Many iPhone games on the market shoot for simplicity; World Wars went a little too far in that direction. Riffing on the classic board game Risk, World Wars is a strategy sim on a much smaller scale.
After getting a look at the in game advertisements, players start up a game while fighting off the sudden urge to buy the Spongebob Tickler app. World Wars then presents a randomly generated map, and the player can choose whether or not to play on it. Only one game type is available, but the amount of players on a map and the shape of the maps themselves are variable. Honestly, the only difference aside from the random unit placement is that one landmass may look like an amoeba and the next an ill-crafted pizza. Once a suitable map is selected, the game begins in earnest.
To call World Wars a strategy game would be hyperbole. Really, it boils down to a series of spur of the moment decisions and/or random clicks. Players from different factions fill the map, each group taking up a different province. Unit placement is entirely random, and once the game starts there is no way to create new units. World Wars is turn based, and each turn is comprised of the player deciding whether or not to attack with each of their armies. Every army on the map can be used during a turn, but only once. When one decides to attack, the game goes into a brief battle animation. During this battle, each opposing army is assigned a number of dice that corresponds to the number of units within that army. Each of these dice is rolled, and based on the values of the rolls a victor is chosen. When it all boils down, it usually comes down to whoever has the higher amount of units and thus greatest probability of winning. The only difference between a tank and an infantryman is the number of dice it is granted in combat, so a large group of soldiers could theoretically take out a tank. For the most part one can simply eyeball the power of their miniature armies and throw them against anything that looks comparable or worse.
This game is no Hearts of Iron III, and I found myself disappointed with the shallow gameplay. I understand that the iPhone is not geared towards long and laborious play sessions, but there has to be some sort of happy medium.
This lackluster “strategy” board game rolls a two. Risk superfans may still want a taste of the action- World Wars can be found on the App Store for the add supported price of 99 cents.