Developer: Herocraft
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

When a game like Strategy and Tactics: World War II does something as hyperbolic as calling itself “a grand strategy masterpiece” skepticism starts to creep in immediately. Still, with an open mind a game that’s clearly no masterpiece may end up at least pretty good. Unfortunately, even with that lowered bar the game still misses.

Strategy and Tactics obviously knows that there’s no conflict more universally understood than World War II. For the first half of the campaign players control Axis forces in Europe before switching over to the Russians and Allies for a counterattack. It’s a scenario that’s been done to death and there’s nothing here to help it stand out. Each campaign consists of a series of turn-based strategy battles on various locations and the battlefields themselves are actually drawn like how one would see them on an old map. It’s is a neat graphical touch, but unfortunately static battle animations and uninspired sound effects mute much of the excitement.

When it comes down to what matters though, the strategy, Strategy and Tactics: World War II is decent in theory but middling in execution. Players can recruit a variety of units like soldiers, tanks, and bombers and call them in when enough time has passed and enough cash has been saved. They can also split units apart and relocate them to strongholds and other conquered areas of the map for a tactical advantage. Players can even spend time between missions researching scientific military enhancements.

However, in practice these admittedly intriguing ideas fail to make up for the vague confusion that plagues most battles. It’s hard to get a grasp on just how much one can do in a single turn which is compounded by slightly unresponsive controls. More problematic though is the lack of information given about a battle between any two units. While victories never feel random at times it is hard to tell why one unit is stronger than another or if strategies like having one unit support another are actually working. Intel like that is pretty important for progressing through a strategy game.

If players can get past the learning curve though there’s a lot of content here to enjoy. There are even online, offline, and bot multiplayer modes. It’s a shame then that Strategy and Tactics: World War II is so unintuitive because there appears to be a solid little strategy game underneath.

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