We’ve just reviewed Airport City, the latest Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 release from international publisher Game Insight. Observant readers will notice a pattern with Game Insight’s mobile Windows releases: three out of their four games are pure city builders. The fourth game Rule the Kingdom is sort of a city builder/RPG hybrid.
Clearly city building is Game Insight’s specialty — these titles are doing very well for them on Windows Phone and Windows 8. But you do need something to differentiate one of these games from the crowd, especially when they all come from the same publisher. As luck would have it, Game Insight’s next title Cloud Raiders adds something really cool to the mix: fantasy-based strategic battles. Read on for exclusive news and impressions!
Eyes in the clouds
To date, Game Insight’s mobile Windows titles include: My Country, Rule the Kingdom, 2020: My Country, and Airport City. The publisher recently announced that its Windows Phone and Windows 8 titles have collectively reached five million players — a fairly large number given Windows Phone’s underdog status on the market.
The big GI should reach even more players when Cloud Raiders arrives on the market. Cloud Raiders takes place in a world of floating islands, not unlike Activision’s Skylanders series. At the outset, players become stranded on one of those islands by evil sky pirates. They’ll then have to build a base in order to keep those pirates at bay and take back some loot in the process.
Establishing a settlement works the same as in other city building games, though the buildings here serve a more military purpose. Your main building is the stronghold; upgrading it will unlock a variety of new items. The town also needs buildings to extract and store two soft currencies: gold and clouds. These two resources are required to create and upgrade news structures as well as produce military units.
In order to defend your base, you’ll need to recruit various types of soldiers and house them in bunkers. They can then be deployed when invading ships reach the island. Enemy forces often come in larger numbers, though. That’s where cannons come in. Place them strategically so they can fire upon the invaders who hack away at your buildings. A large cannon can be aimed at specific targets as well, but it takes time to recharge between shots.
Protecting your base is just part of the fun in Cloud Raiders. Each time the AI attacks, players can choose to take revenge on the enemy’s base. You’ll send up to 20 soldiers on these raids, receiving gold, clouds, and experience if they win the battle. Players can even attack each other’s bases, for which the victor will gain an additional currency called Valor.
Cloud Raiders is already available on Android, where it supports cloud saves via Facebook integration. As we mentioned in our Airport City review, Game Insight’s mobile Windows titles haven’t supported cloud saving so far. But the publisher is actively working on bringing the feature to its existing Windows Phone and Windows 8 titles.
In fact, the Windows Phone version of Cloud Raiders will launch with the same cloud save support via Facebook as its Android brother. No more worrying about save data loss; just play with an online connection and you’ll be golden. In fact, save data and multiplayer features will even be cross-platform compatible with the Android version!
Game Insight also plans to bring Cloud Raiders to Windows 8 and RT, but the tablet version will arrive after the phone game. The developer is currently revamping the game’s graphics to take advantage of the higher resolution displays of PCs and tablets. (The current Android version’s art is slightly low resolution, much like Airport City.) The Windows 8 and RT versions will share cloud save data with Windows Phone and Android as well, so the wait will definitely be worth it.
We don’t have an estimated release date for Cloud Raiders yet, but the game is going into beta soon. Keep checking back at Windows Phone Central for more Cloud Raider news as well as first word on the other title Game Insight has in the works... We’ll share those details as soon as we can!