Flash Friday: Stick War

Flash games have been around for quite a while now, but I think we often forget just how far they’ve come in a few short years. There have been many Flash game epidemics over the years, the most notable recent one being the seemingly unstoppable Idle genre. Go back just a few short years however, and Flash games weren’t as simple to develop as they seem to be nowadays. They were often developed by individuals as more of a hobby than anything, and because of that, development was often a difficult process. Another Flash epidemic that made developing great games easier for developers was the Stickman genre. To put it simply, all the characters in the game are stickmen. They are easy to draw(even for someone like me) and allowed Flash creators to make large groups of game characters quickly. And one of the most popular games to take advantage of this craze was Stick War.

Stick War plays similar to Age of War, but with multiple levels and a few other key differences. You slowly gain gold and use it to purchase units. Your goal is to fight past the enemy army and destroy the enemy statue, while also defending yours. There are a few differences however. First of all, instead of gaining gold simply from defeating enemies, you need to buy a specific unit to collect gold for you. While you gain gold over time, the amount is tiny, even with upgrades, so the solution is the miner unit. This unit mines ore on the battlefield and takes it back to your base, giving you a large amount of gold. These units can be killed relatively easy and the ore nodes can run out forcing your miners to venture further and further from enemy territory to accumulate more gold for you. Although it massively reduces your chance of a comeback, the ticking time limit forces you to make more risky decisions and spices up the gameplay so overall, I think it’s a good design choice.

Another major difference is that Stick War gives you the ability to take direct control of your units. I don’t just mean being able to order them around and tell them to target certain enemies, I mean that you can literally control them. By clicking any unit on the battlefield, you can pilot them and use all of their abilities. As well as just being good for a bit of fun and more active gameplay, units you possess have extra health and damage meaning there’s a strategic reason to play as one of your pawns. To be honest though, I only really found myself using the miners, giants and swordsmen to collect money quickly and deal some quick damage to certain targets. You can possess every one of your units however so how you dominate the enemy is completely up to you.

There are a total of six different units which you collect over the course of the game. They all have different abilities, advantages and disadvantages. Swordsmen are cheap and don’t take much time to produce but are weak compared to some of the other units. Wizards can summon lot’s of minions to help them and stun enemies but they’re extremely expensive. After every battle, you get two upgrade points to upgrade your army. You can spend this on each unit to improve their power as well as general upgrades such as increasing your statue’s defence and increasing the amount of gold you earn every second. This allows you to tailor your army to your liking and focus on the units you think you can get the most use out of. However, there is no way to reset upgrade points meaning if you pool all your points into the archer for instance, and later change your mind, there’s no way to get those upgrade points back which can leave you stuck on certain levels.

In total, there are twelve levels. On some you’ll simply be tasked with destroying the enemies monument and on others you’ll simply have to survive until a certain time. While the enemies you face may change, the levels start to merge into each other due to the repetitive backgrounds. Every level is a simple field with the sun in the background. If you were shown the backgrounds of two of the levels, you’d be hard pressed in identifying which level is which. There are three difficulties in total: Normal, Hard and Insane though sadly, Insane is only available on StickPage. Whichever difficulty you choose, the game still presents a decent challenge, even on normal.

Overall, Stick war is a solid and fun strategy war game that plays around with a new concept for strategy Flash games without feeling too alienating. Fans of the likes of Age of War will find a lot to like here. The gameplay is solid, satisfying and enjoyable though it is over a bit fast taking me around forty five minutes to complete fully. Epic music accompanies this game in fanfare though its just too bad that Kongregate haven’t added badges to the game, even seven years after its release. Stick War may be short, but it’s also oh so sweet.

Pros:

  • Epic Music
  • Fun gameplay
  • Ability to control individual units is a great idea
  • Steady and challenging difficulty, even on Normal
  • Upgrades allow you to choose how you play
  • Free

Cons:

  • No way to reset upgrade points
  • Boring backgrounds
  • Short(45 minutes)
  • Intense difficulty only on Stickpage
  • No badges/achievements

Masterpiece   Amazing   Worth your time   Average   Meh   Waste of time   Kill it with fire

Play it here for free: http://www.stickpage.com/stickwargameplay.shtml

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