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Desert Ashes is a top-down turn-based strategy game similar to the Famicom Wars series. It is set in the same universe as Eternity's Child and it is very similar to the earlier titles Mecho Wars and the remake Mecho Wars HD by the same development team and many characters from those games return. Just like in Mecho Wars two factions known as Winged Crusade and Landians fight over land and resources. The single-player campaign is split up in three episodes with multiple levels each, in-game story sequences with events and conversations between characters.

The turn-based battles combine fights with resource management. Different types of buildings such as factories and cities can be captured by infantry. Once captured, they generate an amount of gold per turn that can be used at those locations to train new units. They are divided into four types: infantry, heavy, air and water with multiple units per type. They each have a cost and different statistics based on movement, attack range, an offensive bonus against certain types and a weakness against certain types. Slower and heavy units can often attack from a distance and take a lot of damage, but movement is slow and they are weak against certain types. During a turn the player can move units, train new ones, capture buildings and attack. For movement a green grid shows the available options.

There terrain also influences the gameplay. A road and a bridge lower the defenses, but improves movement, while a mountain extends the attack range. There are flying units that can travel anywhere and water units that can cross large gaps and attack from a distance. Cacti are used to replenish health. The game uses a day-and-night system with an hour per turn. At night, water freezes and units have the ability to travel over the ice. In the story campaign there are different win conditions, but usually opponents need to be defeated and buildings need to be captured. Once captured they change colour, but the opponent can also retake them. Buildings can only be captured by fast, but weak infantry units. Battles are shown in a separate screen with a side view and are executed automatically. The attack is shown as well as the damage done to the opposition, with two large health bars near the top. Before attacking a percentage of success is shown at the targeted unit. A single unit almost always represents a larger group and some creatures have the ability to retaliate right away.

In the skirmish game mode custom battles in all levels are available. They are played as games of Conquest (capture all H.Q. structures) or Annihilation (defeat all enemies). Online multiplayer is supported with an additional game type, Assassination, where a specific, marked creature needs to be defeated to win the game. For multiplayer games a turn time can be defined as 5 or 20 minutes, or 8 or 24 hours. Multiple games can be played at the same time, in both single-player and multiplayer and these can be accessed right away from a menu by clicking a snapshot of the area. The game also includes unlockable perks to customize the armies.


Desert Ashes Windows The dragons attack.
Desert Ashes Windows Select one of the three available episodes for the single-player campaign.
Desert Ashes Windows A complex game with many creatures at once. The greyed out ones have already completed actions.
Desert Ashes Windows Most of the towns are here under my command.

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Desert Ashes Screenshot
Desert Ashes Screenshot
Desert Ashes Screenshot
Desert Ashes Screenshot

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Contributed to by Sciere (631243)