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SummaryTrue "Beer and Pretzels" gaming!
The GoodI played this game way back in the day and just recently started to play it again. This is a great, casual gamers 'wargame' that can still be played today 15 years after it was released. There are three distinct modes of play, "WW1, WW2 and WW3" that each offer unique/new units. Airplanes, carriers and tanks appear in WW2 but not WW1 for example, offering you new strategic opportunities.
For being so simple in design, however, there were enough 'rules' and variations to each unit to allow lots of different strategies. For example, tanks move faster than infantry but infantry can entrench. Tanks can 'blitz' through units, but infantry can be paradropped. Flanking gives combat bonuses, as well as the terrain you fight in (Forest, mountain, etc). Carriers and cruisers can bombard land units, subs are invisible when stationary and can kill transports in one shot, and airplanes can perform a variety of missions (Bomb enemy units, enemy cities, paradop infantry, CAP, dogfight, etc).
In WW3 a whole new element to gameplay is introduced in diplomacy, oil and nukes. Each side can try and sway a city to your side by spending money on them, launch spy satellites to reveal all enemy troop locations, fire nukes to blow away a grouped enemy units, and fight over oil so your war machine can actually move around the map. All of this is so simply done, anyone can pick it up and play!
All of these variations allows you to try all sorts of different strategies. As the Axis, do you want to spend extra money on your subs to hunt the Atlantic and keep US reinforcements away? Or do you spend your money on extra panzer divisions to smash through the Russian front? Or do you focus all your energy on the Japanese, take out the US threat and invade America? Each side has a multitude of possibilities for you to choose from, and with three different wars and varying computer difficulty, you'll spend a lot of time with this game.
The BadObviously, the graphics are dated, but you get used to them. The sound is poor because of its age, but just play some appropriate music in the background while you play.
From playing the game SO much, there's a lot of things I'd love to see added. For one, I really wish there was an editor to make your own scenarios. For example, it'd be interesting to make a Red Dawn scenario, where America is invaded already and you have to control what is left of the US military + their partisans plus the remaining European forces, or to play as the Russians/Cubans in an attempt to crush the US once and for all.
I'd also like to see some new units/abilities. For one, units don't gain any kind of experience. My sub in the Atlantic that sank 5 transports should gain more health, or deal more damage. It'd be nice if there were as a Marine unit, which received bonuses for amphibious invasions and could move faster than normal infantry divisions. These are merely wish list items though, overall the game delivers what it intended and for that it is a great game.