Great Big War game is a sequel to Great Little War game, a turn based strategy game that turned a few heads upon its original release because of its combination of cute graphics and deep play mechanics. I liked Great Little War Game, but I wasn’t as enthusiastic about it as others were, as while I liked the game, I felt that the actual level designs slightly let the side down somewhat, and matches too often felt like wars of attrition.
Luckily, Great Big War Game doesn’t suffer from either of these problems, and is a far better game for it. It does the job of a sequel well, as everything is bigger and better than the first game, and most importantly, I feel that there is now a greater sense of tactical freedom here. Maybe it is because of the revised and expanded units, but I have a hunch that it is simply because the hex based levels have been far better designed than the equivalents in the original.
The game is a tactical, turn based affair, fairly similar to Advance Wars, with you marshalling your troops in an attempt to destroy the opposition. When it is your turn to play, you can move your units a certain distance, which is different for each unit type and terrain, as well as attack anything within your range. You can also use vehicles to transport troops across land, sea and air, and there are unit making bases to build, with coins to earn to build more bases. You can create engineers to repair buildings and hijack enemy buildings, and the game makes good use of elevation. Placing a spotter on a hill will push back the fog of war considerably, and a single sniper can be an extremely effective tool when placed in the right spot.
The mix of vehicles and soldiers works well, and I like the fact that, unlike other games of this type, it is perfectly possible for any unit type to kill any other unit, so tanks are not completely invulnerable to standard grunts, for example.
There is a massive single player campaign that will take you a long time to work through, with some nice cut-scenes, as well as a huge online multiplayer mode that contains over 70 maps. The online mode is really cool, as it is asynchronous as well as cross platform, which means that iPhone and iPad players can duke it out with Android gamers. This is a brilliant touch, although it does have one slight drawback; the Game Center support is only limited to achievements. I think it is a worthy trade off. There is also pass and play gameplay, as well as a skirmish mode with A.I to practice on before you take real players on.
In short, there is a lot of content here.
I must mention the graphics, which have received a massive makeover since the first game, with gorgeous moving reflective water, and highly detailed units and environments. It really is a looker.
Overall, this is an excellent turn based strategy title. It may not be quite as good as Hunters 2, but it is still one of the best games of its type in the App Store, and represent brilliant value. Great Big War Game is a great big triumph.
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