Games That Don’t Suck: Great Little War Game (Who knew war could be so adorable?)
GAMES THAT DON’T SUCK is a feature dedicated to games that I think are well worth your hard earned money, but not worth me sitting down and spending 3 hours crafting an in-depth review (these things are usually 99¢ after all). However, you can rest assured that any game bearing Macenstein’s GTDS rating is worth buying, sight unseen, based solely on my expert opinion.
And out of all the games that haven’t sucked thus far, Great Little War Game REALLY doesn’t suck. If you are even remotely into the idea of turn based battle, you simply must pick up the adorably violent Great Little War Game, in some form. Currently available in Universal iPhone/iPad HD $2.99, “standard def” version for older iOS devices 99¢, and free trial versions, GLWG is the most polished, thought out, and most importantly, FUN turn based combat game I’ve experienced on the iPhone.
Screenshots alone will not give you a true sense of how fun the game is or how polished the animations are, so to really get a sense of the vibe of this game, please check out the below gameplay video.
See how the soldiers “duck and cover” as they get nailed by the Artillery rockets? There are dozens of clever little touches like that sprinkled throughout the game that will bring a smile to your face as you unleash hell on your enemies. (I particularly love the victory celebration when a mission ends, and watching the soldiers do “The Running Man”).
While the missions are a nice blend of fun and challenging, a large part of the credit goes to the cartoony artwork and wonderful 3D animations that make destroying things a sheer joy. The voice over work is also well done, and each kill from a well-placed sniper is greeted with a wonderful selection of sarcastic dying words from your enemy, such as “You’re gonna miss me!” and “You happy now? I’m dead!“. By default both sides are voiced by “Standard Marines”, but you can switch them between five other languages, such as “Redneck Rampage”, Vive la France”, and “The Brits are Coming”.
Targeting enemies is easily done in an “top down” view, and the camera zooms in during an attack. Using terrain to your advantage is key, as units on higher ground get an offensive bonus.
There’s a very diverse selection of mission objectives and terrains to keep the game from feeling monotonous (I love the show effects) and the mix of land, sea, and air battles is perfect. You’ll often have to call upon different troop and vehicle types to take out certain key outposts, and finding the right blend of units to compliment each other is key.
Each mission starts with a mildly amusing conversation between your war-hungry general and a private, laying out your objective for that level, somewhat similar to Towers in Space. Thankfully this is easily skipped as you’ll find yourself restarting some levels often when you make a tactical blunder. To help minimize restarts, you can save your game at any point when you feel secure in your position and always begin from that spot. Unfortunately, you only are allowed one save slot which means each save overwrites the previous one, so you cannot save multiple points or a different spot for each mission. Additional mission packs can also be purchased from within the game. The only thing this game is missing is a map editor, where you could create your own scenarios, and perhaps share them with other players.
Anyway, if you were not swayed to buy the game based on that video, then my words will be wasted on you. But as a fan of strategy games and games where real effort went into making them, I highly recommend Great Little War Game. Who knew war could be so adorable?