Wars and Battles is a turn-based, hex-based, potentially universal war and battle simulator. For now, though, the name of the App should probably be changed to War and Battle. Wars and Battles is not a simple strategy game. It is a true war game, featuring historical units, morale, fatigue, supply lines, fog of war, and everything else that you'd expect from a game in this category. Games are fought on varying map sizes depending on the scenario selected. Although many different wars and battles are planned for future release, including Austerlitz, Gettysburg, Kharkov, and the Korean War, at this time, the only war available is World War II, and the only battle available is Normandy.
Gameplay involves strategic movement of units, and, of course, attacking the enemy. After launching the campaign, I waded into the fray, only to have my fatigues pulled-down and my rations taken by the AI. Hoping to gain some insight into the mechanics of combat, I clicked the large, friendly help button, which unfortunately booted me from the app and took me to a web page where I was invited to download and view the manual. Would it have been so difficult to include this very necessary manual within the app itself? After a somewhat lengthy read, I returned to the game with some important nuggets of information. First, there is a significant combat penalty assigned to attackers. Second, movement to a hex with a dotted outline is considered a strategic move, and any unit that performs it will not be able to attack the next turn. And third, attacking with 3 units is the best way to win. Armed with this knowledge, I returned to the game, and attempted to bait the AI into attacking so I could turn the tables on it. Chuckling to myself, I set my trap. Nope. We just sat there and blinked at each other through our binoculars. You see, the AI knows that it is better to defend, and it knows that all it has to do to win is sit back and do nothing until you fail for taking too much time. Winning battles will result in your rank increasing, which currently does nothing for single player gamers, but will help multiplayer gamers more accurately match their skills against other players. Yes, there is definitely multiplayer, and its quite well implemented.
Wars and Battles has a highly polished look. The menus are slick, the map is 3D, and the units are pleasantly, if subtley animated. In particular, I liked how the movement arrows clearly represent exactly what your units are going to do. Because of this, it is very difficult to make a movement error. Further, there are numerous historical photos within the game that really crank up the immersion factor.
The sound effects and music are both nicely understated, but very well done. Games like this don't do well with overpowering sound any more than a chess game would benefit from a death metal soundtrack.
In App Purchases
Although Wars and Battles is a premium-priced game, it does not come fully unlocked. If you want access to the advanced Normandy scenarios (currently the only one available for play), prepare to drop a blistering $9.99, which is more than the game's initial purchase price! This does not bode well for future content updates as it appears that each advanced battle pack will have to be purchased separately.
There is a lot of content here, and a great deal of time was clearly spent ensuring that historical accuracy was maintained. Unfortunately, a lazy, defensive AI and the overwhelming advantage given to 3v1 attacks means most of it doesn't even come into play. Further, the game as it ships today is pretty thin on content, and additional content will likely necessitate further purchases. Because of this, I can only recommend this game to those interested in multiplayer.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - A highly polished interface. Sound: - 3 - The sound effects and the music are both well-done, but neither stands out in any way. Controls: - 4 - The in-game controls work quite well, but the interface is a bit disorganized. Gameplay: - 3 - Only recommended to multiplayers.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Never attack anything with less than 3 units.
Developer: Kermorio Release Date: November 19, 2014 Price: $6.99 with an additional $9.99 IAP to unlock the advanced scenarios Buy App: Wars and Battles