Kaiju Wars is a hyper-stylized 2.5D strategy game developed by Foolish Mortals Games and published by Klabater. The game places players in a futuristic city drenched in neon and struggling to fend off frequent Kaiju attacks. As the city’s newest leader, players have to engage with the massive monsters in turn-based missions by controlling the city’s military, scientific research, and infrastructure.
Kaiju Wars’ most readily apparent aspect is its color-saturated visuals ripped straight off a 1980’s workout VHS tape. The game’s visuals are impossible to ignore, and while I think they may push some players away, they are lovely for anyone who enjoys the style. The color-saturated style comes at the player immediately when they start the campaign, and the game never backs down from its identity, which is excellent.
The campaign is the game’s primary mode, and it takes players all over the world to fend off five different Kaiju, each with different personalities, over almost ten hours’ worth of missions. The campaign really shines through its mission design. Each mission finds new ways to challenge the player, and they can be tackled in either Normal or Hard difficulty.
During the missions, players have to use money each round to build different types of bases, which can then be used to build units like Tanks and Planes. Each unit has a unique role on the battlefield, and players can only have a certain number of them up and running at a time in each mission. Once you start getting your forces assembled, a Kaiju will attack, forcing you to use them in the best way possible to save as many buildings as you can while you fight off the giant creature.
The campaign also does an excellent job of sprinkling in new units and mechanics throughout the campaign to keep players on their toes. Eventually, players will have access to researchable units that are more time-exhaustive to produce but have more powerful abilities like mechs or a freeze ray. There is also a deck that players gain access to and can grow over time that allows them to play powerful effects that can radically change the momentum of a level if used correctly.
Overall, Kaiju Wars does a commendable job of keeping things fresh throughout its campaign, and there is enough difficulty to challenge any strategy fan out there. For the truly dedicated, each level also has an online leaderboard that displays how many buildings players manage to protect.
The weakest aspect of the campaign is definitely its writing. While it is far from the focus of Kaiju Wars, it attempts a cheeky rendition of old action films, complete with hammy dialogue and jokes sprinkled throughout. However, the dialogue has the unfortunate habit of going on for far too long at the beginning and ends of missions without justifying its time. As a result, I expect that most players will sit through the first mission or two worth of conversation before rapidly clicking through any dialogue bubbles for the rest of the game.
However, once finished with the campaign, the fun doesn’t have to stop. Kaiju Wars also has two other modes that can help bring many more hours of fun to the game. The first is a versus mode with one player controlling the human forces and the other the Kaiju. This mode is only playable either locally or through Steam Remote Play, but it is a fun way to challenge yourself and bring a friend along. In addition, playing as the Kaiju is an especially interesting way to see the game from a new perspective after finishing up the campaign.
The second mode is a custom mission builder that allows you to make your own maps and share them with other players. Modes like these can be massive for keeping a game’s community engaged long after its initial release, so I’m pleased to see one included in Kaiju Wars. The map creator itself is easy to use, and it will be great to see what the game’s community will be able to do with it in time.
Overall, Kaiju Wars is a very fun spin on the turn-based strategy genre that brings a lot of style along with it. Thankfully, its gameplay manages to stand up to its striking visuals, and the few weaker points of its design do very little to detract from the overall experience. Kaiju Wars also packs a ton of content into its modest price point, making the game an absolute must-buy for anybody looking to blast a giant lizard with a row of tanks.
Kaiju Wars releases on April 28 for PC with a port to PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One planned for later this year.
- Rating - 8/108/10
Kaiju Wars is a very fun spin on the turn-based strategy genre that brings a lot of style along with it. Its gameplay stands up to its striking visuals, and the few weaker points of its design do very little to detract from the overall experience.