World Supremacy

December 6, 2010

I’m not really sure who World Supremacy is supposed to wow over. Low-budget turn-based strategy titles need two things to be worth the time: they need to be well-designed and they need just one other rewarding variable, some sort of gravy to go with the meat. That gravy could be effective multiplayer options, a challenging computer opponent, a single-player campaign with a rewarding storyline, or involving graphics and sound. Something, anything. While World Supremacy as a game is well-designed (it borrows heavily from the always-enjoyable Axis and Allies), it doesn’t have any other necessary rewards to make it worth picking up, though not for lack of trying.

The biggest difference between World Supremacy and Axis and Allies is that World Supremacy has simplified Advance Wars-style combat for every time there is a battle. Units come on screen in the order of their having arrived at the space. The attacker moves and attacks with all his units first. Units are on a grid and have varying attack ranges. Units die in entire pieces. If you have 3 tanks and your 6 infantry units don’t quite kill a single tank, there is no damage or life that carries over to the next battle. Against the computer, you simply get to the middle first, wait for them for a turn or two so you get the first hit, and you always have the advantage. Why not just roll the dice and let the stats grind it out? The combat is not very satisfying either, as Advance Wars and its imitators have fog of war, special abilities, and the map is the combat. Here, the map is the map, and combat only happens when one space moves to another. It’s an ambitious change, but does not mix well with the rest of the game.

There are optional neutral countries to liven the game up, as well as a random map generator, which is always a plus. Choose as many players and as large of a map as you want–with saved games, you can make an extremely large or small game. While these are better features than the managed combats, these elements also don’t mesh well, since the only multiplayer options are hotseat (which doesn’t mix well with either the optional fog of war and the non-optional manually fought battles) and TCP/IP. That’s right, TCP/IP. Is this a game for only one opponent?   

World Supremacy also has more units than Axis & Allies, which are upgradable. You can also build cities, which up your money count without you having to grab new territories. There are also nukes, which is a different and admirably bold idea.

Ultimately, most of these features don’t matter, even though some are well-implemented. The computer is predictable, boring, and easy to stomp, there are no advanced graphics, sounds, or storylines, and the multiplayer options are not friendly. The elements of design as a board and strategy game are done well in World Supremacy, but all the mixed signals and flaws of all the bonus features make for a boring and uninteresting experience. No gravy here.

Pros: customizability, simplicity, randomly generated maps, unit depth and options

Cons: No multiplayer community features, poor UI, overpriced ($30), absolute lack of graphics and sound make it feel like a mod / free-to-play game, the combat sequences

Score: 2/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.