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It’s kinda silly that strategy games on smartphones and tablets are, well, so static. Your forces swarm on enemy bases, but they really don’t go anywhere. They don’t really showcase “mobile.”

Path or War for iOS and Android is changing this. The first release from Envision Entertainment, a team of 25 formerly known as EA Phenomic, is just the latest of hundreds of free-to-play strategy efforts challenging the top-ranking Game of War and Clash of Clans in the $30 billion mobile gaming market. But this game from the folks who made Lord of Ultima and Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances isn’t about building a static base and waiting for foes to attack it — it’s about moving across a near-future continental United States, fighting a corrupt government and other rebels as you move to D.C. in a near-future dystopia.

And your base moves with you, too.

“Once players appreciate they can move their bases, strategy extends beyond paper-rock-scissors combat balance and gains a logistic quality that captures the feeling of raising a rebellion across the country,” said Lawrence Koh, the general manager of Nexon M (Envision’s publisher and Nexon’s mobile division), over email. “You start to invest in locales, dispute over real-world borders, and position yourself carefully between friends and enemies. Among players, diplomacy, partnership, risk, and betrayal all demand careful consideration. Logistic decisions become critical, and that’s exactly the dimension of war we are able to highlight with base movement mechanics.”

You can create alliances, too, as you cross this bleak future version of the United States. The map is at a 1-to-1 scale, so the ground you’re covering is not only huge but provides different terrain and plenty of room for players. And you can fight in familiar places, too. I imagine picking a battle where my half-brother lives just outside of Reno, Nevada, as I move from the San Francisco Bay area to Washington, D.C. (I hope I don’t shell his house by accident, though.)

“With a map so large, any major metropolitan area and even your own home town becomes a theater of battle,” Koh said. “The scope of the map means forging alliances isn’t an afterthought but integral to gameplay. Teaming up with friends is made even more fun when controlling enormous swaths of the country, earning valuable power-ups, and rampaging quickly across open land. Path of War is truly massive.”

Koh said that the monetization focuses on “convenience” and not “pay-to-win mechanics.” You pay to accelerate timers to “accomplish more in the same amount of time.” But some might argue that speeding up building times is actually a pay-to-win mechanic when going against those who don’t pay.

The biggest question I see, though, is why even bother launching in not just a saturated market but also one dominated by Game of War and Clash of Clans, apps with millions of players and millions to spend on player acquisition and advertising on television.

Koh said that Path of War’s innovations should help it stand out and build upon the success older games have had on mobile.

“Nexon and Envision Entertainment joined forces on Path of War because we share the common vision of providing avid gamers with triple-A mobile games they can’t put down. The success of these other impressive titles demonstrates that players have come to expect unique, high-caliber strategy games that they can engage on the go and on the couch,” he said. “Path of War is a deeply engrossing and ambitious strategy game that delivers what no competitor has: a playable United States map that’s up for grabs.”

To celebrate its launch — it debuted January 28 — Nexon has a group of game livestreamers showing off Path of War today and raising money for Stack-Up, a military game charity that benefits veterans. The streamers are giving away 500 diamonds — Path of War’s premium currency — as they play on Kamcord and Twitch.

Here’s the schedule:


Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time (PST) February 4-February 7
Thursday 2/4/2016 Streamer Name Channel Link
1 p.m.-3 p.m. Repzilla
4 p.m.-6 p.m. SeasonedSalt
Friday, 2/5/2016 Streamer Name Channel Link
10 a.m.-noon Repzilla
1 p.m.-3 p.m. BeardedJester
4 p.m.-6 p.m. SeasonedSalt
Saturday 2/6/2016 Streamer Name Channel Link
1 p.m.-3 p.m. Apok
4 p.m.-6 p.m. BeardedJester
7 p.m.-9 p.m. superduck3
Sunday, 2/7/2016 Streamer Name Channel Link
12:30 p.m.-
2:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m.-
5:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. superduck3


Time Zone: Pacific Standard Time (PST) February 4-February 7
Thursday, 2/4/2016 Streamer Name Channel Link
1 p.m.-3 p.m. funk2929
Friday, 2/5/2016 Streamer Name Channel Link
1 p.m.-3 p.m. funk2929
8 p.m.-10 p.m. PhallofPhariss
Saturday, 2/6/2016 Streamer Name Channel Link
8 p.m.-10 p.m. Stealthyslyth
8 p.m.-10 p.m. PhallofPhariss
Sunday, 2/7/2016 Streamer Name Channel Link
8 p.m.-10 p.m. Stealthyslyth 


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