Among little digital unit markers and colorful, game board-like maps is where I feel most at home. Anyone else like me coming from a childhood of armchair strategists and enjoys a long game of Risk will understand the excitement at seeing the war table of World Conqueror III.
For the most part, the game succeeds in capturing the challenge and strategy of war from afar. The first thing that impressed me was the sheer number of available things to do with both the Axis and Allied campaigns.. In addition, there are also two other modes for you to try out, one time-based resource-farming mission map (think tapping collectors in Clash of Clans), and a world conquest mode where you can take control of a country and play with all the other nations on the map (as well as a home base to manage your personnel and upgrades). The variety of makes me feel that the developer actually spent time and effort to justify your purchase, a value which is sorely lacking these days. Of course, as one would expect from a game with so much content, World Conqeuror III does implement a payment system, but it’s never being shoved in your face and doesn’t wall you out of content.
The core of the game is turn-based movement and combat on a Risk-like board. There are a few additional layers added upon the classic rock-paper-scissors based warfare of other, simpler games, as naval and air based support, resources and manufacturing are thrown into the mix. You’ll need to utilize all of these things, as getting the highest rating on each mission is a refreshing challenge. The game does a good job of putting you in interesting and difficult scenarios that offer you choices about how to approach them. It’s all well done and creates an engaging and situationally rich experience.
Being the crotchety cynic that I am, I still have some mild gripes with the game. The main problem is that regardless of what nation you play, your units are all the same. So while a nerd like me might remember German armored dominance or extensive use of American aircraft carriers, sadly no such advantages are represented in game. While it’s an understandable move by the developer to avoid prejudice against certain nations, it defeats the purpose of playing as Axis or Allies when the only difference between them is starting position and names.
A more puzzling development decision was to include so much in-game downtime. These instances are most noticeable in the eponymous world conqueror mode, which is rendered essentially unplayable since you have to watch every nation tediously move their units around the map. A related note is the somewhat questionable decision to leave a large portion of your units in control of your AI ally with surprising frequency. Again, I understand the impulse: by making you play as a single piece within the entire force, the game will, in theory, let you experience teamwork across different fronts, since pushing too far deep without the support of your ally usually will lead to unpleasant results. While this aspect is to be praised, it forces both a long wait time during your turn, and a strong reliance on the AI. To the game’s credit, the decisions made by the computer are usually competent, but since there’s obviously no way to let the computer players know what you’re planning, you can’t really say it’s coordinated a team effort.
While it’s not going to blow you away with innovation or depth, WCIII is a competent and well-made entry for any armchair general. While my acute criticisms may sound harsh, they draw attention to a small minority of weak components, which are all understandable gameplay choices from the developer. Make no mistake, this is a mostly sound game, lovingly packed to the brim with features and content.
Is it Hardcore?
A challenging and content filled entry into the mobile strategy realm.