied subjects. The rock star discovers that every time he strums his guitar in this strange land, lightning bolts shoot out of it — so he’s naturally the most suited for turning the tide, and quickly finds himself a revered “chosen one.”

We’ve seen some outright bizarre setups on iOS, but Siegebreaker takes the cake! It’s actually fairly story-heavy as far as RTS games go, featuring an endearing cast, plenty of dialogue and funny in-battle quips, and even some comic book panels to help set the scene.

The rock star isn’t destined to fight alone; other heroes warp in as the campaign progresses, and together they travel from one battlefield to the next in hopes of defending the game world’s besieged kings. While the heroes automatically lay the smack down from atop fortress ramparts, it’s up to the player to position them effectively, tapping on them and tracing out movement paths so they stay within range of enemies that have made it past. Each level’s king is not so safe, being stuck on the ground where enemies are and too feeble to defend himself effectively. What’s cool is that the player gets to move the king too, and enemies pour in from multiple directions so all the characters are constantly being shifted around. Tapping without drawing out from a character brings up a menu of his or her special actions. The coolest we’ve seen so far is the rock star’s tilt-controlled “Rolling Stone” attack, which is great for making monster mash out of an aisle packed with foes!

Snatching inspiration from the Tower Defense and line drawing genres, Siegebreaker’s rapid repositioning formula is poised to offer something of great interest to RTS fans. With battlefields getting progressively mazelike and faster enemies introduced as the player dives further in, this also promises to be one of the most challenging genre entries in a while!

We’ll bring you a gameplay video in an iFriday Roundup as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, keep an eye on Crazy Monkey Studios’ website, Twitter account, and Facebook page for the latest Siegebreaker news!