Sauntering to victory
We’re talking about those games by the likes of Avalon Hill that typically utilized huge maps divided into hexagons that simulated historic battles. We’re talking about those games that could take days to finish and were reminiscent of very sophisticated games of risk
Those of us who stayed up until the wee hours playing those games with friends might still be on the hunt for a good turn-based strategy game for the iPhone, iPad or iPod may think they’ve found the perfect game with War 2 Victory from LiangBangChuangYe Investment Consulting Co. Ltd. (try saying that three times, fast).
The game is clearly rooted in World War II — a fact that’s made obvious from the Nazis, Stuka bombers and etc. that grace the game’s opening sequence. Players are given the choice of throwing in with the Axis or the Allies and using World War II-era weapons such as German King Tiger tanks, Soviet Katyusha rockets and American P-51 Mustang fighter planes.
The idea, of course, is to build units like crazy, join an alliance, go to war and try to make opponents miserable. The ability to build and control units is intriguing, but is War 2 Victory that ideal turn-based strategy game for the iPhone. Well, perhaps for some people. The whole concept falls short for others, as is best summed up in review of the game that sports a title that is nothing short of provocative title — War is Hell. So is Waiting all Day for It.
Still, the game does have its high points, so let’s start with those. War 2 Victory appears designed for those who love those empire/city building titles. Players start off with a plot of land and some handy pointers to get started. The number of buildings available is impressive and successful players must learn how to build an infrastructure that will support the massive army necessary to succeeding in the game. Players must build houses to attract the citizens who will fill out armies, finance cities through taxes and report to work so that the raw materials — food, oil, precious metals and steel — needed to build military units are on hand.
Training officers is important, too, and finding one that will make a suitable mayor is critical, too. A mayor with high “politics” rating will effectively boost production is great to have on hand, and making sure officers that will invade territories and seize them are adept in military tactics is important, too. Players can build radar stations to detect when enemies are sending troops against cities and you can’t communicate with allies and the rest of the world without a communications station. Oh, and building a research center so that new technologies that, say, make tanks travel faster and shoot farther is important, too.
The “city management” aspect of the game is incredibly meticulous and involved. Allocating resources is critical, indeed. The alliance system is pretty involved, too. War Victory, of course, is an online, multiplayer experience and having some friends around to send in troops and offer advice when you find yourself under attack is handy.
There are some annoyances to the whole city management setup, however. For one thing, it’s a simply matter to get some buildings started, but building them to higher levels to that larger populations can be attracted and more materials can be produced can take a very long time. To make matters worse, developing technologies such as one that makes engines more powerful and able to move along vehicles quickly can take longer still. Want to max out that fuel engine technology? Plan on researching it for about three weeks to reach the top level.
And that fuel engine technology is very important. It can take literally hours to move against an enemy — rather like launching attack on someone who lives on the moon rather than an opponent who has built a city a deceptively short distance from yours. Oh, and when you do launch an attack against an enemy, they’ll have plenty of warning if they’ve bothered to build a radar. Radars at higher levels will let you know how many troops are coming, leaving the player with an easy choice to make — fight or hide. Outmatched players will often choose to hide rather than to stand and fight and that’s partially because it is very, very hard to conquer a city. Don’t be surprised to find yourself beating on one for a couple of days until you’re in a position to take possession of it.
There are, indeed, no surprise attacks in this game as your enemy will always know you’re coming and will typically know how long it will take to arrive and how many troops you’ll bring with you. Since traveling around the map takes so long, don’t be surprised if your opponent contacts members of his or her alliance and they send troops to greet yours.
The pace of this game is, frankly, ridiculously slow. Blitzkrieg tactics? Forget about those. Plan on spending some time building up those cities, too. The leisurely pace of things does get annoying after a time.
The overall slowness of things would be perfectly acceptable if the turn-based strategy element was as strong and meticulous as the city building/resource management aspects of the game. Sadly, the “combat” part of the game is awful. Rather than moving your units around and positioning them for maximum impact against an enemy, you’re left with the sad task of determining whether your units are to advance or stay still. That’s it. Everything else is automated and your involvement in battles is typically not necessary.
That’s a good thing, too, as the app itself crashes frequently and quite often when you’ve got a battle screen open and are watching it. That’s a real problem when you’ve got your alliance chat open and are putting together strategies — restarting the app will wipe out those conversations.
To sum it up, this is a good game but not a great one because the combat system and overall slow pace of the thing hold this back from being something outstanding. Throw in the fact that it is very, very difficult to take an enemy’s cities, and the game becomes less appealing. Still, it does have it’s fans and it is very easy to fret over little things like developing cities quickly and building up a military that can easily plunder resources from enemies. The game might fall short in a few areas, but it is very much worth installing and playing. If you like those city-building apps out there, this is a very good one. In fact, if you think of War 2 Victory as a city-building game with a bit of a military twist to it, you’ll probably like it just fine.
Grab it at the iTunes App Store or download it here. The app is free, so why not give it a shot?
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.