ROME: Total War – Alexander for iPad Game Review

The Rome Total War series continues to make a big splash in the iPad gaming arena with yet another Total War release, ROME: Total War - Alexander ($4.99) only a few months after the previous expansion release on the platform. Read on to find out if this latest addition is worthy of your mobile gaming time and budget.

Related: Review: Terra Mystica for iOS Board Game Conversion

In this Rome Total War experience, gamers take on the role of Alexander the Great by commanding battles and expanding his empire through conquests and resource management, ultimately achieving the throne of the Macedonian empire. Like previous Total War releases on the iPad, players can experience a full-blown campaign, individual historic battles, and quick battles to refine their battlefield troop-management skills.

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Alexander Map

Feral Interactive, the developer of the Total War series, has made an interesting decision with what normally would qualify as additional downloadable content (DLC) for the base Rome Total War game. Rather than selling the DLC as an add-on to the original (as was done with the PC version), Alexander (just like the previously released Rome Total War Barbarians) is a stand-alone title. This is a smart choice as it gives iPad gamers the option to choose time periods and battles that best appeal to them rather than having to invest in content they are not interested in.

Alexander Overview

If the iPad were just a monitor, I would swear that the game was running on a mid-level PC. The audiovisuals are superb, as is the optimized screen layout. It's a remarkable technical achievement that cannot be overstated. The degree of polish and quality in this conversion raises the expectation bar for any other iOS title, regardless of whether or not it is based on a PC port.

Like the previous Rome Total War titles converted to run on the iPad, the touch screen controls are somewhat intuitive but can get busy at times with all the pinching, zooming, and rotating necessary to issue orders and command and observe your armies in action. Now that I have been playing the prior Total War conversions on iPad for some time, the controls are becoming more fluid (though honestly I still would prefer using a mouse if such an option existed on iOS).

Alexander Battle

Final Verdict

I am highly impressed with both the quality of the port and it goes without saying that the game itself is superb. While I did encounter one crash during my playtime, I suspect these 1.0 release issues will be aggregated and fixed as more diverse iPad models and user scenarios stress the game.  Even so, Feral Interactive is to be commended not only for bringing its excellent Rome Total War series to the iPad, but also for investing an obvious amount of care and respect for the iPad audience.  I cannot wait for more Total War games to make it to iOS (I would like to play Empire Total War on my iPad someday).  Keep 'em coming!

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Author Details

Mike Riley's picture

Author Details

Mike Riley

Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.