Independent game designer and writer!
The videogame industry is currently becoming saturated with my least favorite paying method: micro-transactions. I have simply refused to buy a game that requires me to pay regularly to enjoy the game. One of the major reasons I purchased a PS3 over the Xbox 360 was because I don't want to pay for online access.
This post is just as much of a review for a specific game as much as it is praise for the way this game handles monetary transactions.
Battleforge, a title in EA's 'Play4Free' micro-transaction plan, was released in 2009 but has a evolved and addressed many mistakes since its original release and has become the best micro-transaction game of all time.
In Battleforge you purchase cards that serve as your in-game units in a way that can be best compared to Magic: The Gathering. Cards require monuments that you build in one of four types: Frost, Fire, Nature and Shadow and a certain amount of resources that Power Wells generate autonomously until they are emptied.
Those who enjoy a deep set of base building tools like those featured in Battle for Middle Earth II won't find anything of the sort here: in Battleforge the best defense is a good offense.
Micromanagement of troops and resources play a tremendous role in the outcome of the battle in-game but the greatest strategy lies in the deck building.
A recent feature added into Battleforge is the ability to earn one BF (Battleforge) point by playing a game for at least fifteen minutes, redeemable once per day. While most booster packs are close to 300 BF points, you can now purchase 1 random card with that 1 point so you could potentially have a completely new deck if you played for fifteen minutes each day for twenty days.
On top of all of that it's just a good, solid rts game. In fact, it's my favorite real-time-strategy game of all time.
With several different campaigns for single-player, two-player and four-player plus randomly generated single-player and co-op maps there's no lack of content and no reason you shouldn't check this excellent game out right now.