RAD Soldiers is very much an iOS game with the production value you’d expect in a console title. Coming soon to iOS devices for free, and already freely available in the Canadian App Store (which means NO U.S. YET) now as an open beta.

Warchest Games is a brand-new publisher of downloadable games, formed by Splash Damage, the award-winning developers of BRINK and the Enemy Territory games. With their first game, RAD Soldiers, they’ve created an outstanding turn-based, multi-class, tactical action game that looks and feels like it’s meant for greatness.

Give the angry birds a break, go get RAD Soldiers.

Assemble your squad of cartoon soldiers and lead them through turn-based battles against friends or in single player challenges. It’s a king-of-the-hill style tactical game where you succeed by holding a position around an objective, or manage to eliminate the enemy team.

Your team may include grunts with varying weaponry, tactical explosives and rocket launchers, medics to mitigate damage, sneaky snipers with their long-range arsenal, and engineers equipped with land mines, turrets and the like. The make-up of your team is within your control as you can customize load-outs and there are a slew of new characters, weapons and outfits available via in-app purchase.

Gameplay

The focus of the game is notably the asynchronous turn-based multiplayer where you play against friends (via Warchest username, or by inviting Facebook friends), or you line up against strangers through matchmaking. The matchmaking does its part to ensure you do battle with similarly skilled opponents, making for a generally smooth experience. The turn-based gameplay makes it easy to keep a number of games active at a time, and it makes for great gaming on-the-go as you drop in to your various open games, make your moves, and go about your business.

From my experience, finding random opponents is a bit hit and miss depending on the time of day, which is understood given the user base hasn’t hit critical mass yet. But there’s a ton of potential fun to be had outsmarting, out-shooting, and outlasting friends and strangers alike.

But wait, there’s more…

On top of the multiplayer experience, the game is packed with a number of single player missions that range in difficulty from tutorial to pretty tough. They’ve also added a 3-star style mechanic to the single player missions, where there’s the added challenge of trying to complete the missions with greater than 50 percent of your team’s health, or without losing a single squad member. Given the reasonable volume of missions in the current version, there’s enough replayability to make the single player content worth a buck or two on its own.

Impressions

Whether you’re playing solo or with friends, this game looks incredible. The menus, levels, and cartoon characters are all oozing with fun and personality, and all look very sharp in gloriously animated 3D graphics. The gameplay is fun and has the potential to be challenging, and can keep you coming back for more.

All told, it’s great to see a console developer like Splash Damage trying their hand at a mobile title like this, as you can see a lot of the care and attention to detail expected of a console title making its way to this app. Hell, with a few more single player missions and more of a narrative tying it all together, this could be a console title. Even as-is, it could go up on Xbox Live for a bucket of Microsoft Points and I wouldn’t blink an eye. And here we have it, exclusive to iOS in all its freemium glory.

I, for one, will find something in-game to drop a few dollars on, out of guilt for sinking so much enjoyable time into this freebie.

Again, it’s currently only available on the Canadian App Store, but it will eventually be available in the U.S. and other countries. Get it online.

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