App Reviewed on: iPad
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Battle of the Bulge is a turn-based, historical strategy game set during World War II. Developed by Shenandoah Studio, the game presents a thoughtful balance between deep strategy and accessibility, resulting in a gem of a strategy game that is easy to enjoy but difficult to master.
True to its name, Battle of the Bulge--rather than trying to capture the entire scope and scale of World War II--focuses on one of the most famous battles in recorded history, and asks players to outmaneuver their opponents for control over the Western Front. Players can choose to control either the Allied or Axis forces in one of two scenarios against other players via pass and play or asynchronous multiplayer. Players can also play against one of two different types AI opponents, both of which are rather competent and challenging.
The game begins with a very cursory tutorial which introduces players to the various mechanics of the game, including the way movement works, how terrain affects movement and defense, the passage of time, etc. which are all critical to ensuring victory, but not difficult to understand or keep track of thanks to the game's sleek interface. While it may not be the most visually stunning game, Battle of the Bulge does make up for it by surfacing relevant tactical information in really smart ways. Dice rolls for combat, for instance, appear as a bar below units ready to engage, displaying the likelihood of victory, retreat, etc.
The major shortcoming to this game, if any, is the fact that there is only one map to play on. However, this does not really impact Battle of the Bulge's replay value. Between the different scenarios, AI personalities, and online multiplayer, almost every battle presents new strategic considerations. On top of this Battle of the Bulge also provides a ton of historical information about the history surrounding the battle itself, which adds to its value. Because of these things, Battle of the Bulge seems well worth picking up if you want some great strategy action for your iPad, especially if you are a history buff.