For those of you who are fans of the Advance Wars games for nintendo’s portable systems, and Military Madness/Nectaris games from PC and Playstation, Military Madness: Neo Nectaris will look a bit familiar. It is a Turn Based Strategy style game, with combat based on attack and defense manipulating the odds of success. Each mission has two objectives. To win, you must either eliminate all of the opponent’s units or capture their headquarters.
Each mission consists of each player having units spread throughout the map or in factories, and in practically every mission your opponent begins with an advantage. You will be required to figure out the strategy needed to defeat each opponent.
The biggest tactic you must master in Neo Nectaris is flanking. if you surround an enemy unit, you will decrease their attack and defense scores by half, and that can be enough to turn a group of eight titan tanks to rubble. There is also an experience system in this game, where each time you inflict damage with a unit, it get’s a star of xp, up to a max of eight. The more stars it has, the better it will perform in battle.
There are five types of unit in Neo Nectaris: Infantry, Tank, Artillery, Airborne, and Defensive. Each type has their unique uses, and as you progress through the missions you will be introduced to various new units.
Infantry units can capture buildings but have relatively low attack, defense, and speed. Tanks are your primary fighting force and have good attack and defense, but average speed. Artillery may have long range and high attack, but they are vulnerable to attack from adjacent spaces. The various airborne units have a lot of speed, but they are vulnerable to anti-air fire and tend to have a lower defense. Finally, defensive units are high defense units which have no attack scores, useful for blocking or creating flanks.
Unfortunately, this game seems to have a couple glitches in it’s odds calculations when it comes to damage. Fairly consistently I will fight someone with a clear advantage, and still come out losing. The game tends to favor the AI when it comes to combat, and no, I’m not just saying that because I suck.
There are some aspects of the battle User Interface which are never explained, even in the help or tutorials. There are two hexagons which I found mark other units adjacent to the unit, which I believe increase the attacking/defending unit’s stats by some amount.
Neo Nectaris could use a quickmatch style game mode as well, as right now all there are to play are various unrelated missions. You do not carry over your units from previous missions, nor is there much of a storyline.
Overall, Military Madness: Neo Nectaris is a fun game, but it still has some kinks to work out. The creators have done a decent job bringing the series to the iPhone, however they still have a bit to go if they want to make this game a five star.