Smite & Magic.
The first time we caught sight of Chillingo's Fury of the Gods, we were immediately reminded of a Populous mixed with the ever-popular tower-defense genre. Taking control of the game certainly enforces that feeling, and it makes for an interesting blend of genres.
You assume the role of three different Greek gods - Zeus, Poseidon and Hades - each of whom is having to deal with a rather tricky peasant revolt. Arriving in waves, these disillusioned followers crawl along the pathways of each God's particular temple island, and your job is to smite them furiously before they can get to the temple itself and start destroying it.
To do this you've got a basic finger-tapping attack which will whittle just a little health off each insurgent you tap, but then you also have a series of special attacks which deliver somewhat meatier justice. Meteor strikes are great for knocking huge chunks of health out of people, for example, while the standard lightning strike does a decent job of inflicting single-target damage.
You can't just use these mighty powers willy-nilly however. To the left of the screen, a power meter continually fills up - and the more powerful the attack, the more of this energy you'll need to spend in order to use it. As wave after wave of enemies arrive, timing the use of this energy becomes critical if you're to survive the entire onslaught, and you'll also have to place powerful minions on the island to hold the threat at bay.
Fortunately you can upgrade your powers and defensive minions using coins that are earned during each successful level attempt. There are more to be purchased from the in-app purchase store, but as long as you're prepared to grind out the easier levels for a little while, you should have no trouble catching up with the game's difficulty curve.
And those onslaughts get particularly tough around the halfway point of each God's campaign too. Before long you'll end up furiously tapping away with your fingers, and spending precious coins on defensive krakens and gorgons, all of which you can place strategically across each island as a point of last defense while you start chipping away at the new invading packs.
This is really where you feel the game could have offered a little more, both strategically and from a pure gameplay perspective. The basic tapping attack isn't very satisfying and you'll find yourself hammering away at the screen a little more than is strictly enjoyable. Likewise, the tower-defense aspect is fairly primitive and placement strategy isn't particularly satisfying or rewarding. You get a little more to think about during the endless mode in each campaign, where resources soon start to feel worryingly limited, but you'll need to clatter through each campaign before you can reach it.
It's an enjoyable enough game though, and if you crave something different from the App Store this week, Fury of the Gods does a fine job of striking out in a new direction. It's not perfect by any means, but what it does get right is extremely polished and well worth checking out.
Review code provided by Chillingo.
What's Hot:A very polished and pretty game that features some satisfying smiting powers.
What's Not:The experience becomes repetitive after a while, and there's a lack of strategic depth.