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  • Writer's pictureRoberto Nieves

Review: Kaiju Wars

Developer: Foolish Mortals Games

Publisher: Klabater

Platforms: Steam, Nintendo Switch

There are few things people can agree on, so it can be agreed that everyone loves giant monsters. Their size, shape, and abilities seem impossible to the law of nature. There is a fascinating degree of destruction that viewers bear witness to as humans mount a seemingly futile defense. Everyone has undoubtedly seen a Kaiju film before, from Pacific Rim to Shin Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Kong. Some of us older folk probably have a guilty pleasure of the not-so-good Godzilla with Matthew Broderick. Kaiju Wars from Klabater successfully recreates that excellent thrill of man versus giant beast in game form.

Kaiju Wars is a tactical turn-based game. As The Mayor of The Earth, players get into no-holds-barred battles with the planet’s largest foes. Science, tanks, and mech combine for an extraordinary action-packed strategy experience the likes of which are unlike anything else other there.

This is What I Was Elected For

Congratulations! You have been elected The Mayor in a tight race, now in charge of the most advanced city on the planet. Trembling beneath the World’s oceans, deep within the Earth are Kaiju. A giant primate tears up the entire landscape. A Wolf-like creature emerges from the depths. A Fiery Bird emerges from the volcano like a demon straight from the bowels of Hell itself. Using a combination of strategic military tactics, cutting-edge science, and experimental weapons never before seen, players fight to repel and defend these giant terrors of the planet. It’s time to earn those votes.

Kaiju Wars players as a grid-based isometric tactical-turned-based strategy game. Players deploy military forces and experimental weapons onto the battlefield to fight and defeat the invading Kaiju. Each unit has different effects, as well as various offensive and defensive abilities. Kaiju Wars doesn’t just stick to combat, however. Weapons, regardless if they are offensive or defensive, need two things: Money and scientific research. Every turn generates money and science, but as the Kaiju rage on, they can interfere with both and make battles that much harder.

A God Incarnate, a City Doomed

Kaiju Wars takes place in this breathtaking presentation that makes Kaiju Wars unlike anything seen visually before. Kaiju Wars appears as if it is taking place on a Sinclair ZX-Spectrum home computer from the early 80s. That particular console was known for its simple yet vibrant 8-bit games. Kaiju Wars took inspiration and sprinted with it. The game is extremely vibrant, with various oranges, purples, pinks, and blues filling the landscape. This makes it a delight on the eyes.

The Kaiju are represented incredibly well with a dynamic animation that breathes life and substance to the experience. The giant beasts appear as if they were animated by the great Don Bluth himself. It provides a depth and rewarding sensation to the carnage and destruction that appears on the battlefield. These beasts are far from harmless. During combat, the Kaiju mutate and transform, evolving new attacks to route friendly forces.

We Call Him…...Gojira

Players are in a battle for their lives on each level. Kaiju Wars is unafraid to present new battles and challenges to players. As the Kaiju evolve, the need for better tactics and equipment arises. Fighting defensively, such as using counterattacks or tracking enemies with mobile radar. If an enemy cannot be defeated through force, then they can be defeated through science. As every turn passes, one vial of serum is developed. Develop enough, and the Kaiju retreats. However, it isn’t that simple.

Each Kaiju reigns destruction. Buildings are knocked down, and friendly forces are decimated. The money to finance weapons comes from the building on the map. Every building lost is one less dollar towards the funding of the battle. This also applies to the manufacturing of serum. The chief objective for the Kaiju is the main lab with the doctor. If players aren’t able to stop the Kaiju from reaching the lab, the lab will be destroyed, along with the chief researcher. This is an automatic game over. While the doctor and team can be evacuated in turn, they won’t be able to generate serum while in transit.

We’re Monster Hunters Now

There is an enthralling sensation of gameplay with Kaiju Wars. Even as the game can be a challenge from time to time, it feels as if it's the kind of game the creators of Toho Godzilla, and fans of Kaiju films would have loved to play in the 70s. Fighting the enemy with a barrage of tanks, planes, and missile launchers is a blast. Even with the resources, units, and special perks that are unlocked in each level, every level provides a different challenge. Overcoming these challenges is remarkably rewarding.

Some of the best moments of Kaiju Wars come from using experimental weapons. Freeze Guns, Rail Cannons, and even an experimental Transformers-inspired mech can be developed. Using these machines, coupled with other military units, brings feelings of fear and excitement against mammoth monsters. It feels straight out of the movies the game is inspired by and it works! Even smaller touches, such as live-action FMVs of news broadcasts reporting on the Kaiju demonstrate how much appreciation the developers have for the genre. Kaiju Wars doesn’t take itself too seriously and features characters with humorous forms of dialogue.

Good Luck, Big Fella

Any flaws that Kaiju Wars has is incredibly minor, such as the difficulty. It isn’t a tremendously challenging game, but it is no cakewalk. The multiple difficulty modes allow for the best possible experience for players of all skills. Kaiju Wars is a solidly polished game. The team should be commended for ensuring all threads were tied to the overall experience.

Kaiju Wars reinvigorates life in the Kaiju genre. This is the best Kaiju fighting experience since the Earth Defense Force games. It’s heart for the genre and thrill of Kaiju is as big as the beasts themselves. The combat is tight and rewarding, and every victory feels earned. Using a combination of science, resources, and military keeps the experience fresh.

Kaiju Wars was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch OLED thanks to a key generously supplied to Stack Up by Klabater.

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