Mobile Game Review: Battlefields Civil War
The Bitstreamers latest Civil War game gets a look over
- american civil war, ground combat, north america, tactical, iphone, introduction, turn-based igougo, top down, english, yes, single unit
Before I dive into the review let me tell you a little bit about this game. This game is a redo of a previous game this developer released back in early 2013 called Civil War The Battle Game. The game didn't do well. There was a lot of criticism about the game in a whole. It felt more like a kidís game. From the textures to the cartoony Civil War soldiers the game seemed like it was targeted to children rather than the adult wargamer. But instead of sulking The Bitstreamers, developer of the game, decided to accept the feedback and make a new, better and much more improved Civil War game.
Letís see how Battlefields Civil War measures up.
Quick learning curve - This game took all of 5 minutes to start playing. I literally opened it up and within minutes knew how the game worked, and played. This is what I love to see from developers. Making a game that you can drop into someoneís hands and in seconds they start playing. Big Props to Bitstreamers for getting one of the most important lessons in gaming right.
Unit identification - One thing I love about this game is how easy it is to identify and organize units. When you load up a scenario youíre treated with all your units clearly marked by their Corps & Division name. This is a big plus in my book as I love organizing my units based on their Order of Battle. No more fighting to find out which unit is which. Again props to Bitstreamers for adding this simple, yet awesome feature.
Simple gameplay - One thing I demand out of a game is simplicity. If it takes you 5 clicks to move a unit the developer got it wrong. This quickly becomes frustrating and an annoyance. However, movement in Battlefields Civil War is simple. Click the unit, tap where you want it to go, tap again to confirm and away it goes. Simple.
The only thing I would change out of this is eliminate the confirm click and include an undo button (just in case the player does make an accidental move). This would provide for a more streamlined experience.
Itís addictive - With this game once you start playing you don't want to stop. I literally had to force myself to stop playing so I could get some work done. To me a addictive game is a plus, as I get my moneyís worth.
Artificial unit strength values - The strength of your divisions are identified by an artificial value. So for example Hethís division is represented with a strength value of 8 in the game rather than 7,600 troops that he commanded. I have never liked artificial values in a wargame as it takes a lot from the game in terms of realism, immersion and fun. Whatís more exciting to see:
1. Hethís Division charges Seminary Hill and inflicts 6 damage on Doubledayís force.
2. Hethís Division charges Seminary Hill and inflicts 4,500 casualties to Doubleday's Division.
I thought so.
Map needs some extra work - Comparing the map to the previous Civil War game they developed itís a huge step in the right direction. Itís no longer cartoony. Itís clear and simple. It doesn't have the best maps Iíve seen in a game, but it does the job. The only hiccups I saw were the hills look like mountains, towns need to look more like towns rather than grey blotches. A little bit more accuracy in needed in some maps. A good example of this is The Gettysburg map where Cemetery Hill looks like it stretches to Seminary Ridge.
Needs more historical accuracy - So if youíre a Civil War buff like me youíre going to notice the position of the units are a bit off. Iíll take Gettysburg for example, as I play that scenario the most. The locations of Confederate troops at the beginning of Day 1 are not where theyíre supposed to be. Longstreetís Corps is coming from the South, Ewellís troops are not on the Carlisle Road, and Stuartís Cavalry is present on day 1. If youíre a Gettysburg history buff like me youíll know this doesn't sound right.
iPhone version - One feature I want out of all my iPad games is to be able to play that game on my iPhone. There are some places unfortunately I canít bring my iPad, and usually those are the places where I have time to play. I would love to whip out my iPhone and get a few turns in.
Unify movement and combat phases - I donít think there needs to be two separate phases in the game. Why not combine the Movement and Combat phases so when you move a unit and run into a enemy force you can simply tap to attack them.
So after playing the game a bit I have come to the conclusion that this game is a major improvement over the last one. By leaps and bounds. This is a game I would actually spend my money on. It has a few cons, but most of these could be sorted out with simple updates.
The game is selling for $3.99 on The App Store, and if youíre wondering if you should shell out the dough for it Ö I can tell you I would. But then again they won me over by adding Order of Battle to the game!