The archetypical fantasy world is full of kingdoms to be saved and knights to do just that against all odds, slaying monsters and bandits alike to achieve their goals. Vile Monarch begs the question though, “What about those poor barbaric souls?” with Crush Your Enemies. Taking control of Brog the Barbarian and his unruly crew of Nordic Invaders, you lay seige to the land of Generian prissies.
That’s about all you need to know, and any semblance of plot past that is merely an excuse to introduce gameplay mechanics as you progress. This no-nonsense approach to the core mechanics is a breath of fresh air. You can control the entirety of the game with just your mouse and one button, quite an accomplishment for an RTS. Though the game is played in real-time, the mechanics of it are almost more akin to the Advance Wars games in how enemy hordes collide and bodies drop.
For the most part the controls of Crush Your Enemies are responsive and tight. Just click on your mob o’ madmen and tell ’em where to go. If they enter enemy territory they have to tear the soil up to claim it, if they enter an enemy village they tear the buildings up to claim it, etc. You get the idea. Basic staples of the genre apply as well, from obtaining more recruits from allied villages, or using Soldier Barracks to upgrade your savages into somewhat presentable war practitioners.
A mild criticism might be pointed at how a veteran of such games understand how all these work and the game takes quite a decent amount of time to introduce each new mechanic, but it goes by fast enough to not be a bother. Even the easier levels near the beginning can present a challenger through alternate objectives to accomplish for a better score, ranging from clearing the level in an astounding 30 seconds to leveling the entire field before moving on.
One of the greatest advantages of Crush Your Enemies is the bite-sized portions of gameplay presented. Each mission can be easily completed in about five minutes, making this a great game to pick up when you can’t quite commit a couple hours to a gaming session.
This doesn’t necessarily mean these missions lack tactical depth or variety either. The map design provides a wholly unique obstacle in your path every time that requires quick thinking in order to not be crushed yourself. Understanding the finer intricacies in how to grow your marauding horde allows you to truly crush your enemies with an impressive display of force rather than going out like a buster.
The game comes packaged with two single-player campaigns featuring Brog the Barbarian and Fuzgut the Destroyer, a multiplayer mode featuring cross platform play between PC and mobile users, several thousand prissy heads waiting to be impaled on spikes, and a Giant Enemy Snail. Because of course.
Crush Your Enemies has has the heart of a champion and some genuinely true-to-form RTS tactics. Harkening back to days without the million macros and keybinds expected of the genre leads to a surprisingly intricate tactical experience. It might not be a true test of mettle for veterans, it’s accessibility provides enough depth for a strong, strategic experience. If you’re fixing to crush some losers and be home in time for supper, this might be it.