We’ve seen a decent number of cartoonish-looking strategy and war games recently. In just the past month or so, we’ve been treated to the bobble-headed and slightly demented Tiny Troopers and the cute and lovable Outwitters. These are games that let us outsmart our opponents while making us giggle a little bit at the same time. Great Big War Game from Rubicon, a sequel to last year’s Great Little War Game, is another addition to that genre, and it’s the real deal.
Great Big War Game is a deeply compelling, turn-based strategy game that made us chuckle while we lobbed grenades at enemy troops. It doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel, but it does provide some really absorbing gameplay that will keep you entertained for hours.
The most adorable war.
Great Big War Game takes place on a hex-based map. You command an army, either red or blue, and you’re mainly charged with defeating the other army’s forces. There’s a little bit of resource management, too: You have oil-fields that give you money each turn, and you can use this money to buy your units.
You have a lot of different kinds of units to choose from, each one suited for different situations. Grenadiers and snipers are great for protecting your bases, while infantry and artillery are most useful for going on the offensive. Scouts can’t attack, but have a long range of sight, and engineers are used to capture enemy bases, oil-fields, and empty vehicles.
That’s just a sample of the units you have available. As you progress, you’ll gain access to more powerful and versatile units, like technicians who can lay landmines, MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems), and lots of different air and naval units as well. Your units also have limited ammo, so you have to constantly keep an eye on that. Twitchy trigger fingers need not apply to this war. Throughout the game you also earn battle points, which you can use to upgrade your units.
Aside from having unique abilities, the different units all have unique personalities, too. Some are gruff and grumpy, while others seem just a little too eager to wade into battle.
I’m on a fire-breathing boat.
The single-player campaign is 50 levels long. Missions challenge you to take over the enemy base, earn a certain amount of cash, or simply survive and protect your base for an allotted amount of time against an enemy onslaught. Battles are fun and engaging, and if you’ve got the sound turned up, it’s pretty funny, too.
Even on Basic (easy) difficulty, Great Big War Game gives you a real run for your money. If you get tired of making war by yourself, there’s also asynchronous online multiplayer, and pass-and-play multiplayer, too. There’s so much game here that at $2.99 it almost feels like stealing.
There’s very little that we didn’t like about Great Big War Game. Zooming in and out of the battlefield isn’t as smooth as we would like, but other than that, this game is as close to perfect as we could hope. It’s polished, refined, and has so much to offer that strategy fans of all stripes will find something to love about it.