App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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The game of world-domination. Many have played it, some have mastered it, but everyone has heard of it. When the original game, titled La Conquête du Monde or "The Conquest of the World," was designed back in 1957, I doubt anyone knew how big it would become. Since then, Albert Lamorisse's creation has spawned countless knock-offs, off-shoots and variants. And now we have Conquist 2 to add to that list.
As with its inspiration, Conquist 2 is a game about strategic troop placement, defense fortification, planning and battle tactics. Anyone familiar with the classic game will be instantly familiar with this one, although some of the game's alternate rule sets are present as well. These include the classic World Domination rules, Secret Mission rules which gives each player a secret objective to meet, Colonization rules that give each player a capital they have to protect above all else and a Castle mode that's similar to Colonization except that conquering a castle grants dominion over all territories associated with it. Players are also given cards at various points throughout the game, which can later be turned in to acquire more armies.
Even when compared to similar titles out there, Conquist 2 stands out with its crisp visuals and slick interface. The pop-up windows for troop movement and fortification are a bit on the small side, which resulted in me accidentally dragging them around instead of adjusting the counter as I'd intended, but other than that it sports a very fluid and functional design. Being able to zoom in on the map to make selecting those teeny tiny territories easier seems like an obvious thing, but it's amazing how often little details like that can get over-looked.
My only real complaint, aside from the tiny windows, has to do with the multiplayer. Don't get me wrong, having both online and local round-robin style multiplayer is great, but getting an online game started is kind of a pain. Matchmaking is done through Game Center, with no hosting or joining options. This, so far, has resulted in me staring at my phone for five to ten minutes while it looks for other random players, then giving up in frustration. I'm willing to bet that once a game actually gets going it's quite fun, but it has to actually get going first.
While it would be foolish to claim that it's "the definitive" World Domination experience, since there are just so many of them, I feel completely comfortable saying that it is a darn good one. It features a robust set of options and game modes, various difficulty settings, same-device multiplayer and online multiplayer that I can only assume is fun when people are around to play it. Armchair generals may not be surprised by Conquist 2, but I'm fairly certain they'll be impressed.