Axis & Allies

Moby ID: 1918
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Description official descriptions

This is Hasbro's PC version of the popular Milton Bradley boardgame of the same name. Designed for 1-5 players, the game begins in the Spring of 1942, right after America entered World War II.

The 5 nations that you can play are U.S.A. United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, and Japan. The game begins with the same units on the same territories everytime, yet hardcore players of the game still argue what are the best moves and counter moves to begin each game. With the added randomness of the die rolls, each game will eventually turn out different.

The game is very balanced, with the Axis having an upperhand in number of units, but the Allies have an economic advantage.

The PC version has many "house rules" that have evolved over the years that you can choose to play with, as well as a unit editor. There are also in-game cinematics that are nice the first few times you play.

This game supports several multiplayer modes. It can be played in-house, on a LAN, modem-to-modem, or on the MSN Gaming Zone.

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114 People (82 developers, 32 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 69% (based on 13 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.7 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 4 reviews)

The accuracy of the board game, with the speed of a game of Risk

The Good
For one, not having to set up or clean up all the little pieces.

You can play any combination of teams. You can play one, two, or all three Allies (or just let the computer play them), or you can play one or both of the Axis. You can also turn the difficulty up or down, depending on your skill level. Personally, I liked to try to play against a hard-level opponent while using my team-mate(s) as easy-level. It makes it really challenging. You could also invite five people over to your PC and play as five different people (though from my experience, finding five people to block out a few hours to play this game was always it's downfall).

The game is amazingly accurate and true to the original board game. There are different sets of rules, or you can single out rules individually. It also allows for different "winning" and "losing" combinations like total domination, loss of an ally, loss/conquer of a Captital, etc. You can even toss in (or throw out) super bombers and the like.

It's so much faster to play, you can probably get 3-5 games in 3 hours. By being able to play so much more often, you can actually learn new things, and undo when you mess up! You can also play two people on one PC - it's really easy.

There are some nifty cutscenes, and sounds are acceptable. There's also a "quick-die-rolling" mode.

The Bad
Well, the graphics really suck for the time-period. They're definitely acceptable, and it really doesn't detract if you like the game. Come to think of it, I don't know HOW you could make a board game a real pixel-pusher. It'd be kind of silly.

Sometimes the computer seems to cheat a bit. In fact, I think this is the main difference between difficulty levels. It could just be random chance, but it always seems to happen towards the very end or very beginning of the game (then again, maybe that's just the way chance works). Regardless, after many weeks of playing this game, I noticed that hard-difficulty opponents just won their rolls more often.

As a fair warning, you need to police your use of Undo. This is so heavily prone to abuse, they should have done something like not re-roll all the dice. I could literally wipe out opponents in two dozen rounds by just continuously re-rolling - even against difficult opponents.

The Bottom Line
If Risk was too easy or too basic for you, this is your game.

It brings everything in from the board game, and adds a good deal of replayability.

I guess you could say that, as a negative, it didn't bring anything radical or even new to the board game (aside from set-up and tear-down times). I don't know that anything could have been done that wouldn't have destroyed the game, so I don't put it in either negative or positive categories.

Windows · by Cyric (50) · 2001

Fun... if you like beating dummies.

The Good
I like to play A&A, and this really speeds up the game. The graphics are clean, there are new rules you can tweak on or off, and you get little explosions when your pieces die.

The Bad
You absolutely must have a human opponent. Even if you play one country and set your teammates to as stupid as possible, and your opponents as smart as possible, the AI is still dumb as a box of rocks. They once shipped the same troops between Hawaii and the West coast 4 turns in a row, with no apparent reason. Also, sometimes bugs prevent your pieces from doing what you want them to do. I've frequently lost planes because I couldn't land them on a carrier. This could be critical if you're playing against a good opponent. (There may be a cheat to get them back, but I don't know about it)

The Bottom Line
If you have somebody to play against, it can really be a speed advantage over the board game. Still, the board game appeals to me for the table talk, and the little toys you get to play with. :) At the price it can usually be found at, if you like simple war games, snatch it up; just don't expect the computer to be a challenge!

Windows · by Shiek of Geek (14) · 2001

A perfectly acceptable translation of the semi-classic boardgame.

The Good
It’s Axis & Allies! The game design was time-worn and well-tested, long before the PC version came out, so it’s pretty solid.

The historical setting is undeniably compelling. You get to re-fight WWII on a grand strategic scale, with your choice of the five major Allied (USSR, Britain, USA) and Axis (Germany, Japan) powers. There is a nice selection of different unit types to fill out your army/navy/air force, and they seem to be well-balanced overall.

The graphics are appropriately colorful and true to the board game. The big red arrows that show unit movement paths are an especially nice touch, as they remind me of those wonderful old “World at War” documentaries. The country-specific music is ok, although it gets annoying after a while (except for the bagpipe music that plays for England, which is instantly annoying). Fortunately, you can turn it off. As for the sound effects, they’re actually good enough that you’ll probably leave them turned on.

You can customize the game to a fairly remarkable degree, considering that this is a conversion of a board game—and a fairly static one, at that. You can modify unit values, and you can also use all kinds of alternate game rules. You can adjust the difficulty level by changing the general in command of each nation. So for the USA, Eisenhower is 5-stars, Patton 4-stars, Bradley 3-stars, and so forth.

A really outstanding feature is the “time machine,” which lets you go back to previous turns, or phases within a turn, and start over again from that point. This helps keep you off of the save-reload-save-reload treadmill and encourages the player to go ahead and experiment, as there is no irreversible penalty for making a mistake.

The instruction manual is slim but decent. More impressive is the built-in tutorial and strategy sessions provided for each nation. This is great stuff for beginners, and even an experienced A&A player might use these things, if only to brush up on the rules and setups a bit.

Last but not least, there is a very good video interview with the original A&A creator that plays with the ending credits. Long-time fans of the board game will appreciate hearing his discussion of the game’s origins and his insights into the game’s dynamics.

The Bad
Well…it’s Axis & Allies. The design has all of the inherent limitations of the original. Not least of these is that the game gets stale too quickly, mainly because the game always simulates the exact same historical situation. If the diplomatic status or starting position of a nation could be changed, it would add significantly to the replay value. As it stands, A&A straightjackets you into playing the same scenario every single time. Sometimes history is a burden…

Although the unit mix is good overall, there is still some room for improvement. There are no destroyers to counter submarines, which is historically inaccurate and leaves the naval game slightly unbalanced.

The interface may look slick, but it can be a bit clunky to use. It’s nothing unusually bad for a Windows-based program, but I think they could have made it a little more user-friendly.

I found the multiplayer component to be slow, buggy, and just plain not worth the trouble of setting up. Fortunately, I’m not a big fan of online gaming anyway, so I didn’t really mind sticking with the solo mode—especially since the patch makes the AI noticeably better (although still not great).

The Bottom Line
Embodies all of the strengths and weaknesses of the original boardgame, which is deeper than Risk but still pretty accessible. If you want to play good old Axis & Allies on your computer, here’s your chance. (Be sure to download the patch, though.)

Windows · by PCGamer77 (3158) · 2002

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Game added by Bastion.

Game added July 12, 2000. Last modified March 5, 2024.