World In War, a turn-based strategy game from PAN Vision AB, is now available from the app store. While the gameplay is highly reminiscent of a Risk-type combat game, this iteration just doesn’t live up to the classic.
World In War Pros:
- Turn-based strategic fun
- Strategy cards add unpredictable element
- Multiplayer functionality
- Easy controls and enjoyable soundtrack
World In War Cons:
- Graphics are bland and battles are boring
- Difficulty curve turns off new players
- Failed to engage us
World In War offers both a player vs. device Campaign mode and a multiplayer Battle mode. In Campaign, you are presented with various scenarios in which to engage the enemy. Your objectives are typically along the lines of occupying the enemy’s capitol while defending your own, though you’ll also encounter other goals like delaying an enemy for a certain number of moves. On each turn, you select units to move and where to move them. You can also produce new units from your factory. At the completion of your turn, you discover the moves that your opponent selected. Instances where you both try to swap territories result in border skirmishes, while attempts to invade an occupied territory also result in conflicts. There are 3 main unit types: infantry, artillery, and tanks, with each being more powerful and more expensive than the one before. You can also take advantage of ships when moving between land and sea. Battles typically break down to the group with the more powerful weapons and greater numbers defeating the lesser side. Sadly, these battles take place in the most boring way possible, by showing a screen with each teams weapons disappearing one at a time until a winner is declared.
Income is earned for territories that you occupy, with production zones bringing in more money than others. These funds are collected on each turn and are used to purchase and produce new weapons. Strategies are cards that can be purchased and played to give the bearer an advantage. The strategy that you purchase is randomized from a collection of more than a dozen, with a limit of 6 in hand at any given time. The maps are broken into several small areas, and countries can only attack neighboring countries where they share a border. Early maps are pretty simple, but latter maps get more complex with additional players and smaller map pieces. It gets quite confusing quickly and following all of the moves that the opponents make is near impossible. It is neither very exciting nor very satisfying, even when your side is winning.
Graphically, the maps look like Risk boards, with occupied territories indicated by large military men statues and miniature factories on several of the territories. The game screen is surrounded by bars. The top bar indicates your country, as well as your current funds. Buttons along the right side allow you to check your objectives, get info on your opponents, and end your turn. The screen bottom displays info about any selected region, including who controls it, how much money they have, and what weapons they can employ. You can pinch out to view the entire field or pinch in to make your moves. Deploying troops is as easy as dragging from one territory to another. Double-tapping the factory allows you to select which units to produce. Double-tapping a military man allows you to split your units among territories. The soundtrack is decent, providing a foreboding musical track to fill the silence unobtrusively.
Replay value is good, with multiplayer (hotseat or online) giving you real players to engage with in strategic battles. Otherwise, the single player campaign doesn’t seem to have a lot of replay value. OpenFeint integration offers some achievements to earn. Overall, we were excited by the premise, but somewhat disappointed in the execution, as it failed to really engage us. The experience was simply blah. For $2.99, it’s not really worth the investment, as there are plenty of other strategy games on the market that we still play months later. World In War is a 3.5-Dimple snoozer.
World In War Review,