Developer: Hunted Cow Studios
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.2
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★½☆☆ 
User Interface Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Study United States history for any amount of time and it’s almost a guarantee that people come across some information about one of the most pinnacle moment’s of this nation’s history: the conflict between the Union and the Confederacy. This war lasted 4 bloody years from 1861 to 1865, killing more Americans than any other war the United States has been involved in. This conflict, now ancient history even in the land it occurred in, has been the source of many great games, including Hunted Cow’s Civil War: 1863 and now it’s latest title, Civil War II: 1862.

photo 1This latest game involving the US Civil War (or the war of Northern Aggression) centers around the battles occurring in 1862 – the second year of the conflict, which saw battles going to both sides. Hunted Cow’s second Civil War game focuses on battles such as Union victory at Fort Donelson and many of the other conflicts during that year. Civil War II: 1862 also includes a couple of scenarios that didn’t actually happen during the Civil War, such as “The Standoff,” giving the game creators a little more freedom to play with strategy and unit selection.

One of the key differences players will notice in this prequel is that the terrain really matters. Line of sight and elevation, which didn’t seem to matter as much in Civil War: 1863, now matters a lot. For instance, if two opposing units are on either side of a hill, they do not have a line of sight and thus cannot fire on each other. Additionally, units that are above or below each other while having a line of sight have an advantage or disadvantage on firing, depending on where they are located. Bushes and other obstructions also affect line of sight and movement. This creates a whole new strategy for the game and, as the developer puts it, helps to alleviate “cheese” strategies.

photo 2Much like other impressive war simulation titles from Hunted Cow, Civil War II: 1862 utilizes a hex movement, turn-based strategy system with various units having different firing ranges, movement abilities, strengths, etc. Some have higher ranks than others, making them more difficult to take down in combat and more powerful during a skirmish. This also plays into the strategy, possibly forcing players to reconsider attacks against more powerful foes.

As much as Civil War II: 1862 plays exactly like many of Hunted Cow’s other military strategy titles, it will nonetheless appeal to American history buffs and fans of military games alike. Its hex movement and turn-based style is popular among strategy games, giving this title a familiar feel while still giving one enough of a challenge to keep things interesting. Civil War II, despite a couple of graphical shortcomings, is sure to gain popularity among strategy enthusiasts and iOS gamers.

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