Thursday, July 27, 2017

Epic Little War Game Gameplay Review

I'm playing Epic Little War Game, a turn-based strategy game by Rubicon Development.

The game features a series of scripted missions in a campaign that routinely gives superior numbers and defenses to the AI. Online and skirmish games are also present, with lots of maps available plus the ability to generate randomized ones (although you cannot customize the size of the map or the number of players while making it). The AI also gets a significant money advantage in skirmish games on any difficulty level beyond “easy”. Epic Little War Game tries to achieve a level of humor through its presentation, but I found it to be repetitive and unfunny. The interface is decent but lacks a “next” or “idle” unit indicator beyond the colored hex beneath each unit. The goal is to eliminate the enemy headquarters, using oil to purchase things and power to keep things running. Buildings include unit-producing structures and defensive turrets, allowing for infantry, vehicle, air, and sea attacks. Units can both move and shoot each turn (including moving, shooting, and moving again). Skirmish games become a race towards the center, building oil derricks along the way and placing unit-producing structures close to the enemy base because of extremely slow unit movement. Games also tend to drag due to high building health against most units and potent automated defenses; in addition, units that actually can destroy buildings can be easily and cheaply countered by a defender. There are some favored units (grenadiers and artillery) that offer powerful splash damage against all targets. The AI opponent is better in the campaign mode, constructing appropriate counter units, but utilizes the same general strategy in skirmish games (and loves power plants to a fault). While the randomized maps and simplified mechanics of Epic Little War Game are appealing, the slow gameplay, limited strategic options, spotty AI, and repetitive attempts at humor grow weary with successive play throughs.