Great Big War Game
Some of you may remember a certain “little” turn based strategy game from 2011 by the name of “Great Little War Game.” It featured a 3D environment that was cartoonish in nature, sweeping many of its players off of their feet with its fun gameplay mechanics and high replayability. “Great Big War Game” is the sequel to the above mentioned game and manages to root the player to their chair just like its predecessor did. Before we take a look at the game in detail, I’d like to quickly thank Rich Jones from TriplePoint for sending me a free review copy.
Okay, so you’ve never played “Great Little War Game.” Don’t feel bad, neither have I. If you’re like me, then understanding the storyline from one game to the next is essential in deciding whether or not to invest your hard-earned cash. I’m pleased to report that I had no issues in that department and I never felt like I was “lost” when playing this game.
The game offers you quite a number of options from the get-go. On the main menu screen, you’ll be able to play the main campaign, participate in single/multiplayer skirmish maps, view an in-game manual, set user/game options, and more. My favorite feature has to be the ability to set player colors and design your own flag. You’ll have access to different designs, colors, and clip art to assist you in perfecting the very thing that you intend to plant on enemy soil. There’s also a family friendly mode in the settings menu that gives you the ability to enable or disable blood and gore, which is something I appreciate as a parent. I just wanted to quickly mention that in order to scroll across a set of options offscreen, you have to hold your mouse button and move your mouse in the appropriate direction, similar to a touchscreen device. I was trying to click and drag the scroll bar (like in MS Word) and utilize arrow keys but to no avail.
The single player campaign boasts fifty different missions for you to sink your teeth into. Each level has its own map along with its own set of objectives. You won’t be tasked with destroying the enemy base every level, rather, you’ll have a wide range of objectives to complete that will keep you engaged from level to level. Some objectives might involve assassinating the enemy commander while others task you with destroying a particular enemy building. Some maps have crates scattered about that reward you with money or unit rank should you bring a unit over to it. Flares work in the same manner and provide reinforcements, the number and type of which is predetermined by the game’s script. Money is earned every turn based on how many oil derricks you have under your control, which you can capture more of with engineers. With these funds, you can spawn more units from whatever building you have under your control.
Campaign aside, there are single and multiplayer skirmish maps available that test your mettle on the battlefield. While a lot of games nowadays feature multiplayer modes, I really appreciate it when a game allows you to “pass and play” against an opponent sitting right next to you. It’s one of the reasons I praised Greed Corp, and I’m happy to praise this game for having that same option. Not to worry though, you’ll still be able to wreak havoc across vast distances and ruin a friend’s day, should you be in one of “those” moods.
In terms of gameplay, those who have played turn-based strategy games before will catch on quickly. For those of you new to the genre, you’ll have a few things to consider when attacking and moving your troops around the battlefield. For one, terrain plays a role on how well your units perform. Higher ground, for example, awards units with a combat bonus. You’ll have to think about the advantages and disadvantages of moving your units onto a particular terrain type as you play. As a general rule of thumb, roads allow your units to move farther on their turn and high ground will force your opponent to get closer than normal in order to enter firing range.
While you could, in theory, just throw units at your opponent without worrying about such things, the game rewards you for playing smart. Units level up as they make kills, making them a much more valuable asset to your forces. Leveling up a unit makes them sturdier and stronger, so you’ll want to keep them alive whenever possible. Units also have a limited supply of ammunition, so camping in a particular spot forever isn’t an option (at least in the early levels). Before you’re introduced to supply trucks, you’ll learn that you’ll have to bring your units back to a building in order to restock.
Speaking of units, there are quite a few different ones to take command of. In fact, there are thirty different units that are made up of land, air, and sea, each with their own quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. Snipers excel at taking out other land units at range, but when faced with a tank, you’ll want someone equipped with a bazooka or grenade. The game does a good job in introducing you to the various units in the campaign. Speaking of which, you’ll earn battlepoints in between campaign missions that you can spend to upgrade your troops. While the upgrades are simple (a flat increase to offense or defense), it allowed me to focus on the troops that I enjoyed using. I’m not all that crazy about grunts, but I love me some snipers and grenadiers…you can guess which ones I chose to upgrade.
Overall, “Great Big War Game” is an incredibly addictive strategy game that is difficult to tear away from. The pass and play option makes it all the more appealing, especially if you have another strategy game enthusiast in the house but not a second computer…kudos to that! The family friendly setting and its humorous nature helps the game appeal to players of all ages. The skirmish maps will keep you engaged long after the campaign has ended, giving this game a lot of replayability. In my opinion, its current price of $9.99 (as of 10/23/12) is more than fair…I’ve seen other games priced higher that offer a lot less. I’ve seen it go on sale on Steam every so often, so there’s that to consider too. If you’re in the market for a new / fresh turn based strategy game, then “Great Big War Game” is a must-buy.
Final Verdict: 10/10
You can learn more about “Great Big War Game” by visiting the following website:
You can find the game on Steam here:
You can check out play sessions here: