By Peter Magers on Mon, 11/05/2012
SuperPower- World at War is a new launch from iPanda Lab that aims to make a hot new game out of a Cold War inspired sim.
It’s an MMO in the social network gaming style that Facebook popularized (Mafia Wars, anyone?) but it’s got a bit more going for it than that. Several things stand out, but the most significant seems to this reviewer to be the fact that the player “character” is a nation rather than an individual. This shapes the various activity tabs in ways that set SuperPower apart from its mob and vampire counterparts. Nor are you building a nation the way you’d be building a clan or mafia in other games. Rather, you’re building alliances, which works more intuitively given the game’s focus on military force.
Players choose a nation (essentially, this is just choosing a flag and association, however) a name, and are provided with a unique code (to make forming alliances simpler). After that very minimal set up, the player has access to various tabs used to achieve various types of progress. For example, players can level by building experience, which is earned through completing missions (spending energy points in exchange for such tasks as setting up bases in different areas of the world, etc.). Leveling provides rewards not only in terms of stats but in terms of what items and activities are accessible in other tabs. These include units to deploy (troops and vehicles), as well as buildings. Units impact defense and attack stats, buildings provide money flow, uranium production, and other commodities like population. There’s also a battle tab, which lets players face off against other SuperPower- World at War players for rep and cash flow. The tabs are incredibly simple to navigate, and learning more about a resource type or using it typically involves nothing more than tapping it directly.
As for pros and cons, for the type of player who enjoys these games, there aren’t really any cons. For those on the fence, however, there are some considerations.. If you’ve tried some text-based MMOs and they left you cold, SuperPower- World at War could well surprise you. For one thing, the initial stages are faster paced than many of its competitors. This doesn’t make the game less challenging once you’re established, but it definitely cuts down on the grind early on, which is a major plus. Second, the early stages don’t force players to employ alliances. While having allies is very important later on, and enhances the experience, the lack of emphasis on this in the beginning is a plus because it allows players to get a feel for the game and what they want to accomplish. Finally, SuperPower is what you make of it. It’s not a linear progression which demands that you beat or finish the game, or even continue leveling if you don’t desire to. With varied goals like cash flow, military force build up, empire building, and battling available, each player’s experience is different.
Of course, text based MMOs/sims just aren’t for everyone. There’s a lack of interactivity as far as moving pixels, which is a turn-off for some gamers. If, however, a gamer is into the strategies and tactics of force-building, or simply enjoys the competitive aspect and the politicking that goes with alliances and “hit lists,” SuperPower is a winner. Slick graphic design makes for an attractive and convenient UI, while overall game design gives gamers pretty much infinite hours of play.
And it’s hardly a gamble, since SuperPower-World at War is free to download. It’s also available now in iTunes, so start fulfilling your dreams of world domination today!