By February 24, 2014 Read More →

Zulus on the Ramparts [iOS, Android Review]

One of my favorite movies as a kid was Zulu (1964) starring a young Michael Caine. The military strategy and bravery of the men involved in that famous battle was extraordinary. It was one of the first movies I got on VHS (back in the day).  I recently saw that Victory Point Games has created an electronic (iOS and Android) version of the board game based on the battle of Rorke’s Drift so I had to give it a try.

Before playing the game though, I had to watch the movie again! :)

Once the movie watching was out of the way I proceeded to try the game. I played the iOS version of the game but I would assume the Android version plays the same. The game played fine on my iTouch5 but I bet a bigger screen on an iPad or Android would have been nice. If you are not familiar with the board game then it might take a little bit of time to learn the basics of the game. My first time playing was ok but I really did not know what I was doing. The game does come with a tutorial and rule book you can refer to at any time.

In the game you are the British soldiers at Rorke’s Drift and your job is to fight off the Zulus. If they enter your compound before the end of the game, then you lose. The game is a solitary turn based game broken up into different phases.

  • The Impi Phase and Ibutho Phase: the first phases you have the Zulus, positioned in the four corners, make their move. You will choose what they do by picking a random marker on the board.
  • The Action phase : In this phase you perform an action based on the cards in your hand. The cards are broken up into Hero and Orders.  Every Hero has special abilities that can be employed during the action phase. The Order cards deal with volleys (firing at the Zulus)
  • The Card Draw Phase: After playing cards, you automatically get a card
  • The Hero Phase: Can make one hero available
  • The Housekeeping Phase: The game will end at this stage if certain requirements are met, if not then you might have to discard some cards.

This probably does not make a lot of sense in writing but when you see it in action in the game it should come together.  The rules section of the game explains each phase and has a nice glossary section.

The key to the game and surviving is using your Heroes and their special abilities wisely. Heroes can help with ammo, barricades, water, and more. I have only played on the easy level and that has been challenging enough!

So do I like the game? Yes I do. The graphics, music, and game play are great.  The layout of the game board is fine and I did not find the screen cramped or too busy.  This is a game that will grow on you and one that you will probably need to play a few times to get a handle on all its phases and stragedies.  You can save games so you do not need to finish it in one sitting.   So if you enjoy solitary turn based game strategy games, give Zulus on the Ramparts a try.

For the iOS version

For the iPad version

For the Android version

Side note: I found this excellent video review of the game from Drive Thru Review wanted to share it. I could not have any it any better.

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