Total War Battles: Shogun has little to do with the main Total War series, it’s an offspin originally released for iOS devices and then ported over to Android and PC. The gameplay is pretty simple. The player starts off with their base on the left side and the objective is usually to destroy your opponent on the right side. Your units move through a relatively small hex grid battlefield. The trick is that your troops can only move forwards, you can change their direction to go upwards or downwards, but they can never go backwards.
It is an interesting design choice that fails mostly thanks to the lousy interface. Once you have about half a dozen units, it becomes a hassle to manage them all and they will frequently just wander off in a direction that you just don’t want them to go, letting enemy troops reach your base and killing your commander.
You must also build buildings which provide certain resources and units. The interface also manages to ruin this because when you mouse over the building or unit icons, there’s no description of what you’re about to build so most of the time you’re just winging it effectively killing the strategic element of it all. You also must juggle the camera between the front line and your base which is a complete drag.
However, Shogun’s biggest fault is that it is simply a very boring game. There’s nothing here to make you feel like a grand general, no enticing tactical thinking is involved, no strategic excitement.
The production values are very good for this type of game. The stylized art-style faithfully recreates medieval Japan as does the soundtrack which consists of traditional Japanese melodies and war songs. The animations are very nice, it’s a pleasure to look at the samurai wielding their swords around. There’s also a story here, but it’s terrible thanks to the incredibly annoying voice acting.
Total War Battles: Shogun is simply a half-baked, extremely boring and uneventful game that doesn’t provide any of the elements a good strategy game needs to have.