Pathway to Glory
| Pathway to Glory

"War is the business of barbarians", said Napoleon Bonaparte, the archetypal short bloke who liked a scrap. Three hundreds years on and we're still barbarians at heart. Whether in Iraq, in the cinema, or when playing games, war is rarely more than a grenade's throw away.

But while plenty of games give you a gun and get you shooting, Pathway to Glory puts six soldiers under your command. And instead of a quick trigger finger, here you'll need a general's brains. Send your troops in the wrong direction or have them taking cover when they should be blasting their bazookas, and it'll be Waterloo for you.

The action takes place in World War II. The excellent graphics that bring Normandy and the Rhineland to life don't just look good - walls provide cover for your men, and houses can be destroyed to open up an escape route. To let you do all this, the game is divided up into 'turns'. Every turn, you and your enemies secretly plot where you'll send your soldiers, who to shoot, and so on. When you've finished scheming, the game reveals how the turn plays out.

If your men are ambushed or get squashed by a tank, well, it's happened to the best commanders. You'll get better with practice though - as do your soldiers. As you fight turn-by-turn across Europe, your squad mature from raw recruits into grizzly veterans, who are much better at battling.

But the shiniest medal goes to Pathway to Glory's multiplayer mode. Here you can wage war against up to six other players, using a single N-Gage, multiple N-Gages via Bluetooth, or via your N-Gage's network connection to the global N-Gage Arena. If you want, you can face budding Bonapartes from across the world.

With seven players each controlling six soldiers, 42 troopers can be battling at once. It's absolute mayhem, just like real war - but without the blood or the repair bill. There's no accounting for the inventive, brave, or downright suicidal battleplans of real human opponents, and that will keep you playing again and again. It all adds up to one of the best multiplayer experiences around.

Pathway to Glory

Bullets and brains makes this an essential purchase for any N-Gage owner. For the rest of us, it's a reason to buy an N-Gage