Not So Strategic War in Europe Review

The Strategic War in Europe by Wastelands Interactive starts off seeming like a turn based WWII treat. Then you go through the tutorial, if you could call it one. So here is my review of this wonderful title.

Okay, I love turned based strategy games and this one had all the ear-marks of a good one. A building system that reminded me of Axis and Allies, terrain that affected speed movement and combat, all the pretty standard concepts of hex based strategy game combat… It even has a new system to navel warfare which makes it harder to find and battle enemy subs and ships instead of just going after the hex that you magically see them in. All this sounds great and really it was… at first.

Then it hit me. The tutorial was absolutely horrendous. It didn’t help me learn anything about the new features. So I turned to the manual… nope still nothing. Navel warfare – the major change that sets this game apart from so many other games of this genre and style – has no decent form of explanation. Sure I could have probably found a good answer to this issue on the forums, but come on. A full manual and a tutorial and it doesn’t tell me how to make an aquatic attack on an enemy city. Only how to move troops from one friendly port to another; and even that is a convoluted mess that takes more time to do than it does to just send them there via tracks.

Here is another one I loved. After reading on the game I was under the impression that while real events that took place will happen in the game – which is really cool – you could stop certain ones by not preforming the action that caused the event. Don’t attack Russia and they won’t attack you, the peace treaty will hold up. Yeah, sounds great in theory. In practice that didn’t happen. I was Germany in multiple games, and every time, as soon as Finland decided to join the Axis, Russia came stomping in like a bulldozer. How I broke the treaty I still don’t know, but I swear I never attacked them. In the end all these events kept turning my game from one I felt I had some control over into merely an altered variation of the original outcome.

Now if you can figure out the navel warfare and how to circumvent the default events, you may actually enjoy the game. The rest of it plays pretty basically with common, easy to understand mechanics. I had such high hopes for this game, really I did. I was so excited to play it, I tried multiple times with varying strategies. In the end I came to the conclusion that it is just really, really not the game I thought it would be, nor a strategy game that stands out enough to scream “Buy me over that other game.” Seriously, just pass on this one, I love historical strategic war games, but I don’t want to be played by them.

1 out of 5 because it did work, it just wasn’t any fun; and that had nothing to do with my repeated losing. I’m used to that, ask my wife.
Have a good day and I hope you come back for my next review, which has to be more positive.