If you were ever witness to the joys of Advance Wars on the GameBoy Advance, then Battle Nations is going to feel like a blast from the past.

Combining turn-based warfare with upgradable vehicles and an addictive gameplay style that makes for great pick up and play fun, Battle Nations is worth a download.

Battle Nations

iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch
Free (in app purchases)

Okay, this game isn't quite as complex as Advance Wars. Instead it is all about simple and quick battles that you can play for five minutes or for half an hour. We will come to the actual fighting element in a bit, as it's only a small part of what the game has to offer.

In between battles there is a fully fledged town-building element which tasks you with creating a base for your troops. You can plant crops, build barracks and put together research. It is a tad FarmVille-like, especially when you factor in the need for nanopods, a rare in-game item that is required to speed construction and build up troops. These can be bought in bunches via an in-app purchase. 

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The app is optimised for the bigger iPhone 5 screen, which is nice to see. It does require a connection to game servers to boot up, just like the Simpsons Tapped Out app. This can be annoying, because the app will freeze if you try to load it when not connected to the net. What is good though, is that in-app purchases are a lot cheaper than those of the Simpsons and a lot of other apps.

For the actual combat it's a case of working out which unit is going to perform best against which - like a heavily simplified version of chess. So use your artillery to take out snipers in the distance and soldiers fight soldiers at the front. Some units are easily squandered while others you will want to protect. It starts off simple, but as the game goes on you have a vastly diverse number of units available.

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So, a great city builder and a decent turn-based army sim, all rolled into one and free at the same time. The in-app purchases can be totally avoided, providing you don't mind waiting, making this game a definite download for you Apple device.