1941 Frozen Front Review

1941 Frozen Front Review

Aug 6, 2014

When looking at the 1941 Frozen Front page on Google Play you may notice a few 5/5 ratings in the game’s description that aren’t actually attributed to anyone. They aren’t real. This sets the tone for Frozen Front, which looks like a strategy game, but actually is anything but.

Screenshot_2014-07-29-07-15-24The coolest thing about 1941 Frozen Front is that it allows the player to play as Germany, instead of the umpteenth game about the Allies in WW2. The game covers the invasion of Russia by the Germans and the player will use tanks, Stormtroopers and halftracks among others to wipe out the Russians.

1941 Frozen Front has all the trappings of a strategy game. The game is turn based and uses a familiar hex system for movement. Combat uses a rock paper scissors system where heavy tanks beat light tanks, which beat infantry. Anti-tank infantry counter tanks to an extent. Forests provide cover from attacks and units run out of ammo and fuel unless they are resupplied regularly.

Screenshot_2014-07-29-06-55-03Other than that though, 1941 Frozen Front is less a strategy game and more a slugfest. There is just little to the game’s combat except rushing in units until they or the enemy are blown up and then doing it again and again until one side wins. The enemy gains reinforcements quite quickly and there is just not enough of a difference between units to use effective tactics. Anti-tank infantry for example still die from a few tank attacks and take multiple shots to destroy even the weakest tanks.

Jarringly, the game includes a freemium resource, gold which is required to do just about anything in game. The player needs gold to buy new units or repair existing units. A small amount of supplies for repairing units is provided for free, but this is never enough to finish a mission easily and every unit that is destroyed must be replaced with gold. Gold trickles in very slowly from supply camps the player can capture, but this is never enough to win the battle.

A huge black mark against the game is its reliance on ads. A huge banner ad dominates the top of the screen at all times during gameplay, making it difficult to enjoy the game. Often during gameplay a pop up obscures a portion of the screen, asking the player to watch a video for gold. This happens every few minutes and cannot be dismissed. It removes any atmosphere the game might have had by reminding the player that it’s a game.

1941 Frozen Front looks pretty good. Tanks and infantry are drawn well and the environments look nice enough. It is difficult to appreciate the graphics with the continual ads blocking the view however.

1941 Frozen Front has a lot of levels and online multiplayer but the game just isn’t any fun to play and its reliance on in app purchases makes it less like playing a game and more like pay to win.

1941 Frozen Front is less STG44 and more Luger and should be avoided.

First Strike Review

First Strike Review

Jul 2, 2014

First Strike is all about nukes. The crux of many an action movie nukes can be fun to throw around. First Strike contains all the fun of launching arrays of nuclear death without all that pesky fallout afterwards. First Strike throws diplomacy out the window. By the time of the game the world is already going to be bathed in nuclear fire. The only question is who will do most of the bathing?

First Strike divides each nation up into sections and each section has a number of silos, the number of which is controlled by tech level. Each silo can have a particular kind of missile. There are cruise missiles which are used to intercept incoming nukes and ICBMs, which are used for nuking other nations.

Screenshot_2014-07-01-14-53-53Actually attacking enemies (i.e., anyone not you) is very easy. The player just taps on a nation and then taps on an opposing nation. Intercepting nukes is easy as tapping on an icon. Building a combination of missiles is important as without cruise missiles there is no way of stopping incoming nukes.

Once the player has a big enough arsenal they can launch the titular first strike, which is an all-out attack where every nation the player controls launches their nukes at the target. This is accompanied with a great swell of music and usually reduces the target area to rubble.

Screenshot_2014-07-01-13-52-16Nukes themselves cause parts of the map to become barren, destroying any missiles there and removing it from control. These areas can be reclaimed by expanding to them with a “expand” option. While a nation is expanding it cannot defend itself, but the more of the map a nation has under its control, the more space there is for additional nuke silos. A balance between taking over the map and attacking your enemies is essential.

Research is important as well. Longer range and more powerful missiles can be researched as well as more advanced radar to detect incoming missiles. A few super weapons work great for wiping out a stubborn opponent.

The game contains three difficulty levels, each of which is a different nation. The USA is quite easy what with its already advanced tech and large number of territories. North Korea on the other hand is backward tech wise and cannot even detect incoming missiles for starters.

First Strike looks excellent. A great style with glowing lines and simple icons make the game feel like some kind of military computer and when a major nuclear exchange erupts and dozens of missiles with targeting lines and icons fly through the air it is a sight to behold.

The game also sounds excellent. Minimalist, flowing music is punctuated with bursts of loud pumping riffs when First Strikes happen. Missiles launching and detonating sound great and the beeps and boops of the interface really make you feel like you’re hunched over a screen in some bunker somewhere, watching the end of the world happen.

First Strike is a fun and super stylish game and should be loads of fun for any fan of strategy.

Legendary Wars Review

Legendary Wars Review

Jun 9, 2014

Legendary Wars tells the tale of the Sun Kingdom, a once great kingdom gone soft from years without any trouble or war. Of course then an invasion of legions of the undead and monsters occurs and only the kingdom’s poorly trained army stand between then and total destruction. The player must train and upgrade their forces and use strategic positioning and good force composition to both defend the kingdom and attack enemy castles.

Screenshot_2014-06-04-08-19-02At its heart, Legendary Wars is a lane defence game in the vein of Plants vs. Zombies, but it has quite a few differences. Units can be freely moved at any time and can be advanced and retreated There are buttons to form formations and generally commanding an army in Legendary Wars feels like commanding an army not just plonking done stationary defense items.

Like in most lane defence games, troops range from melee knights which block enemies to the more delicate distance attackers, like archers. Battles come in both defensive and offensive flavors, so unlike most lane defence games this one isn’t at all about defence and some battles see the player killing the enemy and advancing towards an enemy castle to destroy it

Screenshot_2014-06-04-08-15-47Strategy is vitally important in Legendary Wars. Using the right mix of troops and positioning them so they can support each other is important to win battles. A lot of micro managing goes into combat. Unfortunately, the interface isn’t always up to the task. Since Legendary Wars is a lane defence game the player needs to spread their forces over the three lanes on the battlefield to ensure all gaps are covered. The game however lacks clear boundaries for each lane and thus positioning forces tends to be a bit of a crapshoot as it is hard to know where to tap. This can be a real problem in the heat of battle where misplacing soldiers is very easy. Still, Legendary Wars is fun stuff and a lot more engaging than the more purely defensive games common to this genre.

Between battles, units can be upgraded with gems gained from combat. Attack, defence hit points and more can be boosted for each unit type. Beside gems, moonstones can be used for other, more major upgrades, but this premium currency is never needed to win battles. The game features a good cartoony art style that helps it stand out. The slight ramshackle but tough look of soldiers and their smooth animation give it some class. The light-hearted story on offer complete with enjoyable character art helps it along too. Soundwise the game is fairly average. Battle sounds are a bit flat and repetitive and the music, while decent isn’t anything that special.

Legendary Wars is a solid, if slightly unrefined game – I’ve experienced a few crashes and freezes – with an interesting premise and it pushes the stale defense genre forward. Worth playing.