|Multiplayer:||Pass n Play or Internet|
|AI:||Yes (one level only)|
|Universal App:||Yes (there is a single app which works on both iPhone and iPad in HD)|
|Purchase for iPhone:||Use link below to purchase universal app|
|Purchase for iPad:||
Great Big War Game
GD Star RatingGreat Big War Game,
Combat Monsters didn’t just come out of nowhere. Rubicon, the company behind it, had a series of hits on the iPad before, and some of the best features of these games found their way into Combat Monsters. Great Big War Game was their last title, and with a player base of millions it can be considered a success. How big is it, really?
Great Big War Game, at it’s heart, is a very pretty, somewhat simple hex-and-counter wargame. The game doesn’t recreate any famous battles, and the story isn’t important; you’re the good guys (blue) and need to defeat the bad guys (red). While some maps may have specific objectives, you can almost always win by simply taking out the enemy’s HQ.
Victory is achieved by the simple expedient of using your Engineer units to gain control of buildings and oil rigs. The oil rigs produce income, which you use to produce units at the buildings, which you use to carry out the mission objectives. Each unit type aside from the basic Infantry has a particular skill, and there’s a bit of rock-scissors-paper as certain units are stronger or weaker against certain other units – Bazooka units can destroy a tank in only a shot or two but don’t fair nearly as well against Infantry, Scouts can penetrate the fog of war better than any other unit type, and so on.
Objectives, if the mission features any, are communicated via pop-up messages. On your turn, individual units will start with two rings around their base – red to indicate a pending attack, green to indicate pending movement. Tap a unit to bring up it’s possible movement, hold to see it’s target range. Moving or attacking is as simple as tapping the unit and then tapping the target hex. The game continues until one side meets their objectives or destroys the other side’s headquarters.
Great Big War Game offers a campaign mode, a skirmish mode, and multiplayer. The campaign is a series of single-player maps that follow a loose…storyline isn’t really the word, though there are narrative cutscenes between each mission. In a unique feature, each mission will award you with Battle Points, which in turn can be used to permanently upgrade classes of units (Scouts, Infantry, and so on). The first few missions of the campaign serve to introduce core concepts – they aren’t really a tutorial in the traditional sense of the term, but serve that purpose well.
The game gets points for presentation. The big, chunky graphics are both clear and cute, and the units have a surprisingly wide array of humorous sound bytes when tapped. However, the game sacrifices nothing from playability to achieve it’s presentation – units are very clear on the ground and with all relevant stats just a tap away, the game is easy to play as well as easy on the eyes.
Multiplay is handled via pass and play or asynchronous Internet play via Rubicon’s server. Internet play will require you to create a free account; skirmish mode is, for all intents and purposes, pass n play multiplay against AI. There is IAP present in the form of additional maps, but their purchase is pretty optional as there are plenty of maps to choose from. Also available via IAP is the ability to customize your online presence, which is sort of neat and purely optional.
Great Big War Game is a fun little title that is easy to learn but has a fair bit of strategy due to the interplay of the units. It’s easy to see the evolution from Great Little War Game (the company’s previous edit) and how Combat Monsters came from this. While the tactics aren’t the deepest on the platform, the cheery graphics, whimsical sense of humor, and varied gameplay will keep strategy fans busy for a good while. For fans of lighter war games, this is a very easy recommendation.