Panzer Tactics 2
| Panzer Tactics 2

Shoehorning a game like Panzer Tactics into a mobile phone was no small task, and it had a lot to live up to after its original appearance on the Nintendo DS. Quite whether it was a successful translation really depended on your personal appreciation of the turn-based strategy genre, but there's no denying it was a bold effort.

And now the mammoth war machine of Panzer Tactics 2 is rolling on into town, with a whole bunker of extra levels and capabilities for the budding strategist. The original game on the mobile format was an undeniable achievement of technical aptitude, cramming all that code into the most restrictive of gaming systems, but here at Pocket Gamer we struggled with the overall complexity of the gameplay.

It's probably worth mentioning right for the outset, therefore, that Panzer Tactics 2 makes no apology for employing the same intense and demanding gameplay mechanics.

Battling your way through over 30 missions based on the events of World War II is a gruelling experience, though for the right player it could also be one of significant reward.

Taking control of a huge number of different military units (over 140 according to the literature), you must move your forces cautiously through a fog of war. The battlefield is built up of hexagonal areas, each denoting a single unit of movement. Manoeuvres are also affected by all kinds of other gameplay elements, however, such as terrain and weather.

So, right from the start the complexities are apparent, as simply moving through Panzer Tactics 2 demands more analytical thought than most telephonic strategy titles need in their entirety.

With each new location and situation, a variety of icons offering all manner of options surround the selected unit. Training and recruiting new troops, replenishing, spending, mounting equipment, upgrading – the list goes on. Working through the encyclopaedic menu systems is a battle all of its own.

Offensive and defensive work is contrastingly simple, however. Get alongside the enemy and click to open hostilities. In some respects, this makes the game feel a little unbalanced, and more like a logistics simulator where all the work goes on in the background; getting your package to where it's going through a complex system of depots and delivery nodes. Then you just hand it over at the doorstep and the job's a good 'un.

This review may sound as though it's building towards a negative conclusion, but that's genuinely not the way we feel about Panzer Tactics 2. The problem here is the overwhelming amount of work that needs to be done to decipher what is, in essence, a brilliantly detailed strategy game that wouldn't be out of place on a desktop PC.

The massively intricate gameplay does suggest something of a confusion over the game's intended audience, however. Throughout play, there's a sensation that the entire concept, regardless of how well designed and executed it is, simply doesn't fit on a mobile phone. For most people, it's just something they're unlikely to ever find themselves downloading when next on their operator's portal.

Not wanting to denigrate the obvious amount of work that's gone into Panzer Tactics 2, however, I'll part by saying that any pocket gamers out there who are avid fans of turn-based war strategies and want something incredibly meticulous to do with their mobile phone should add three points to the score below.

Panzer Tactics 2

Perhaps better suited (and comparable) to a desktop PC game, this Panzer Tactics sequel makes little headway to addressing the complexity issues that foiled the original
Spanner Spencer
Spanner Spencer
Yes. Spanner's his real name, and he's already heard that joke you just thought of. Although Spanner's not very good, he's quite fast, and that seems to be enough to keep him in a regular supply of free games and away from the depressing world of real work.