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First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of "World Crisis"

World Crisis is a turn-based strategy game where you must advance your faction's agenda on the continent through any means necessary: military, economy, or diplomacy. In other words, it's a standard 4X game, shrunk to the mobile, and it's a pretty decent game in that regard.

You can choose from any of the three factions available, each with a bonus. Iron guard, for example, has a +2 bonus to their infantry units. If you start a brand new game, you start with the Iron guard. There are just a handful of unit types, and only three resources. You can capture any of the resource points: oil rig (oil), naval yard (electricity), and warehouse (food), but only with infantry and artillery. Those resource points can be upgraded to raise their production but that needs resources too.

Capital itself can also perform research in military, economic, or diplomatic fronts, which will provide vast improvements if you want to dedicate a LOT of food and other resources toward the research. Those will give significant bonuses in various areas. For example, level 1 military research gets you 1 extra hitpoint on every infantry unit (12 to 13, or for Iron Guard, 14 to 15), while later items get you reduced production costs, increase production of resources, etc. You can set the research rate (i.e.how much to spend). Standard is 10, but you can go up to 50, which of course makes your research 5 times as fast. Capital itself can also be "upgraded" to increase production.

What is interesting is you can trade with other faction even if you are at all-out war. Guess the world is in bad enough shape that trade must occur no matter what. However, the relations affects trade ratios. If you're unfriendly, you have to trade 2:1 (two of yours for one of theirs), but when relations improve, you can raise that to 3:2, or even 1:1 later.

As you progress across the island, you are tasked with different missions. One mission is to accumulate 1000 food, through any means necessary. You can go after the other faction's warehouse, or you can ramp up production, grab oil rig, and start trading, while defending your territory against enemy military units. Other missions puts you in the middle of a war and you have to pick sides, or help an ally beat some other faction. There are many such missions as you conquer the entire continent.

There are only 5 units (infantry, artillery, tank, cruiser, bomber) but they are rather different, and does have tactical implications, but not THAT much, as some have attack range of 1, while others have attack range of more than 1 (i.e. does not need to be next to the other unit). You are limited in total number of units though, so the units are quite important.

The story is not that good, and sound/vibration is really negligible. Combat is basically group attack... Gang up on the enemy unit, stack the units properly in terms of range or terrain. You get the idea. However, the AI is sufficiently aggressive though not THAT smart.

The main problem is the tactical battles cannot be saved. You either win the tactical battle (i.e. the "mission") or you start from scratch. If you quit the game the progress is NOT saved except your progress on the "world map" (i.e. you win or lose the battle). [Update: it appears that if you exit the game via the menu, or was interrupted by a call, your progress IS saved, and can be resumed.]

The AI is a bit too aggressive, and does not attempt to "reinforce" (i.e. heal) units. Basically every unit is like kamikaze... attack until destroyed. So if you have enough units that you can a) achieve local superiority and gang up on one unit, and b) rotate out the damaged units to heal, and have enough resources to heal it as well, then you can't really lose. And what's worse, AI gets very confused if you can block off one side of the island, so it just stays put. This is critical in the final two or three maps. If you just park your units and block off the approaches, the AI will NOT attack you by sending units into your territory (they will defend themselves if you attack them though, or go into their territory). This makes going "turtle" (i.e. production victory) very simple.

All in all, Global Crisis is a good strategy game for the mobile. It really needs a bit better AI that isn't confused about path-finding.

Overall rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: good turn-based combat without being too complicated
Cons: Ai that is easily confused by blocking their path completely, confusion regarding resuming an ongoing battle/mission.
Verdict: almost a classic, but just almost

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