Battle of the Bulge iPad Review

Strategy games certainly aren’t for everybody. They can be challenging to learn, difficult to play well, and lengthy to complete. Battle of the Bulge, for iPad, is all of these and more. This is not a game for the casual player or those only slightly interested in strategy games. This is a serious game for serious and historically-minded gamers. Battle of the Bulge sticks slavishly to its historical background, for better or for worse.

The game begins with a tutorial that is quick to scare off the less-than-serious. It consists of several pages of instructions, details, and controls. You may want to read it twice to make sure you’ve gotten everything clear, but even then it’s unlikely you’ll know what you’re doing. You’ll really need to get into this game and start playing before you learn everything. For a tutorial, we would have preferred something more interactive and less like a manual. In an age of interactive digital media, tutorials shouldn’t be this boring.

Cartographic.

In the actual game, you’ll have two options: Race to the Meuse or Battle of the Bulge. While the game itself doesn’t clearly explain the difference between these scenarios, each option determines which part of the battle you will be playing. You can also select Axis or Allies, which also determines how you will be playing. Finally, you have several options of opponent AI personality. Each personality will have a different tactic for victory.

Your goal isn’t simply to destroy the enemy. You need to capture or prevent capture of a certain area. You’re given limited resources, and depending on which side of the battle you are playing on, you may receive additional units at specific times. As we said, this game sticks closely to the actual battle, so you will need to use the same resources the historic armies had.

Each turn consists of engaging in battle with enemy forces for control of a section of the map or moving troops around. You have several types of troops, from soldiers on foot to armored vehicles. Before you engage in battle, the game forecasts the most likely outcome. Each move you make is important, so you may find yourself taking extra time for the best move possible.

There’s a cold front moving in.

Battle of the Bulge offers various methods of gameplay as well. While you can choose to play an AI opponent, or you can select a pass-and-play game style for local multiplayer. Battle of the Bulge also offers online games.

One of our biggest issues with the game has to be the unfriendly touch controls. The game will often scold you for selecting a unit you cannot move, and the onscreen dialogue remains on the screen even after you select another unit. With the game’s strict directions, we had hoped the onscreen menus and dialogue boxes would be helpful in guiding us through our first game.

While we don’t always focus on price in the App Store, Battle of the Bulge’s current price tag of $9.99 is considerably high, making this a game likely to be played only by those looking for a historic WWII strategy game. We also feel this is a high price for a game with only two playable scenarios. Perhaps a future update will expand the game’s potential.

Battle of the Bulge is a solid strategy game with deep roots in history, but its controls, its rules, and its lack of assistance limit its audience. Unless you are an experienced turn-based strategy gamer, we would advise starting somewhere else.

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  • chommie

    How can someone who does not play a certain genre review a game from said genre? Shouldn’t there be a point of reference in regards to judging a game? When judging wine, why do they make sure the judges have a lot of experience with wine?

    I havent seen this game rated lower then 4/5 by any mobile strategy gaming site. You know sites where the game reviewers actually play said genre and have a valid point of reference in regards to their review.

    I find this review extremely unprofessional. Dont you people realize you can negatively impact the sales of a game with reviews like these?

    Meta-critic average 87%

    Disgustingly unprofessional.

    • IdiotPhil

      Thank you. I’ve played the demo and it should be rated much higher. Deeper than Candycrush of course, but a very well executed design.

      My review of the reviewer is 1 out of 5. Reminds me of the cooking recipe sites where the reviewer changed almost every ingredient and then posted a bad review using yuck.

      What did you expect dunce?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13902381 Steve Khazon

    This review and the debate it inspired on this page is a good illustration of the difficulties of the difficulties in assessing quality. You might even see it as an extension of the “criterion problem” in science. The question we have to ask is: who is the review for?

    The issue here is that the reviewer apparently doesn’t play strategy games and justifies his rating from the perspective of the “typical” iPad gamer. I see that as a problem because a person who is not interested in strategy games will not seek them out in the first place, and upon finding out the what the game is will probably be cautious about paying for it.

    As I see it, reviews are for people who are interested in the genre and want to find out if a game is any good. That person might see the score and think “oh, Bulge must not be very good.” This person might rightfully assume the review is written by someone who is knowledgable about the genre and can deliver a good estimate if the game’s value. Someone who doesn’t like strategy games won’t give it a second look even if the review if glowing.

  • BobbyBarker

    I’m a casual gamer and would give this at LEAST a 3 of 4 … cannot understand this reviewer’s position, which seems to be that since it takes a little effort to learn that it’s not worth it.

  • http://tabletsmanuals.com/ ipad manual

    I think that its better for me to learned some other things aside from this gaming lessons for my iPad. There’s a lot of good learning’s that I still wanted to learn using my iPad which I think more important than this.