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Hearts of Iron is a strategy game that covers the World War II period at a theater-wide level. Unlike the majority of WW2 games, it focus on global strategy and not on tactical aspects. You play the role of any nation present on the period (not only the major powers of the Axis, Allies or the Komintern), and struggle to make your path over that turbulent years; not only the time of war, but also the years of pre-war (1936-1939), when tensions ran high and hostilities were soon to break out.

The game presents several scenarios that cover different time intervals, allowing you to choose between preparing for battle or starting in the middle of the affair. Also, the game includes a strong scenario editor to make the situation fit your preferences. Although the game is real-time, you can set the time flow and pause if you wish.

The final objective in the game is to make your ideology (fascism, communism, or democracy) the most extended in the world, and you do so, obviously, by the force of arms, but also making use of political influence and domination. On the road to victory, you have to pay attention to countless factors: industrial capacity, population support and discomfort, supplies, raw materials, convoys, weather, politics and diplomacy, including a huge technology tree and managing your own Cabinet from an also huge array of ministers and officers with their own motivations and personalities. Also, many historical and random events play their role in the outcome of each game.

The game has a strong board-like feeling, with the world divided into countries, and the countries into provinces, which are the tiles where action takes place. Each province has its own value, both material and of manpower capacity.

The game follows the path of the Europa Universalis series, and so shares many similarities with it.


Hearts of Iron Windows Army recruiting screen.
Hearts of Iron Windows Whichever faction has the highest score wins.
Hearts of Iron Windows Main menu
Hearts of Iron Windows View of the world, and province info.

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "钢铁之心" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "虎膽雄心" -- Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • "День Победы" -- Russian spelling
  • "II Wojna Światowa" -- Polish title
  • "HoI" -- Common Abbreviation
  • "Gangtie zhi Xin" -- Chinese title
  • "Den' Pobedy" -- Russian title
  • "ハーツオブアイアン" -- Japanese spelling

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User Reviews

A fantastic strategy game! Windows Matthew Furman (3)

Critic Reviews

Netjak Windows Jan 15, 2003 8.6 out of 10 86
Game Captain Windows Apr 22, 2003 76 out of 100 76
GameZone Windows Dec 16, 2002 7.5 out of 10 75
Games4Mac Macintosh 2004 71 out of 100 71
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Windows Feb, 2003 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70 (UK) Windows Feb 20, 2003 6 out of 10 60
AppleLinks.Com Macintosh Feb 27, 2004 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
LudoMac Macintosh Oct 09, 2004 6 out of 10 60
Joystick (French) Windows Feb, 2003 6 out of 10 60
Withingames Windows Jun 29, 2003 3 out of 5 60


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On May 29, 2005 it was reported that the game was banned in China by the Chinese Ministry of Culture for distorting historical facts.

Specifically mentioned were the fact that several Chinese provinces (Manchuria, West Xinjiang, Tibet) were depicted as independent nations within different scenarios. Taiwan is also listed as a Japanese territory at the beginning of the game.

The Ministry of Culture also mentions the game being an attack on China's reputation, pointing out a freelance mercenary character who with missions over the Soviet Union, Libya and China, where he conducts sabotage and espionage.

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Contributed to by Technocrat (201) and Kabushi (211596)