I sit here staring at a blank page. I’m struggling to find words to describe how not enjoyable my time spent with Line Of Defense Tactics: Tactical Advantage was. LODT:TA is the latest in a growing trend on Steam of free-to-play mobile games re-releasing their games on Steam at higher prices. This is the worst example of this conversion. This free-to-play cellphone game is priced at a walloping 25 dollars on Steam. More on that in a bit. Allow me to take you through the experience I had with LODT:TA.
Upon starting the game, it crashed. Three separate times. I messaged my editor asking if I was missing an update or if the release we had was known to be buggy. Nope, we had the retail release. Upon getting the game to boot via Windows XP compatibility mode I reached what is essentially a mobile game menu, all the way down to the option for touch screen controls. There’s no graphic tweaking options of any sort and as a whole the interface feels half baked. The in-game menu’s were obviously made for a touch screen with little to no thought given to a PC play style during the port process. It even includes a handy link to buy the game that you’re already playing. At this point, I’m staring at a super-stretched game that controls like a tablet game despite me using a mouse. Fantastic, but maybe there’s some redeeming gameplay to be found?
Sadly, no. LODT:TA is as barebones an RTS as you can be. You control a squad accomplishing various tasks such as, “eliminate all enemies” and, “get to point A.” There’s minimal customization outside of picking from some pre-made squad members before each mission. Once into the game you’ll find that walls are able to be shot through on many occasions, cover seems to be ineffective at best and, the enemy A.I. is blind to you until you start shooting at them. You can upgrade troops in the typical free-to-play style. At the end of the day, it’s as basic as it gets. Most of the time it’s functional enough to not crash once loaded into a game which isn’t saying much considering how it looks and sounds. It’s a cell phone game yes however, if you’re going to ask for 25 dollars you can each least give us some scaling graphical options or some upgraded visuals and sounds. The visuals of this game are on par with what I’d expect from a small studio game circa 2003, not a mid-range priced game in 2014.
If LODT:TA were free I would have no issue with it. It’s a functional game that has a sense of progression which is good enough to justify existing as a free-to-play. However, when you launch as a 25 dollar premium experience gamers have a right to expect a lot more, the owner of the developing company may say we as gamers are entitled but with content like this, he’s not entitled to our money. It’s insulting to port a free game in such a rushed manor and demand such a high price. Here’s some other games you can pick up for 25 dollars full price or near on Steam right now: Banished, Starbound, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, 7 Days to Die, Insurgency, and the list goes on. Whatever you do, do not spend any money or time on Line of Defense Tactics: Tactical Advantage, you’re spending money on something you can get better versions of on your phone.