Spartania is an Android game that gives players a casual strategy game to get their teeth sunk into. Channelling the great Greek Myths of fierce warriors and strong cities, players need to create their own city, build new defences, upgrade them and collect food and gold to keep things going. On top of this, players need to create a warrior force that is not to be trifled with, this consists of soldiers, archers and the powerful Commander - that's you! - and this force will be taken into battle throughout the campaign mode as well as against other players online, too. With a simple, yet satisfying, upgrade structure, simple city building mechanics and good-looking graphics Spartania is a casual strategy game that ticks many of the right boxes without that stuffy feeling. Charming, good fun and addictive, let's get stuck in, shall we?
First of all, players will need to download Spartania: Casual Strategy from the Play Store, and then be introduced to the gameplay as well as the general setting and story, which should leave most players with a smile on their face.
The general premise of the gameplay is that players need to collect food and gold to train soldiers as well as purchase new upgrades and new buildings. Keeping up with the casual aspect that is part of its namesake, Spartania is thankfully pretty kind on the whole placement of building things.
There are a lot of different buildings and such that players can choose from, many of which are made available later on in the game and require certain buildings to have been updated, but placing them is really simple, you just place them on the grid, and then you can move them around if you want.
This is the same for both the Fortress layout as well as the Battle Camp layout. Players need to create a force that goes out to battle, and then one that defends their Fortress and people from attackers. This is where much of the City building elements come in, and over time anyone should have a pretty good Spartan City to be proud of.
As you might expect from a game called Spartania, much of what takes place is centered around attacking other forces and stealing their food and gold. There's a neat and simple map that lists both chapters in your ongoing campaign, random encounters as well as the ability to attack others online.
Playing against others online is fairly simple and players will be able to track their progress as well as see who the big players to beat are by using the ranking system. Each Sunday a "season" finishes and those that have managed to secure a trophy throughout the week will see this converted into a Legendary Trophy. The ranking system gives players a way of challenging themselves as well as keeping up with other players, too.
When heading off to battle, it's really easy to attack, you just choose the amount of each type of warrior you want to deploy and then let the two sides go to war. This is another part of the game where the casual aspect of it shines through. there is some strategy in how and when you deploy certain forces and whether you go all-in or hold back. It might not sound like much, but combined with the time limit - which extends each time you defeat an enemy or destroy a building - and this bite-sized strategy game starts to feel like a lot of fun.
You'll end up with different buildings and different enemies to face off against, but at the end of it all you'll be hailed as a hero and often Spartania will give you some sort of achievement via Google Play Games, too.
Of course, after any good battle like this, you might end up with quite a few repairs to deal with, and depending on how many soldiers you had lost during the battle, you could be waiting a little while for them to come back, but the maximum is roughly six minutes per group or so. The Commander however, doesn't need any time or food to be regenerated, a true Spartan Warrior.
This is where the magic Ambrosia comes in, which you do acquire overnight and after a certain amount of time, but everything takes a lot longer, especially the opening of chests and such without using a bottle or more. This is where Spartania makes its money, and while there are no ads, users might feel pressured into purchasing some of this Ambrosia.
The progression in Spartania is where a lot of the fun happens, and the constantly raising stakes, with stronger enemies and larger forces is what helps to keep the nice and fresh. This progression helps to give players something to work towards in a number of ways. We already mentioned the Google Play Games integration, but there are also collectibles available in Spartania as well.
Different forces and such will give players different challenges and during one battle you might simply be facing more troops and buildings than you have.
The next time you could be coming up against larger single unit enemies or new units you haven't faced before, such as the mages.
The more battles that players undergo, the more chances they have coming across a special chest. These can take a long time to open, but there's practically guaranteed to be something worthwhile inside. The Chests can be found during your battles in the Arena and occur daily, giving players an opportunity to get some of their collectables.
If nothing else, the lighthearted approach and humor that Spartania contains throughout is great fun and will keep players smiling for a long time to come.
What I really enjoyed about Spartania was just how accessible it is, it has all the hallmarks of a Tower Defense game, but it doesn't add on top all of the stuffiness and that sort of thing. Instead, it's funny, witty and lighthearted with super-simple mechanics to grasp. Many games have food, currency, extra currency, gems, diamonds and so on, but here there's just food, gold and Ambrosia. It's really straightforward to get your head around and it's a great deal of fun for players of all ages. With no blood or foul language, it's a game that I can see a lot of younger players really enjoying as well. With a sense of real progression, and new updates adding new content all the time, Spartania is a casual and accessible game that has a lot going for it and is super-fun to get to grips with an experiment with.
- Speed (4/5) - With speedy performance and bite-sized battles that don't ever last too long, Spartania has a lot going for it.
- Theme (4/5) - The graphics here might not be to everyone's taste, but they paint a fun and lighthearted picture of what we know from Greek legends throughout the years, and it really does put a smile on your face.
- Features (5/5) - The gameplay here in Spartania is great, it's accessible, addictive and easy to get engrossed with quite quickly. It's challenging, but in a way that's easily-understood and nothing here is too frustrating.
- Overall (4.5/5) - The only real problem with Spartania is that it can take a long time to level up the commander as well as the Fortress to unlock more powerful units, but if everything in life were this easy, nothing would be that much fun, would it? Overall, Spartania is an accessible masterpiece that gamers of all skill and ages should try out.
- Fun, cheeky dialogue is easy to grasp and brings a little smile to your face.
- Simple, yet addictive combat keeps players on their toes and gives them a lot to be excited about without being too much of a challenge.
- Real sense of progression for players that are looking to create a strong and powerful Spartan race that can terrorize players online and computer players.
- Allows players to play online against Facebook friends as well as other players no matter their skill level or where in the world they are.
- Some players might find it a little difficult to upgrade everything without spending real money on Ambrosia.
- Lack of real strategy might put off more experienced players of real time strategy games.
All-in-all, Spartania is the sort of game that will appeal both young and old, despite the fact that it is primarily a strategy game. It has the word "Casual" in the title and the game does live up to this, you don't need to be checking stats all the time or preparing endlessly to progress through the campaign or have a chance competing online. It's a fun, lighthearted game that gives all players the chance to have a good time no matter their previous experience with other players.