Do you remember playing RISK when you were younger? Did you enjoy the slow, yet methodical approach to war? Well, if your one of those people then this game is definitely right up your alley. What if your not, well you still might get a few perks out of it. The game is Axis & Allies: Iron Blitz Edition. It takes on a style that resembles the game RISK, with some other strategy game elements thrown in.
The time frame for the game is in World War II and you must take the role of the world's military leaders and help command to victory. You can take any number of leaders from any one of the Axiz or Allies nations. Patton, Churchill or Stalin they're all in there. Each country is also represented with unique icons and graphics that are unique to their nation as well.
Campaigns are plentiful in this game. You can play the game from many different time periods, throughout World War II. You can also play in many other real and fictitious situations or even the special, "What If..." scenarios where alliances are altered and attacking strategies are much different.
Before you even go into battle, there are many things that you can customize as well. if you want the terrain to be different or the units of your army to perform in a certain fashion, then make it so. You can also personalize the graphics and icons for your nation with the editor tool and then you'll have graphics and sprites of your own design. This is definitely a welcome little addition to the game.
Playing the game is similar to RISK and involves patience and waiting quite a bit. You will have a turn, in which you can deploy units, move units, attack, defend, buy weapons/soldiers or even plan strategies. Each player on the board has icons representing their various divisions and units of soldiers. While the whole gameplaying experience may not look very pretty, it can definitely be rewarding when you score a big victory from several other nations. Thankfully, this game can also be played over the Internet or through a MODEM. This can really heat up the action as actual human opponents are ready for anything and can provide dynamic competition.
Making the movements necessary for victory isn't hard either. The simple point & click interface works beautifully and is easy to understand. The only problem is a bit of a learning curve and some options and tactics may be a bit advanced and hard to grasp for some gamers. This simplistic interface and control scheme is a welcome addition to the game though.
I really must write a bit about the game's fantastic introduction as well. It, without comparison, was the best full-motion video introduction I'd seen in a while. It was so dynamic and featured guns blasting, cannons firing, Winston Churchill driving home his points of war and so much else. It was loud and in-your-face, but appropriate to get you into the mood of strategy.
The game also has some other strong presentation points worth noting. Still photos and other little cinematics litter the gameplay, just to keep you alive and varied. There are also a few sound effects littered here and there. The musical score for the game is solid, with no doubt about it. It is appropriate and doesn't detract or distract from the game as a whole.
I found this strategy game to be a welcome change to the crop of 3D-strategy games being released. Some other games have had partial elements of this, but not for a long time. While this game won't completely knock your socks off, it will provide some intelligent strategy action for those who are willing to accept it.
Graphics: They definitely aren't the strong suit of the game and don't have much detail.
Sound: Some simple sound effects and a good musical score are what fill this game.
Enjoyment: Some great strategy game play and one very good opening introduction!
Replay Value: Lots of strategy action for you to play! Terrain and unit editor are also lots of fun to play around with, as well as "What If..." scenarios.
People who downloaded Axis & Allies: Iron Blitz Edition have also downloaded:
Axis & Allies, Axis & Allies, Risk 2, Diplomacy, Civil War Generals 2, Battleship: The Classic Naval Warfare Game, Advanced Civilization, Monopoly (1999)
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