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Drone Tactics review

Monster bugs with guns and rockets wage war - and it is good


  • Giant robot bugs with guns
  • Slick 3D attack scenes
  • Good range of customization


  • Early going is slow
  • Repeat battles are required
  • No map editor or online mode

Worker insects are known as drones. That explains how Drone Tactics got its name. But it doesn't explain why publisher Atlus chose such a lifeless title for a turn-based battler that 1) lets you wage war with a squad of giant robotic insects, and 2) lets you customize your fighting bug-bots with spikes, machine guns, and nearly a hundred other wonderfully destructive weapons.

The school age heroes, "let's be friends" story, and insect-like robots are clearly meant to endear the game to a younger audience and to escape the ire of nervous parents that thought Advance Wars or Custom Robo were too violent. That's fine, because beneath the cute veneer you'll discover that these bugs kick some serious tail.

Moving your stag beetle into some trees or rocks will bolster its defense. When an enemy cockroach launches cannonfire toward your beetle, the protection afforded by the terrain, along with the "defend" command, will probably cause the rounds to bounce away harmlessly. Then, you can unload on the roach with a long range beam weapon, courtesy of the high-tech bumblebee you strategically placed behind the beetle.

And, while you have to watch two-dimensional bugs skitter around the map on the system's lower screen, all of their mighty attacks play out in glorious 3D on the upper screen. You'll watch a massive rhinoceros beetle slam head first into a giant spider, knocking the spider on its back. You'll see a butterfly unload missiles toward an armor-plated pillbug, which will then tuck itself inside its armor to lessen the impact.

The basics work like every other turn-based strategy game. You move your units, you select the attack command to target individual enemy units, and you end your turn when you're done. Then, your opponent gets to do the same. So it goes until someone's base - a giant snail - is destroyed.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionThis turn-based strategy RPG pits your mecha insecta against the Black Swarm in an all-out six-legged war. Where's the mecha Raid when you need it?
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Release date13 May 2008 (US), (UK)