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Crush Your Enemies boils down RTS to its barest, most enjoyable form

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Where's the keyboard?

That was the first thought I had when I sat down to play Crush Your Enemies, a real-time strategy game from two of the developers who worked on This War of Mine, at PAX East over the weekend.

Grzegorz Mazur, one of the founders of Vile Monarch, said I won't need one, just a mouse.

The idea behind the barbarian RTS was to strep away all of the excess of traditionally lengthy strategy games and deliver just the heart of the action and planning.

"It's a tiny RTS game with really fast and short battles," said Mazur. "We wanted to take old RTS games like Warcraft and make it into something with short battles for people who don't have two hours to play one game.

"We wanted the same strategy but to be able to play it in five minutes."

The result is a mouse only or touch only (the game is coming to Android, iOS, Mac, Linux and Windows) strategy title that delivers depth with simple controls and quick battles.

Players fight over a grid of grass squares, capturing land in real time, taking buildings and fighting armies against armies by simply moving onto different squares.

There are a number of different units (I only was able to check out the peasants, warriors and archers) and only one type can occupy a space at a time. The sorts of units you have on a particular map are decided by what buildings already exist. So to create archers you move warriors or peasants onto the square with the archery tent. To create warriors you move people onto the barracks. To make more peasants you move people onto the village. The conversion is instantaneous and there are no minerals, no food, no gold to worry about.

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Instead, players are meant to focus on the tactics of battle.

You can see all of this unfold in more depth in the video above.

The game will ship with two campaigns which will take a "good player" about eight hours to complete, ten hours if a player wants to complete all of the challenges in every level.

There will also be a cross-platform version of multiplayer with eight to ten of its own maps and the team is thinking about creating a map editor after the game's spring release.

Mazur said he and Kacper Kwiatkowski, the other founder of studio Vile Monarch, met while working together at 11 bit studios on This War of Mine.

"We started working on a prototype of this game while doing development on This War of Mine," Mazur said. "We wanted to do something totally different for fun that wasn't depressing."

After This War of Mine was completed, the two realized they had a prototype that had the potential to be a solid, full game.

"We decided we wanted to make something on our own," he said.

While this and the game that proceeded it are both titles imbued with a sense of humor, Mazur said the studio are still interested in making serious games like This War of Mine.

"We will do something like that," he said. "We are really interested in serious games. We still are in love with those serious games that matter."