How does Smarter Apps' strategy title fare on the battlefield?
Once you've reviewed more than, say, six or seven games from the App Store, firing up the next one and being told that you've been awarded a nice chunk of Warbux just for logging in can't help but start some alarm bells ringing in the back of your mind. It's the earliest we've seen a game's suspiciously in-app purchase-looking currency rear its head.
Warbux is the currency used in Little Generals (earned through gameplay or purchased with real money), with which you arm your one-man fighting force as he takes on a series of territorial fights against another single AI opponent in a series of face-on, 2D turn-based maps.
First things first, you'll need to select a target from the map. You can only attack lands that are adjacent to your current position, and so you'll need to think ahead a little when planning out total domination. Should you lose a match, you run the risk of conceding some of the ground you've already acquired.
The arrow lever in the bottom left of the screen allows you to move your tank left and right across the landscape to set up your single shot each turn, and your vehicle is blessed with some truly magnetic properties, allowing it to climb near-vertical surfaces. Be warned though that you only have a limited amount of fuel on each level, so you'll need to plan your maneuvers carefully.
That's the basic gameplay then, and while Little Generals had the potential to bring something new to the comical turn-based strategy genre, it sadly stumbles in a number of fundamental areas: there's little in the way of introduction of how to play the game, the firing trajectory is very hard to judge, there's little to no music or sound, and we found ourselves stuck in the landscape and unable to take our turn on more than one occasion.
You can use those Warbux to upgrade to a tank that might be tougher, or another that might be a little zippier on the ground, and once you've completed enough victories, different weapon types unlock so you can take advantage of bunker-busting bombs, napalm and miniature nukes. Unfortunately, the game makes itself very hard to love in the early stages, and so most players will likely never see these more interesting options.
Sadly, Little Generals is more of a nice idea than it is a nice game. It's a real shame as we think there's the germ of a great title here. We hope we'll get a chance to see more of that in a future update or release from Smarter Apps.
What's Hot: Some nice humor in the exchanges between warring forces.
What's Not: Very basic gameplay and audio, mixed with some occasionally annoying controls, make Little Generals far more disappointing that it should be.