Boom Beach, A Futuristic RTS losing its Charm

It had to happen, eventually: With the number of Clash of Clans clones being produced in the US and abroad, someone had to hit upon the modern approach as a theme. It’s not a bad era to recreate, most people have some knowledge of what they believe the future is about, spurred no doubt in many cases by Hollywood’s dedication to the genre. The folks at Supercell, publisher and developer, have also apparently seen a lot of RTS games.

Boom Beach Hack as a game tool is pretty easy to describe: It’s a modern Clash of Clans clone, using stereotypical futuristic units. Players will gather wood, gold and food; create bases; build up a military; and accomplish the various goals laid out in a mission. If you’ve ever played an RTS in this resource-based genre, it’s a no-brainer.

The level of difficulty in the missions is actually pretty steep; even on the easy setting, good RTS players will be challenged in later missions. How challenged? Probably to the point of frustration, as the enemy always seems to be one level of technological advancement above that which you’re currently allotted. And with a 100-unit maximum, it’s easy to bump into the top level of population and still have your armies slaughtered by superior numbers. Precocious RTS fans won’t be rewarded for expanding their mission goals and taking on other enemies; instead they’ll more than likely be stomped by the US Army forces — or once they complete the level there will be no mention whatsoever of their exploits.

As an RTS, it’s a terribly modern one, nothing more like those made prior to Age of Empires II. The unit AI is quite good — units will is good at pathfinding. Formations can walk right through each other, which is great, but at the same time will take amazingly arcane routes from one point to another, usually taking precious time. And the routes gatherers take when chopping wood or hauling gold are often completely inefficient; in the later levels, when there are fewer resources and more harsh time pressures, this really shows.

This game would have a seriously different feel had it been produced with great care to quality and detail, because as it stands now, it’s way too close to that nebulous border of racism that most publishers fear. The units and voice acting follow numerous simpleton stereotypes that someone would find offensive if a US publisher were to make this product.

As a concept, a futuristic RTS is certainly attractive, and when we first saw the demo of this one we were certainly hooked — but as you play Boom Beach and get deeper into the actual gameplay and story, it quickly loses its charm.