Real historical conflicts don’t often mix well with videogames. Fantasy violence is best suited for elves and wizards, not Israelis and Arabs. So you can imagine our surprise when we found that Judgment Day War, which is based very, very loosely on the Six-Day War of 1967, is actually a fun game despite the disturbing real-world context.
Judgment Day War (or as we’ve taken to calling it, J-Day War, distinct of course from J-Date War) is a game about capturing and holding territories, which automatically build more troops as you control them. You can tap on a base once to send out half your troops, or twice to send out all of them. It’s a formula we’ve seen before in Galcon and Castle Warriors, but J-Day War is actually the best of the bunch, because it adds a lot of strategy on top of the already familiar concept.
You don’t mess with the Zohan.
For one, you’ve got both helicopters and tanks to control. While helicopters can move anywhere, they’ll only strike tank territories with half strength (the reverse also hold true). Also, your tanks and helicopters will fire on the enemy as you’re moving around the map, so meeting enemies on the battlefield sometimes is a better strategy, to soften them up as they approach your base. Plus, some bases will give you two or four times as much defensive power, so these you’ll especially want to keep.
Throw in battlefield guns which will pick off advancing armies, and a multitude of bonuses that are activated by certain events (like falling back to your last outpost, or quickly reclaiming a captured territory) and you have one of the best real-time strategy games in this relatively new sub-genre.
All roads lead to kicking your behind!
J-Date War (whoops, we mean J-Day War) is not without its flaws, though. It’s impossible to recall your advancing armies, which can lead to plenty of “dammit!” moments when you know you’ve made a fatal error. And while the campaign mode offers two perspectives on the 1967 conflict, both sides play exactly the same.
If you can separate the fact of the 1967 war between Israel and its neighbors from the lighthearted, strategy-game treatment it receives in J-Day War, you’ll probably enjoy this game. When you’re done with 18 campaign levels, a highly replayable survival mode with online leaderboards is your next challenge. We’re even looking forward to playing the 99 cent US-Vietnam expansion pack. Yes, there really is one.