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Digital Life

 

Romans In My Carpet! packs strategy and humor in a tiny package

Published on Aug 29, 2014 6:00 AM
 

Romans In My Carpet! sees two factions fighting a bloody war on a small battlefield: a bedroom.

In the turn-based strategy game, players control "Romites" - mite-sized Roman soldiers - battling "Breetles", bedbug-sized barbarians.

Made by Singapore developers Witching Hour Studios, this game feels like the developers' previous Ravenmark games - strategy games set in a more serious world.

Choosing to be more streamlined and lighthearted, this game opts for a cute and colourful 16-bit pixel art style, while its cheery chiptune music harkens back to video-game classics from the 1980s.

In battle, turns consist of two parts - a command phase in which players give orders to their units, and a battle phase in which the units carry out the orders.

There is the typical rock-paper-scissors formula, with five unit types - infantry, polearm, cavalry, ranged and support, each with varying strengths and weaknesses.

The battlefield is pretty and varied, with skirmishes occurring on gaming tabletops, bookshelves and the carpet. Players do battle among nacho crumbs, gaming dice and blobs of Nutella, all blown up to gigantic proportions.

However, tactics change little, so all this amounts to not much more than pretty scenery.

Battle can be confusing at times because the in-game tutorial fails to fully explain some mechanics, such as unique abilities, before throwing players into the single-player campaign. Some information comes from an in-game codex which gives a humorous description of each unit as it lists its abilities and statistics.

The humour remains off-beat and tongue-in-cheek, keeping the single-player campaign entertaining and engaging throughout. Players can choose from various factions, but there is little difference in how the factions play.

In multiplayer mode, you compete against other players at your leisure. Players may issue orders to their units while trying to predict where a rival's units will be.

This often ends up in chaos, as units end up fighting in unexpected places and have to adjust tactics on the fly, creating interesting situations.

The multiplayer is asynchronous, which means that players can take their turn in the game before going to bed, then continue the match in the morning.

It is a good system, as players can have multiple matches running against different opponents, and resume them at their own leisure.

One drawback is the required online sign-in. This means you have to be connected to the Internet at all times to play, as the game will not work offline.

By Colin Tan

This article was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on Aug 27, 2014.

Background story

Rating 7/10

  • $3.98, Android, iOS (version tested)
  • Strategy