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Great Little War Game HD Review
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Great Little War Game, a turn-based strategy game from Rubicon Development, is now available from the app store. With its charming 3D graphics and layered terrain, this enjoyable offering is both fun to watch and exciting to play.

Great Little War Game HD Pros:

  • Fun, turn-based strategic gameplay
  • Appealing graphic style
  • Simple tap controls
  • Variety of units, maps, objectives
  • Multiple speech packs available for purchase

Great Little War Game HD Cons:

  • No Undo
  • Some of the battles don’t turn out as expected
  • Some fights seem greatly underpowered
  • Can’t see enemy’s range or health amounts
  • Lacking a proper tutorial
  • No social gaming network integration
  • Could use an online multiplayer mode

Two squads, blue and red, square off in a 20-mission campaign with a variety of conflicts, such as capturing bases, defending the Generallisimo, holding positions against enemy onslaught, defeating all enemies, and so forth. You control a handful of different military units, such as armed Grunts, unarmed Engineers (who take over buildings and abandoned vehicles), Bazookamen, Snipers, transport vehicles, tanks, and more. Each mission has a number of days in which you are expected to meet your objective. Each day is comprised of a turn by each team, which can move any or all of its units, as well as attack or shore up defenses. Each day also earns you an amount of money which can be saved or spent to purchase new units to use in battle.

Units have specific rankings, which can be increased through battle successes, and statistics that make them more effective in certain situations. Their range of movement and attack can be seen by tapping on them, and moving is as easy as tapping one of the circles within a unit’s range. An attack is levied by tapping on a circle covering an enemy. A percentage of damage to be dealt can be seen within the enemy circle, allowing you to choose the more effective target. Once fired upon, a unit will respond in kind. Once defeated, a unit fades into the ground, never to been seen again. After moving and attacking, the aggressor can typically move once more to retreat to safety or find a new position. If you can achieve your goal in fewer days than expected, you will earn a gold trophy. Silver and bronze trophies can also be earned.

Graphically, the game offers a very appealing, cartoon-like experience with terrific 3D graphics and fun cut scenes that depict the conflicts. The camera views change with these cut scenes to bring a more cinematic look to the game. Movement animations are great, and the map variety is very nice. Different levels of terrain offers units greater range, but can also limit their ability to move great distances. The audio is another high point, with quirky voiceovers that add to the gameplay but get quite repetitive after a short time. You can purchase new speech packs through IAP, though we’d like to see an option to turn them off altogether. The soundtrack and sound effects enhance the cartoon-like feel while still offering a militaristic vibe. Controls are tap-based, allowing you to move and attack simply by tapping on the desired circles. New units are created by tapping on the factory and tapping on a unit square. It’s all very intuitive and simple to use.

There were, of course, some things that we didn’t like about this initial offering. The lack of an undo option was frustrating, especially when you’d find yourself in a position where a unit cannot move when you expected them to be able. This often left us vulnerable and we lost a lot of men out there that way. This might not be such an issue if the game included a proper tutorial. The first few missions do start with a few question mark icons scattered about that would give a line or two of instruction when tapped. However, the full extent of the game’s rules is unclear and we’d like to have a good understanding of our options before putting ourselves in dangerous situations. We’d like to be able to see an enemy’s range by holding on their images, just as we can see our own. This can help us to properly select where we want to move. Some of the battles don’t turn out as expected, as the percentages given don’t always match up with the result of the fight. That whole area is still a little fuzzy for us. Also, units like the tanks only deal a tiny amount of damage when firing upon grunts, which just doesn’t seem right. Despite these oddities, the game has a lot of upside that overshadows these early shortcomings.

Replay value comes in the form of the exciting gameplay and fun battles. An additional 10 missions can be purchased through IAP, and there will likely be more to follow if the game proves to be a hit. There are no leaderboards or achievements to earn at this time. It should be noted that Rubicon has released 4 versions of the game: a paid standard version, a paid HD version that takes advantage of the better screen resolutions of the iPad and newer-gen devices, and lite versions of each. The standard version is currently $0.99, while the HD version goes for $2.99, which is where you’ll get the full effect of the great graphics if you’re planning on purchasing, or have already purchased, some new hardware. All versions are universal. We’ve really enjoyed the gameplay and humor of this title and can see ourselves coming back to this one for some quick wartime fun. Great Little War Game is a 3.5-Dimple blast with plenty of potential.

Great Little War Game HD Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-03-28T01:19:43+00:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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