If there is one thing good to come from war, it has been some really great video games. I would say I am all right with most shooters but when it comes to real time strategy games, not so much. I’ve played Warhammer and a handful of others but the genre always took too much time I was unwilling to give. War, the Game looks to feed that itch for a RTS war game. With its bare bones art design and straightforward controls, it does little on the outside to shine. However, this game does have some potential in how it plays out.
As I mentioned before War, The Game is very upfront with what it offering. A top-down view, units to manage and objectives to complete. Pretty straight-forward mechanics. Most battle scenarios task you with capturing a certain amount of the playing field, a specific city, or eliminating an enemy. The robotic-woman narrator who helps set the scene and offers tips makes the experience feel closer to the film War Games, which is kind of cool. You can turn her off, but I chose to have her around throughout my journey to world domination.
The visuals, much like the story, are nothing special. The screen mostly looks like an old computer monitor; bright colors outlining the continents and different color units marking their home country. This simple artistic approach does not hold the game back. Rather I thought it complemented the approach the developer took with the rest of the game. To the point, simple and not bogged down with all the subtleties that other RTS games tack on.
The controls could use a little bit of tweaking. Again, they are easy to learn but mastering takes some time. Almost everything is done using the mouse, which is what I think lets this game down. Every time you decide to make any unit they end up being displayed in the left hand corner. Rather than being able to move your cursor up into the corner, because moving the screen is controlled with the mouse, you have to click through units, barracks, airbase and any other thing in the area. Same thing happens when you have to decide which units to deploy and which units you want to stay; click through which ones while using the arrow to decide.
Another area the game falls short is multiplayer. The developers finally have incorporated it, but as of right now no one is really on the network. The game cost a mere ten bucks, but being able to play what essentially is the board game Risk against other players would be awesome. That being said, some levels do have you strategize which country would be the best ally to team up with in an effort to win the tide of battle. Mostly however, I found wars could be won by amassing the largest army. A few you could use an atomic bomb, but it takes a long time to develop. Luckily, you could speed up time with the space bar.
I do not want anyone to be deterred from giving War, the Game a try. For the price, the solid look and feel of the game is pleasing enough for a couple battles if not more. Sometimes simple is the best way to go and when it comes to real-time strategy games there are plenty of ones that let you manage absolutely everything. War, the Game does not have you micromanage every aspect of war nor does it try to offer any reasoning for battle, yet it is tactical, precise and enjoyable. If you want more story, higher production quality and more layers of control that is fine, but try looking elsewhere. If you are like me and not the greatest strategy player in the world but still want to feel the thrill of managing an army to victory, than this game is for you.