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Military Madness: Nectaris is a turn-based strategy game and in design it largely stays true to the concept of the original game Military Madness. The player commands different squads of up to eight units on a battleground shown from above. During a turn, they can be moved around (shown as a grid of hexagonal tiles) and be issued orders. Squads can engage those of the opponent or capture buildings. Most of the matches are won when all enemies are defeated or the base camp has been captured. There is no fog of war, the entire battlefield is visible at all times.

Buildings such as factories are important to control as they provide control over all squads inside, even if those belonged to the enemy. When a squad is ordered inside, the units are replenished to eight again, regardless of the amount that entered. Movement is based around four types: move-attack, move-attack-move, move or attack, and static. Strategically planning movement is important to control the battlefield, as a unit's hex establishes a zone of control of six surrounding hexes. When an opponent enters your zone of control, movement is immediately halted. A guide function is used to show all possible options for movement, range and attack.

During a fight the game switches to a 3D side view showing all armies. Both sides fire at the same time, so there is no advantage in attack or defence. Instead, the squad's rank, type and amount of units largely determines the outcome. Additionally zone of control can be applied to overlap all six hexes adjacent to the opponent, cutting attack and defense in half. When an additional nearby squad is also adjacent, it will provide attack support. The same goes for defense, but there the support bonus decreases when units are lost during the battle. These are considered direct attacks. Indirect attacks from non-adjacent hexes are also possible, but then the bonuses do not apply and retaliation is not possible.

There are both ground and flying squads and the first can receive a defensive bonus based on the type of terrain. The squad type also determines retaliation, e.g. tanks cannot return fire to flying units and artillery cannot retaliate against tanks. Taking good care of successful squads is important to improve their rank up to eight times, enhancing their success in combat. In addition to regular movement there are mules and pelicans that can transport certain squad types more swiftly across the battlefield.

Next to the single-player campaign this release contains multiplayer for up to four players. Multiplayer comes with a turn limit, ending the game even if the victory conditions have not been met. There is also a personal timer for each player per turn, and points are earned to compare scores and rankings on a global leaderboard. Unique to the multiplayer mode is the commander unit. Commanders have access to different abilities determined by the player by spending five points before starting a game. The choices are not seen by the other players until the game starts. They provide vehicle upgrades or support abilities. The first make the commander a dangerous unit in combat, while the latter for instance affect squads in its radius in various ways. Squads of the opponents are not affected by them. All abilities are available in local and player matches, but in online ranked matches only ten are available initially and the others need to be unlocked by ranking up. To speed up the gameplay, it is possible to access a pre-turn mode where the next moves can be planned while the opponent is issuing orders. There are both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes, and it is possible to play with or against bots.

The WiiWare version has a few less multiplayer maps.


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Critic Reviews

GameSpot Xbox 360 Oct 12, 2009 5.5 out of 10 55
GamePro (US) Wii Apr 19, 2010 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50
RetroManiac Xbox 360 Jul 05, 2010 2 out of 5 40
RetroManiac Wii Jul 05, 2010 2 out of 5 40
RetroManiac PlayStation 3 Jul 05, 2010 2 out of 5 40
411mania.com PlayStation 3 Nov 16, 2009 Unscored Unscored


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Contributed to by Sciere (791899)
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