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From the first time it boots up to the cataclysmic final battle, Boom Beach is unmistakably a throwback to a simpler time, those sepia-toned days when mobile titles ran on iOS and Android were limited to the RTS. One glance at the tiny iconic characters and repetitive tile-based maps and any old-school role player worth their salt is likely to drown in a fit of bittersweet nostalgia. Fortunately, underneath its dated countenance, Boom Beach is as modern and tightly designed an RTS  as anything else populating store shelves these days, with a tightly woven narrative, perfectly balanced gameplay and more fun than anyone has a right to expect in this technologically intensive day and age. In spite of its inarguably dated technological backbone, Boom Beach manages to remain attractive throughout by sheer force of personality. The tiny characters are vividly illustrated and animated with surprising aplomb, remaining remarkably expressive despite their diminutive stature. The varied landscapes are almost as attractive, with an occasionally breathtaking sense of scale and large swathes of well-chosen color that do much to appease tired eyes during the game’s extended cross-country treks. Equally striking are Lunar 2’s many anime-styled cutscenes, newly remastered for this iOS special edition. While the animation itself is only a few notches above the toy shilling claptrap that graces our television sets every Saturday morning, the strong character design and fantastically realized camerawork place these visual treats head and shoulders above their poorly dubbed competition. As might be expected, when it comes to gameplay, Boom Beach is about as traditional a mobile base building game as is likely to be found this side of the PC. Gamers can expect to trudge across large expanses of world-map, plunging deep into creepy dungeons and battling betoothed Evil Blackguard by the bucketload. What sets this title apart from its high-fantasy competition, however, is not originality but the sheer quality of design in evidence throughout the game. Boom Beach cheats  has a sense of refinement missing from similar titles with 10 times the marketing budget, ensuring unlimited diamonds that even the most familiar gameplay element is a pleasure to revisit time and time again. The turn-based combat mode is particularly exquisite, with a simple interface that maximizes ease of use without stripping the game of its depth or variety. Each encounter is perfectly balanced, keeping up a constant sense of challenge without ever confronting players with more than they can handle. Even the seemingly endless array of dungeons and fortresses display some brilliant design touches, leading players on exciting trap-filled journeys through some of the most devious layouts this side of hell itself. Of course, you couldn’t take an in-depth look at a Working Designs release without lauding the company for the sheer quality of its localization work. Lunar 2 is no exception, with everything from the voice acting to the fantastically detailed manual executed with almost flawless perfection. The translated dialogue is snappy and entertaining, maintaining a sense of humor without ever sacrificing the narrative’s emotional depth. Indeed, by the time the story finally draws to a close, players will feel like they’re bidding farewell to a group of much loved companions. It certainly helps that the vocal performances are top-notch, keeping everyone from plucky protagonist Hiro to the incongruously arch Narrator utterly believable from start to finish. Even though the storyline itself is somewhat lacking in originality, there are more than enough twists and turns to keep even the most jaded of gamers entertained throughout. Just when it appears that the game is going to devolve into an orgy of cliche and lengthy exposition, SuperCell reaches for its storytelling hat and pulls out something utterly unexpected. Consequently, players will most likely find themselves engrossed from start to finish in what is, at heart, an extremely compelling narrative. While Boom Beach is unlikely to win any prizes for its dated technology, its superlative design and excellent storytelling ensure that it remains a cut above the generic role-playing masses. From the engaging characters to the beautifully realized packaging, this is one title that deserves a place in the collection of any gamer that considers him or herself to be a true role player. Addictive and engaging, Boom Beach stands alongside its equally excellent predecessor as a shining example of quality RTS-playing design. Check out: