Shenandoah Studio’s released their first iPad game from their Kickstarter campaign. Battle of the Bulge: The Simulation Game for the iPad is a light operational-level wargame about the Battle of the Bulge designed by John Butterfield.
The good news is the game plays as good as it looks and as good as all of the Kickstarter supporters hoped. It is definitely on the light side for a wargame but offers enough nuance in strategy that it keeps you playing as you try to see how different approaches will work. The game includes two scenarios, a shorter three-day Race to Meuse and the full campaign game. You can play both from either the Allied or Axis side and against two types of AI opponents. The AI is quite good and I lost dozens of games of Race to the Meuse as the Germans until I finally realized I should push in the North. Maybe it isn’t possible to win running down the center or the South but it sure is fun to try. The AI doesn’t seem able to successfully defend against a northern thrust in the Race to the Meuse scenario but does give a good account of itself. The campaign is challenging from either side. You may win an early victory but you probably won’t think it was easy. But if you tire of fighting against the AI you can play a real opponent face-to-face or go online against others.
The presentation of the game is outstanding and perhaps best of all the game includes all the normal wargame rules and charts that the game uses. It is quite easy to play the game without reference to the rules but if you are curious how things are working this is a very nice, and welcome, addition.
There is also nice historical detail provided on the battle day by day that is there for those who want to read it but does not get in the way of the game.
If you like operational wargames give the Battle of the Bulge a look. It is a great game and great example of how good the iPad can be as a gaming platform.