Kaiju Wars review – a gigantically clever strategy spoof

Toss Into The Breach and Advance Wars into a nuclear reactor with the contents of an abandoned VHS store and you’ll get Kaiju Wars – a brilliant turn-based strategy game about putting off the inevitable or preferably, taking it on an extended tour of the unpopulated warehouse district, well away from your town centre. The gist: giant movie monsters are attacking a series of violently coloured, isometric tile-based cities. Your job as Mayor is to keep them occupied till your chief scientist, the reassuringly hatchet-faced Dr Wagner, can cobble together a kaiju-repelling serum.

You can’t beat the creatures through force of arms – even if you do successfully chisel away each kaiju’s six health bars, they’ll only retreat to their lairs for a few turns, sometimes emerging with bonus abilities. Rather, you’re here to play a mixture of kaiju-bait and speed bump, misleading and inconveniencing the juggernauts while the boffins get on with the business of saving the world.

There are four types of kaiju in the game: a hairy cousin of Godzilla, an incredibly smug version of King Kong, a flying fire kaiju I call Brodan and a tunnelling snake kaiju who presently rejoices in the name of Sir Tuskawiggle, because I’m not quite sure which movie it’s based on. Each has unique traits – Hairzilla likes fighting at sea, while Smug Kong is, of course, happiest on jungle maps – but they all share one weakness: predictability. The kaiju will always try to take out the nearest building, as indicated by a twitching red eye. Click on the Kaiju to see its path, with percentage odds of the monster moving to each individual square in the event of several possible routes. Once you have a sense of the Kaiju’s route, you can introduce friction, lining up your valiant troops like thumb-tacks to erode its health and perhaps, slow it just enough to buy the target building an extra turn.

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