Chrome Wars - Robot-killing action on a turn-based basis with upgrades, armour, and some serious attitude
Forget skin on skin battles, how about chrome on chrome, or iron on iron, or maybe even steel on steel? It's not The Terminator we're talking about here but Chrome Wars, a game Jaludo that spawned a successor and a mobile version that has gone on to be very successful but whose brilliance is the foundation of the series. Customise your robot's colour, dish out some attribute points, upgrade various parts, and go up against fifty different robots in a highly original arena game with a difference.
Chrome On Chrome
The success of Robot Wars isn't just a freak occurrence: people like powerful things clashing, they like to watch it, and better yet, they like to be in control of it. This is why contestants spend months, if not years building robots on Robot Wars, this is why people pay good money to go and watch things like this live, and it may also go some way to explaining the existence and eventual success of Chrome Wars. Though there have been successors to this title, credit must be given to this original game since it is the foundation to the series, without which people wouldn't be enjoying Chrome Wars Arena or battling robots in the mobile version either. Chrome Wars is a turn-based battle game involving robots and its simplicity makes it that much more impressive considering just how addictive the game really is. Win attribute points, upgrade and repair your robot, and choose the right moves to ensure that you smash the opposition into oblivion before doing it all over again in a satisfying start to a memorable series.
Wait Your Turn
Jaludo's Chrome Wars is essentially turn-based battle game with a robot-themed shell placed over the top. Gameplay consists of individual matches against opponents of increasing difficulty where you use only the mouse to select your move from a menu of different attacks and actions. Moves range from precise and brute attacks to forward, backwards, charge, wait, and repair actions. The goal is to simply damage the opponent until he is defeated before you are yourself overcome by your opponent. You have health and armour which becomes depleted every time it is attacked, but you are allowed to repair your robot a certain number of times per round. The moves you select from the menu are fairly generic but they are all you have available so you must try and choose wisely depending on the strength of your opponent and the moves he is making
The moves on the menu are identical to those of your opponent, so the amount of damage dealt depends almost entirely upon the state of yours and your opponent's stats, much like fellow turn-based game Swords and Sandals V. As has been previously mentioned, the stats of your robot can be added to between battles and consist of areas such as power, speed, agility, precision, defense, grit. and chrome. It is the way in which you decide to deal out your attribute points between rounds that determine how strong your robot will be and what kind of attacks he will be best at. This is quite an interesting way of allowing the players to develop their own kind of robot with characteristics that suit their personal preferences instead of the game dictating how your character progresses.
More Than Just Attributes
Your performance in Chrome Wars isn't limited to how many attribute points you have managed to collect and distribute however: there are upgrades, and a fair number of them as well. These upgrades can be purchased with the credits you receive for beating your opponent and come in a number of different categories, all accessed from the "bot shop" section from the main menu. Armour can be purchased for prices ranging from the very cheap all the way to chest pieces costing hundreds of millions of credits, and the same with face plates, shoulder pads, boots/wheels, and weapons. Rather than form a large part of each match, these items when purchased and equipped simply add extra points to your various stats. The futuristic Swish Army Blade costs 100 000 000 for example, yet has the benefit of dealing between 350 and 500 damage as well as adding 20 points to your attack stats. Each of these items benefits different stats and in different amounts, essentially adding another dimension to the tactics and preparation for your battles.
Chrome Sweet Chrome
Chrome Wars has around 50 robots for you to go up against in total, fighting in multiple arenas and challenging you to the max, often requiring you to shuffle around your arrangement of attribute points to try and find the best setting for overcoming certain difficult opponents. In this way, the stat points, stat-boosting upgrades, and move choice dimensions of the game all gel together very well, synergising perfectly to create a well-balanced turn-based arena game. The graphics aren't as slick as they could be however, though this is somewhat rectified along with additional content in Chrome Wars 2: Arena. While it can also be tough spending enough time grinding for points to get to the top of your game, there's always Chrome Wars Hacked if you fancy taking a bit of a shortcut. This original version is a classic, well-made turn-based action with a robotic twist and sets up the floor for its sequel very well.