Is Warpips Worth Playing?
Warpips released into Early Access on 29 April 2021 and promises to bring a casual easy-to-play-hard-to-master experience to your fingertips. In this review, we will look at experience of playing Warpips and whether we felt it was worth our time playing this new offering by developer Skirmish Mode Games and published by Daedalic Entertainment.
What is Warpips?
Warpips is essentially a tug-of-war game where you send waves of soldiers to attack the enemy base and in return the enemy does the same to you. The game builds a few interesting systems around this core gameplay loop to keep each new level challenging. One of these systems is the way you deploy and use your soldiers and equipment.
You have a variety of troops to choose from but they are limited across a campaign. Before each mission, you have to equip the units and equipment you want to use. You have access to only these units once you deploy, so this is already the first tactical step in your battle. Once the fighting starts, you have a few options to choose from. You can build a unit, resulting in that unit being spawned and it automatically soldiers forth to destroy the enemy (pro tip: try grouping a few spawns to have some numbers when attacking, lone soldiers gets picked off quickly). You can also choose to upgrade your units, and as they increase in rank, they become stronger and more effective. To do this, you use experience points gained while levelling. You need to fight to gain experience, so finding a good balance is part of the winning strategy. You can also spend experience points to get a sizeable chunk of cash to buy more units for your war effort. And finally, you can use experience points to buy more units slots, which enables you to have more troops on the field at any given time.
As is clear, the game is not very complex and is very easy to get into, but be warned some of the later levels are really difficult and you can’t zerg your way to victory.
Is Warpips worth playing?
In short, yes it is. My first session of the game was over two hours, and it went by in a flash. It surprised me how fun Warpips is to play and how it drew me in. Don’t expect an epic tale told over 100s of hours, Warpips is a casual game that will give you a few hours of fun in a stress-free environment.
For a longer response to the question “is Warpips worth playing?” I will look at a few standout elements of the game.
Graphics and physics
Tug-of-war and wave-based games are not nearly as involved as first-person shooters or RPGs, therefore you will spend a good amount of time staring at your screen and observing your little pips do their thing.
Warpips has a charming graphic style that is easy on the eyes and relaxing to look at. If I had to choose a word to sum it up, I would simply say it is fun. On top of this layer of fun Warpips has some very satisfying-to-observe physics. Things will explode and fly all over the place and whether it’s your own units or enemy units, it remains pretty cool to look at.
The units, vehicles, and other machines of war all have a distinct look and feel, and it is easy to fall in love with certain units simply based on their vibe when they take the battlefield. Warpips also has some gratuitous gore, so you can see your units fail in glorious fashion.
Mechanics and challenge
As I mentioned earlier, tug-of-war games can sometimes be too easy. After the initial challenge has passed, these games can become monotonous and therefore boring. I played Warpips for 8 hours or so, and I can honestly say that it did not bore me at any point during my playtime. Because of the mechanics in Warpips, the game remains challenging.
Mechanics that employ scarcity maintain and regulate the difficulty curve. Throughout a campaign there is a limited number of each unit type available. This means that you cannot use your favourite units in every mission, as it is unlikely that you will get enough of them for each mission.
At the start of each mission, you can choose which units, vehicles, and equipment to deploy, and once you launch they are consumed. If you skimp on units for a mission, you can quickly find yourself on the losing side as you can’t beat back the enemy. I am stating this from my own experience, if you are under-prepared you will lose some missions.
If you take too many units on a mission, you may end up with a shortage toward the end of the campaign. Therefore Warpips expertly introduces complexity to an otherwise simple core game.
The system is not without its frustrations. There were a few times where I was truly frustrated because I simply didn’t have the units needed to beat a mission. Another point of frustration (or learning, depending on your perspective) is choosing units and equipment to counter the enemy units you will encounter on each mission. On your first campaign, there is no real way to know what enemy troops do and how to counter them. Therefore, you will have to learn this as you play. While not inherently a bad thing, it is not that fun to lose a 2 hour campaign run because you simply didn’t know the enemy.
With that said, I would say that Warpips is worth playing as these mechanics provide a tug-of-war experience that can actually entertain you for more than 1 or 2 hours.
How long is Warpips?
If you are wondering what the bang for your buck will be in terms of time you can spend with the game, we have some answers. Depending on the pace at which you play, a single playthrough of a campaign can take anywhere between 2-4 hours. These are replayable and worth replaying. As Warpips is still in Early Access on Steam, there will be more additions, but at the time of writing you can easily spend 10 or more hours with Warpips if you like the genre. You can check out the Early Access roadmap below to see some of the planned updates to the game.
Warpips is definitely worth playing. Whether you are looking for a casual gaming experience or maybe you are a fan of tug-of-war games, Warpips is an entertaining game that is easy enough to get into in just a few seconds and complex enough to keep you playing for more than just a few hours.