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Siege‘s premise is simple; an army of lurching zombies are attacking your medieval castle and if you don’t stop them, you’ll be eaten alive. Your job as castle commander is to avoid being torn limb from limb for as long as possible, with every day of the siege cast as a separate level, each being a little harder than the last. Don’t expect complex gameplay mechanics or fancy special effects here; this delivers quick thrills and little else.

Your castle sits on the right hand side of the screen, with your opponents rising from the earth and lurching across the landscape from the left. A small red arrow transverses the battlefield at the bottom of the screen, acting as your aiming mark, controlled by your phone’s control pad. This arrow alters its speed when you reverse its direction, with its speed decreasing the longer you leave it to run its course. Apart from that though, it’s simply a case of lining up an unfortunate zombie and then hitting the fire button, sending an arrow flying into their skull.

Once each day has passed, you’re given the option to repair your castle, hire new soldiers or upgrade your weapons in order to resist the oncoming swarm of undead. Power-ups like exploding arrows and new troops like knights and sappers can all be bought with gold captured from the seemingly wealthy zombies that you slaughter during the day.

This cycle of death and destruction continues, with each turn bringing an ever growing number of undead foe in various forms. As the game progresses, the zombie army becomes more and more formidable, only countered by your ever-reinforced defenses. Each day the action gets more frantic as you approach the ultimate goal of surviving the full 100 day battle, which is by no means an easy task.

Visually, Siege is very strong, much like the other games 5th Cell have developed. Being a mobile title, the resolution will depend on the handset that you have, but on our test N-Gage the game looks very crisp and runs as smoothly as you’d expect. Siege‘s characters are cute, well drawn and animated, while the backgrounds also feature a good amount of detail. Each day also sees the passage of the sun across the sky, altering the colour palette of the scene and acting as a subtle timer for the player.

Siege is a ultimately a simplistic arcade game with some sharp visuals, but as a mobile game, this is exactly what people are looking for. The story spans over 100 days, but as it automatically saves your progress for you, you can pick up and play the game as you wish. Those used to more complex titles may frown upon it, but when it comes to accessible action and value for money, Siege can’t be beaten.

8 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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