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    Grow Empire: Rome game app for iOS and Android

    Grow Empire Rome is a game for the iPhone and Android phone that combines several different genres. It is most like a tower defence game, but it also has many other elements that combine to create something a bit different to the usual app of this type.

    Most of the time, you are defending your Roman camp from an enemy army that can consist of soldiers, spear throwers, horsemen, and even war elephants and other heavy duty war machines.

    You start with a few soldiers and archers to defend your fort, but the size and capabilities of your army increases as you successfully defend it against attacks. Soldiers of different types become available and they have special attacks and defences.

    Heroes become available and these are powerful and provide the first line of defence. You can also build towers that shoot arrows and ballista that throw rocks.

    A battle is fast and furious. As the enemy approaches, your archers fire automatically. However, they only help a little. You must tap buttons for the towers to fire and you must aim the ballista shots, sometimes at a rapidly moving enemy.

    There are also power-ups that increase damage or focus your archers’ shots. You must keep an eye on the strength of your fort walls and release your foot soldiers at the right point in the battle to maximize their effectiveness.

    It all goes to produce a hectic 30-second battle as you tap on several controls and keep an eye on defences and fort strength. It is great fun, although a little short.

    Gold and gems are earned with each battle and these are used to upgrade your own army and defences. Upgrading gives you more strength on attack, defence and health, but you must decide what to upgrade with your limited resources.

    In-app purchases enable you to buy the resources to upgrade and a pack of gems can be bought for under $1 or £1. I spent them in under a minute upgrading a hero though.

    There are some side games, like a defence mission where you control an archer and must stop all incoming soldiers and horses. Accurate shooting is required. There is also an empire building side game where you must select cities on a map and then attack and take them over. They must be defended too. Gold is earned from them while you are away from the game.

    This is an excellent game that is a lot of fun, but it does have a lot of ads, and I mean a lot. It is odd, but I mind them less in this game than in others. A battle is fast and exhausting, so taking a rest while an ad plays is actually welcome in a way. Watching ads earns gold or boosts the gold earned from other tasks.

    It does not become hard until you have survived about 180 attacks and it starts off quite easy. The enemy numbers and strength increase with every wave and it slowly becomes harder. It still isn’t that hard, although with 1,500 waves, I have barely begun.

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