• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
New to Pocket Gamer? Start here!
ABOUT US
Contact Us Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
BEST GAMES
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Android
FREE STUFF
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Android Competitions
GAME SALES
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Android game sales
UPDATED GAMES
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Android game updates
NEW RELEASES
New iPhone games New iPad games New Android games
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects 2014
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
iPad  header logo

Battle of the Bulge

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Tactical victory

Product: Battle of the Bulge | Developer: Shenandoah Studio | Publisher: Shenandoah Studio | Format: iPad | Genre: Simulation, Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Battle of the Bulge iPad, thumbnail 1
Edutainment has to be one of the most nauseatingly naff portmanteaus ever, but it could certainly be applied to Battle of the Bulge.

Here's an ace iPad game that captures the spirit, complexity, and tactical depth of high-end strategy boardgames while remaining relatively accessible and genuinely informative.

It's like the coolest - yet most in-depth - history lesson you've ever had.

Lean mean fighting machine

This is a lean, finely honed strategy experience with not a hint of fat to be found on it. Developer Shenandoah must have put it on strict rations and had it doing press-ups at the crack of dawn.

There's just a single main mission on offer here - the titular Battle of the Bulge. There might seem to be a second, but it's actually just a small slice of the big battle for training purposes (or if you want to bash through a 'quick' round).

That might sound a little stingy considering the game costs £6.99, but it doesn't chafe as much as you might expect.

Axis of power

That's because the depth is in the very fibre of the game's mechanics rather than the number or variety of levels.

The battlefield here looks like a cross between a tactical map and a boardgame, with the map split into clear territories. Each turn you can move your units (whether Axis or Allies) from one of these territories into another. If an enemy also occupies this area, you must engage in battle.

There are loads of things that affect the outcome of these battles, including unit strength, experience, the nature of the terrain, and whether they have back-up.

Battles themselves are handled automatically, and are portrayed in the game's typically restrained, minimalistic way - a diagram and a few cursory explosions.

Victory comes at a cost

There are just so many more things to consider in a single game of Battle of the Bulge. If you're like me and not exactly a tactical genius, you will lose repeatedly. Perhaps you overcommitted yourself on one flank, or got yourself bogged down by attacking with an understrength squad.

It's hardcore, then, yet the the simple presentation, helpful tutorial, and comprehensive (if slightly tedious) help files are always there to help you learn.

You'll certainly want to if you have an interest in the real-life battle that this game is closely based on. Battle of the Bulge does a great job of explaining how this decisive battle unfolded.

We'll say again that there's only really one mission here, and we would undoubtedly have liked to see more - if only to see how Battle of the Bulge's finely balanced systems would work on a different battlefield with different terrain.

But you do have the choice of which side to fight as - both of which have very different objectives - and the kind of approach your AI opponent will take. There's also online and local multiplayer on offer, which turns Battle of the Bulge into a full-on boardgame. No one complains that there's only one Risk board, do they?

If you consider Fieldrunners 2 to be about as tactical as you want to get, you should probably give Battle of the Bulge a miss. If, however, you consider yourself a hardcore strategy fan, or are just fond of World War 2 history, we urge you to take a strategic gamble and consider splashing out a little more than you might normally.
 
Battle of the Bulge
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 21 January 2013
Battle of the Bulge is as cold, brutal, and unforgiving as the titular conflict, but it's also one of the top choices for hardcore iPad strategists
 
Have Your Say
Post a comment - Please log in to leave a comment
Pocket Gamer Biz     PG Login
Login with Facebook Sign in with Twitter
 
POPULAR REVIEWS
LATEST COMMENTS
LATEST NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS VIDEO REVIEWS