OverView: Come with a plan or leave in defeat! Welcome to Boom Beach, an epic combat strategy game where your brains and your troop’s brawn fight against the evil Blackguard. Attack bases to free enslaved islanders or create a task force with friends and other players to take on the enemy together, all while exploring and unlocking secrets of this beautiful archipelago. Scout, plan, then BOOM THE BEACH!
Boom Beach is developer Supercell's follow-up to the phenomenally successful Clash of Clans. This lineage is obvious the moment you boot up the app, with the cartoony visuals, resource management, and tower defense-style battles echoing its fantasy-inspired ancestor.
However, rather than dump you in a Nordic netherword, Boom Beach has you establishing a base on a small tropical island. Your army has arrived to battle the evil Blackguard forces that have captured the surrounding islands, and enslaved their native inhabitants.
The game’s base-building mechanic has you developing a range of military and infrastructure upgrades to support your efforts. As with Clash of Clans, you can speed-up production through in-app purchases. The combat and upgrade systems are introduced at quite a clip, with the finer strategic details brushed over. This is easily forgiven, however, as you can move structures at any time, meaning you can adapt and learn as you play.
This flexibility blends well with Boom Beach’s PvP mode. When you're offline, other players can attack your island. While you cannot see battles as they play out, a replay function lets you discover holes in your defences, allowing you to patch them up afterwards. As the matchmaking pairs you with players of a similar rank, battles are extremely rewarding when you win, and educational when you lose.
When you attack other structures, your troops leap from a landing craft onto the beach and move towards the nearest structure, soaking up incoming fire as the go. An offshore gunboat does offer some support, providing flares to guide your troops, medkits to heal them, and even missiles to destroy enemy structures. These tools deliver the moment-to-moment action in battle, letting you engage in the surprisingly thrilling juggling act of firing your gunboat’s weapons, while haphazardly directing your troops past enemy forces and towards priority targets with flares.
Like its smash hit predecessor, Boom Beach is an addictive free-to-play game that allows you to enjoy most of what it has to offer for free, provided you don't mind waiting a little. While your progression will slow if you don't splash out on IAPs, the banding of the PvP and constant Blackguard battles mean that you will never be without things to do while you grind your way up the ranks.