What do you get when you combine a bumbling commander, an unexperienced captain, and the sound of gunfire? You get Great Big War Game, a war themed turn-based strategy game by Rubicon, sequel to Great Little War Game. The enemy is approaching. Do you have what it takes to fight back?
Each map in Great Big War Game is based on a hexagram tile system. Each unit has a specific number of tiles they can move per turn, as well as a range of fire. Climbing up or down a cliff takes more movement points, and can increase or decrease your line of sight. Just tap your unit to see how far it can go that turn, touch and hold the unit to see how far it can fire. These are important tools when planning your strategy, as you can also tap and hold enemy units to see if you are stepping into their range of fire. Depending on the level you can have a barracks, factory, airbase, and a boat yard available for your use, with units ranging from scouts to tank killers. Each have a specific role to play in your defense or attack mission. You have to be versatile to retaliate against whatever your enemy throws at you!
There are four modes to choose from when you start Great Big War Game: campaign, skirmish, pass and play, or online play. If you are new, I recommend starting with the campaign, as it gives some gameplay tips and introduces units at a good rate so you can understand how they work before you have a whole aresenal to choose from. There is also an extensive in game manual to help you with the finer points of the game. In the campaign mode, your level objectives change as you progress, while the objective in skrimish mode is always to wipe out the enemy however you can. To play online, you have to create a free account, but then you are able to play with friends or strangers cross platform.
Analysis: Great Big War Game plays a lot like a board game. The turn-based play is nice as it gives you time to think about your moves. There is also a one move undo button, so if you tap the wrong square, or rethink your move, all is not lost. The fact that attacking doesn't end your unit's turn helps make the strategy all the better. This allows you to run in, take a shot, and run back out, and is a great tactic for taking out stationary units. The varied terrain throughout the levels adds yet another layer of depth to the game.
Though the cartoons between levels are supposed to be funny, I personally found them to be a little off-putting. Please be advised to save your game and not just turn your device off, as I lost progress in this way. You can easily save anytime by hitting the pause button and then selecting the save game option. The music and sound effects are very fitting for the game, but if you get tired of them, you can turn them off in the option menu. One of the great things about the game is the size. It really is great big. You get an involved single player campaign, and multiple maps to skirmish on. If that's still not enough for you, addition maps are available as an in app purchase.
Great Big War Game is a solid entry in the world of strategy games. With so many units to utilize and terrain to consider, there are many different tactics to pursue. Be prepared to shell out long amounts of your time strategizing in front of your screen. War has never been so much fun!
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an iPad 2. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.