★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.
App description: "NarcoGuerra is Risk applied to the war on drugs; its hard, its political, its really quite good." PCGamesN
"...a unique and surprising handheld strategy experience." Penny Arcade Report
"This is a good quality game that delicately handles a difficult topic and does so without proselytizing." Today In Gaming
"...NarcoGuerra is a revelation..." GGSGamer
App of the Week - bullz-eye.com
A Best iPhone/iPad App of the Week - The Guardian

Can you End the Never-Ending War? Challenging, tactical, engaging and above all, drawn from reality, this is strategy gaming at is most intelligent. NarcoGuerra puts you in the frontline of one of the most dangerous conflicts ever. From the acclaimed creators of Endgame:Syria, described as "...oozes quite some quality and is actually fun to play... with this unique gamification approach, it will make more people aware of what is happening today..." (GamesWarp.com), this game challenges you to fight in the War on Drugs.

The game features three game-modes; Story, Skirmish and Local Multiplayer. Take operational control of the police as you attempt to stem the ever-growing tide of conflict and trafficking, or try taking control of a cartel in multiplayer, quelling all opposing forces. Can you succeed where others have failed to push back the Narcos and cartels for over 40 years? Find out in NarcoGuerra...
05-23-2013, 02:28 PM
can anyone post like this, new iOS game, screenshots, purchase link? or does the poster have to be a dev or forum moderator? begs the question though ojtitus, since you went to the trouble to post this, one would think you've at least tried it and liked it, right? why don't you post your thoughts on the game?
05-23-2013, 02:37 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 5,712
Originally Posted by Mack the Knife View Post
can anyone post like this, new iOS game, screenshots, purchase link? or does the poster have to be a dev or forum moderator? begs the question though ojtitus, since you went to the trouble to post this, one would think you've at least tried it and liked it, right? why don't you post your thoughts on the game?
Anyone can post these. Check out the FAQ if you're interested in trying it yourself.

Tug Boat Minister of Propaganda
Proud member of T.A.A.P. - Touch Arcaders Against Piracy. Over 500 members and counting. Join now!
05-23-2013, 08:34 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Canton, Ohio
Posts: 3,230
Honestly I haven't played the game but I do think it looks interesting. I just figured it could use a thread for others who might be interested. At this point I'm waiting for Warhammer Quest next week since I know that is going to eat a lot of my time.
06-07-2013, 01:20 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle
Posts: 617
Send a message via ICQ to putermcgee
After seeing this game on PocketTactics, I grabbed it, thinking it looked simple enough and not too involved as to require a lot of time. I think the best way to describe NarcoGuerra to people who don't play TBSs (turn-based strategy games) is to say it's like Risk, but only in Mexico, and your enemy is the drug cartel.

The first thing I noticed after playing for a while, then having to go to work, was that if iOS pushes out the game's cache -- which can just happen any time the game's not in the foreground -- you'll lose your progress. Three different times in one day, I played 15-40 minutes into a game, only to get caught up with something else. You react to a push notification, answer a phone call, use your free spin in Tetris Blitz, and there goes your game. Not only is that a seemingly obvious oversight on mobile, but shouldn't a turn-based game be saving after each turn anyway?

NarcoGuerra pits you, the police, against the drug cartels who control random regions throughout Mexico. You have a certain number of units to start with, and you use them to attack groups of drug traffickers in affected areas. Each attack comes down to a typical dice roll, and the more officers you have, the better your chances are to out-roll you opponent. While it could very well be honest dice rolling, the game had me convinced that certain areas were getting a little too lucky with their rolls. It can be frustrating to see your guys go down two-by-two against a tiny gang of drug dealers. I'm looking at you, Oaxaca.

As with the real war on drugs, the more you fight it, the worse it becomes. The in-game president of Mexico shouts about criminalizing addicts and spreads all sorts of righteous nonsense that parallels real life. Warring cartels fight the police as well as amongst each other. And after each round, your task is to keep corruption down in the police force, and hire more officers with your limited budget.

What lawmakers usually turn a blind eye to is that when drug trafficking is attacked with brute force, and drug users are treated as criminals, it drives the trade underground and pushes the prices up. Cartels become more violent in their struggle to control territories, and since supply is limited, they're making more and more money off their product. The game reflects this by showing the current narcotics street price, and it fluctuates depending on your actions in each turn. They even warn you that if the price gets too high, new cartels could form, which can be quite a headache when your hands are already full.

Very often, there's some kind of event where you or the cartel will receive a bonus or penalty. You sometimes get a mission to defend or take a region, and hold it for the round, and you can even give financial support to election candidates. Other missions involve hiring a certain number of officers, providing protection on a political tour, or going on a good old fashion manhunt.

While I'm glad this is a universal app, and I even played it to completion on my iPhone 4S, it's definitely better suited on an iPad. There's a lot of tiny text in the tutorial, and each turn ends with a dialog box, explaining how well you're doing. After you know how to play, and you're not having to read every little bit that comes on screen, it's a lot easier to manage on your small phone screen. The map is clearly laid out, and everything fits on the one screen, so you don't need to scroll around to make sure you've got all your bases covered. And while there are different cartels throughout the country, they often get whittled down to just one, so the map becomes much less colorful. Bordering countries are presented in grayscale, so the regions you're trying to control are easy to focus on.

Like other games from Game the News.net, NarcoGuerra crosses a bit into edutainment territory. Whether it's with small blurbs about regional conditions, or links to websites on drug policy reform, the developer is clearly trying to raise awareness to those who might not be personally affected by drug trafficking. To spice things up a bit, some regions have attack or defense bonuses, or even a higher risk of corruption within your ranks. These modifications often seem to be based on real world data.

If you can find the time to sit down and play through an entire war, you can unlock a skirmish mode where the street value of the drugs is not present. Even on the easiest setting, I felt like I was getting destroyed every time I played. I was we'll into my first win before I felt even remotely confident, and by the end, it was just a cleanup job in the remaining regions.

Local multiplayer is handled well, with up to five players taking the role of different cartel factions. You can mix and match opponents with some being human, and others being AI-controlled at any level of difficulty you wish. The police, in this mode, are always AI-controlled. The rub in multiplayer mode is that if anyone wins, it's really a loss because it just means Mexico has become a narcostate. In the match I won, I came out a little bummed, to be honest.

I'm almost convinced that fighting the war on drugs with extreme prejudice is a sure fire way to lose in this game. Only by playing cautiously, and driving down the cost of narcotics, can you win in the end. The developer's agenda is nearly transparent in this game, so if you can see the proverbial matrix, you'll be able to squeeze out a win by playing smart.

If Game the New.net pushes out an update that enables turn-by-turn saving, it's going to make it a lot more accessible to busier people. I doubt they have it planned, but it would also be nice to see asynchronous multiplayer listed along with the current local-only mode. Overall, these could be written off as minor nitpicks about an otherwise entertaining experience. I'm not a hardcore TBS player, so people who eat this genre for breakfast might have a different take. But for anyone who's played Risk, or anyone interested in learning more about the drug trade in Mexico, this isn't a bad place to get started.