Sega’s Samurai Bloodshow: Les Vagues Blanches, Les Nuages Rouges provides players with a double service. First, it’s an excellent iOS game that combines strategy, tower defense, and a pinch of card collecting. Second, it offers the opportunity to dazzle people with your French translation skills. The title means: “The White Waves, The Red Clouds.” Go forth and impress a potential mate.
Despite its tiny injection of French, Samurai Bloodshow’s story and aesthetics are thoroughly inspired by the tail end of Japan’s Heian period (794 – 1185 AD), when the Taira and Minamoto clans fought one another for food, land, and power. In the game’s campaign mode, you take on the role of a general, and your responsibilities involve managing and deploying your troops. If the enemy soldiers break through the last lines of defense and reach you, well, let’s just say their swords are very sharp.
The first side-scrolling game with an actual scroll.
Luckily, you have dozens of soldiers to protect you, which are selected and sorted through various cards. When you begin a campaign, you have a small handful of cards that can be “spawned” into warriors by placing them on the battlefield.
Each warrior has strengths and weaknesses– Infantrymen can be moved in any direction, but lack stamina; cavalry members move quickly but in limited directions; spearmen have long reach; archers can snipe from afar, and so on. The key to success in Samurai Bloodshow is to know your troops, and use them according to the nature of the enemy that is sent charging at you in waves. You also need to place your troops according to the battlefield’s terrain, which can hinder you, but also be used to your advantage.
Samurai Bloodshow is a pretty firm nod in Plants vs. Zombies’ direction, and your enemies even charge you on a row-by-row basis. What sets Samurai Bloodshow apart, aside from its unique ink-and-scroll graphics and music that takes inspiration from the dawn of feudal Japan, is strategy.
Send in Archer, codenamed “Duchess.”
You are only allowed to bring a certain number of cards into each battle, meaning you must manage your resources very carefully or you’ve had it. Each card of the same type can spawn a new warrior, or it can be added to a warrior who’s already on the field to level him up and restore his hit points. You might think you’re being clever if you build up a wall of level 5 infantrymen to stop the enemy from breaking the front lines, but you won’t be smiling when the tenth enemy wave throws six healthy warriors against your weakened defenses.
The idea is to shuffle your warriors around the battlefield, which can be very tricky, as moving from one spot to another takes time. Samurai Bloodshow will thrill guys and gals who like high-stress micromanagement games. Victory is hard to achieve (and each campaign level can be beaten on higher difficulty settings that offer rich rewards), but when you grab it, it’s sweet.
Samurai Bloodshow also boasts an excellent online campaign, which lets you and your friends determine the superior family once and for all. You can also buy your way to success by purchasing decks of cards from the game’s online store, but if that puts you off, don’t worry: Most of the cards that you buy can be won-in game.
Samurai Bloodshow is a Must Have if you enjoy strategy and defense games. Just be prepared for a challenge. It’s all fun and games ’til the Minamoto clan snicks off your head.