Great Big War Game, Rubicon’s follow-up to the Advance Wars-inspired Great Little War Game, is now available from the app store. Improving upon the previous iteration in a variety of ways, fans will certainly take note of the greatly expanded single player campaign, the inclusion of fog of war, and the asynchronous cross-platform multiplayer mode with a plethora of maps to use.
Great Big War Game Pros:
- Same great humorous cartoony presentation as the original
- Expanded single-player campaign and asynchronous cross-platform multiplayer
- Fog of War increases the challenge
- Musical score brought back from the previous iteration, and unit quips add to the charm
- GameCenter integration for achievements to earn
Great Big War Game Cons:
- Difficulty can be steep and games can drag out for a while
- Sometimes tries to be too funny and misses its mark
Great Big War Game contains a 50-mission campaign (more than double that of GLWG), a Skirmish mode, and Multiplayer functionality, giving you the opportunity to play against friends and strangers, regardless of which OS they prefer. The humor level remains high, as this light-hearted take on turn-based combat has never taken itself too seriously. Your first mission is handed out by a horny General who leads in his tightie-whities while trying to impress a voluptuous new Captain by attacking unarmed farmworkers. Granted, the game isn’t entirely this wacky, but it certainly sets the tone. You’ll soon battle a red army who does mean you harm and does its best to prevent you from assassinating their leader, destroying their HQ, escorting persons of interest, or any of the other objectives that you’ll encounter. Most soldiers can move once and attack once per turn, with range limited by soldier type and weapon. Each is also better turned for one aspect of gameplay or another. Fog of war also impacts your ability to see too far across the map, pushing you to deploy troops into possible traps without the ability to create a long-range plan. You can spawn new units as needed, using money earned from vulnerable oil derricks. One of the keys of battle is to destroy the opposition’s derricks to limit their spending ability. Battle Points won through the course of play allow you to upgrade various aspects of the game that can give you great advantages. Much like war, battles are rarely quick affairs, requiring you to grind it out for the long haul and take your minor victories whenever you can. For this reason, asynchronous multiplayer may become a bit of a chore that seems to drag on for a while, but we’re still very excited by its inclusion.
Graphically, the colorful and cartoonish style can betray the deep strategy and necessary violence inherent in seeking victory through battle, but it also makes the game more palatable for the masses. Likewise, the humor further enhances the whimsical side of the game. Level maps are varied and fairly expansive, using different elevations, water, and other obstacles to impact your strategic decision-making process. Maps are built upon hex grids, and the fog of war adds a terrific challenge. Aircraft and battleships also help to create exciting scenarios and an even greater map area with which to work. The soundtrack brings back the great wartime music from the original, and the variety of character sayings and sound effects add a lot of charm. Even the way that dead units are sucking into the terrain is entertaining. The controls are tap-based, requiring you to select units and target units/locations for that unit to act upon. Possible move points and attack points are represented by green or red rings within hexes, and the ring underneath each unit will have red and/or green elements depending on which possible moves it has remaining. It’s a great at-a-glance feature that allows you to size up your options quickly without a bunch of wasted taps. Pinch-to-zoom gives you control over your viewpoint, which is helpful given the large map sizes.
Replay value is outstanding, as the AI is surprisingly clever and a worthy adversary with multiple difficulty levels. Skirmish mode is a blast, and Pass ‘N’ Play and Online multiplayer pit you against other players if the AI isn’t to your liking. A large number of maps will keep things from getting stale anytime soon, though many maps will require IAP to access. GameCenter integration brings over a dozen achievements into the fray, as well. A universal app for $2.99, Great Big War Game is another solid effort, earning a 4.5-Dimple score.
Great Big War Game Review,