If you’ve ever wanted to stage World War II as a two player game looping for what feels like forever around a modified Monoplay board, Allies vs Axis is the game for you!
Built on what looks to be a gutted Monoplay board, Allies vs Axis suffers from the same horrible mechanic that the classic property game does – your actual opponent isn’t your enemy, the dice are. Well, in this case the spinner, but you get the idea.
Every turn you spin the wheel and move that many spaces forward. Occasionally you can decide to pay money to move one space forward or backward from where you land, which can help keep you out of a country you don’t want to visit just yet. If the space you end up on hasn’t been claimed by either player, you can negotiate with money or place infantry to gain control. Landing on countries you already control allow you to place reinforcements on that country, or you can spend your turn buying more units for your army, or you can simply pass.
When landing on an opponent’s controlled country, you immediately lose 30% of your defensive power in army units. If you don’t have enough units to lose, you’re imprisoned and lose three turns, unless you pay to get out of jail early (sound familiar?). Otherwise, when you land in enemy territory you can attempt to knock your opponent out of the region by matching or overwhelming the forces they’ve placed there. If you manage to take out all the enemy troops in a country, you can then place your own forces there and gain control.
This cycle of spinning the spinner, moving, deploying and fighting continues until one person slowly loses troops and territory to the point of no recovery and begins the endless spiral into utter defeat. Before the game starts players can select which end game conditions need to be met, which can include one player losing all of their controlled countries, losing their main country, being imprisoned 3 to 5 times, or whenever the 100th turn (oh my god) is taken. Whichever condition you set, the end game is likely to be as painful as any Monoplay game ever played, where you can see your slow death approaching every turn with little to no hope of a cure on the horizon.
The art in this game isn’t anything to write home about, but for a $0.99 app, it’s not horrible. Touch areas are large and spread out, making them difficult to miss or accidentally hit. The interface is bright, colorful, and clear, though there could be more support text to explain functionality. Troop deployment is simple enough and when it comes down to it, that’s all you really need to do in this game, aside from spin the wheel. The AI increases its agression with each difficulty level, deploying more wisely as you play harder AIs, which is really all you can say about that.
Allies vs Axis is a few tedious hours of your life packaged into a game where you spin the spinner and hope you avoid landing on the Go To Jail – oops – Germany space. How you allocate your troops and money as you move about the board does have some say in whether or not you come out on top, but in the end, it really falls to where you land each pass through enemy territory. It all boils down to the fact that if you want to spend your money on a war game, you should probably spend it on something with a bit more strategic play, like The Battle for Hill 218.