There is always a bit of worry when people say that a game is a remake of another game, and in the case of Bluecoats: North vs South, this game literally is a remake of a game from more than two decades ago. But the good part is that this is actually a fun game to begin with. Handling your army by managing resources is pretty much an intuitive aspect of the game while the combat delves a little more into the Civilization-ish approach (with RTS elements added in). If you played and liked the original game, this game is worth coming back to. If you have never heard of the original and are looking for a solid single purchase game, you cannot go wrong here either.
Old School Meets New World
One of the first things we noticed about this game is the artwork. The initial reaction we got upon seeing the app's artwork was “this looks a lot like Clash of Clans". Fortunately, Bluecoats is nothing like CoC. Sure, we already knew that it was based off an older 1989 release, but does not automatically stop developers from turning a old school game into a mobile cash-drain app (we are looking at you Dungeon Keeper). So we are starting this review off the game's first high note: this is a single purchase app, period. No IAPs and ads to deal with, just sheer fun gameplay.
Made for Serious Folks
The cartoony artstyle does point out that the game is a bit humorous at times. The challenge level however, is no laughing matter. It takes a bit of time and patience to fully master this game, and even then, expect the enemy AI to suddenly pull a couple of fast ones on you. No matter which of the various modes you are on, players have to stay alert and adapt quickly to the enemy's strategies (this is particularly noticeable in the real time battles where you send off troops and try to hold back the incoming forces).
The resource management part is turn based, so you can take your time learning the ropes there. All the prep up gets its results when battle comes and when you have fully garrisoned troops ready for deployment, you can easily run through the enemy army.
As for the action sequences (like the shootout or train minigames), play defensively as the enemy units tend to be overwhelming at times. Practice does make perfect, so retrying stuff over and over does have a point.
Big Bright Visuals
Going back to the game's artwork, yes, it is quite cartoony. While well defined, the characters and the backgrounds have that odd sort of look to them that makes it feel as if you are playing something designed for kids (which it really isn't). That said, the visuals do go well with the overall gameplay. The stark contrasts allows players to instantly identify troops and figure out strategies. In the active battles, the animations are smooth and crisp, and you can clearly see if your strategy is proving effective in battle or not. The visuals for the special sequences feel like they were heavily inspired by cowboy action movies (the shoot-out and train sequences), only of course, these ones have civil war themed skins.
If you are going to toss out a bit of cash for a game, then this may as well be it. Bluecoats: North vs South is one of the more worth-it games in terms of value for your buck. The gameplay is pretty long promising many days of entertainment. The challenge factor is cranked up to a tee, so the play value is heavily increased since you can keep going up the difficulty tiers. Visually the game looks appealing and it is easy on the eyes. Regardless of whether you are a fan of the civil war or just simply a person who appreciates good games, then Bluecoats: North vs South is certainly going to be worth having on your mobile.