Game of the week: Little Generals

Little Generals by Smarter Apps trundled its way into the App Store this week, putting you in command of a cartoony military empire.

Little Generals is, at its core, Worms meets Risk. You and an AI opponent take turns battling for territory. Each side gets a tank, and jump back and forth taking potshots at one another on a randomized map with destructible terrain. You edit the trajectory and strength of your shot by dragging the guide around the screen, and let loose with one of many different weapons, such as napalm rounds and drilling explosives. The destructable terrain is pretty neat, but sometimes creates this weird cheese-peeling effect where a single, clean line will cut through the ground and have a cliff wobbly precipitously outwards after an explosion. Levels are also populated with various power-ups and obstacles for generals to interact with, like blimps overhead carrying mines and mailbox on the ground.  Some territories have factories which produce weapons and power-ups, but you have to log in to the game and manually collect them to enjoy the benefits. If you lose a battle, the AI has a chance to attack one of your territories and potentially take it away from you.

One of the best things about Little Generals is that it's free. You earn Warbux for winning battles, and gathering it from your capital by checking in on it at regular intervals, but you can also buy more Warbux with in-app purchases. Warbux are spent on fresh ammunition and new tanks. There's extensive avatar customization, and I can only assume that there will be a lot of stuff there in the future that will be unlocked with Warbux. The goofy style extends beyond the smack-talking avatars. The randomized global maps have great names for individual territories you invade, like West Mungvania, Duchy of East Zitbrook, and United North Frazzleistan.

There's no multiplayer yet (even with AI) unfortunately, and I would love to be able to use more than one tank in each battle like Worms (which is on sale this weekend, by the way). Game Center integration tracks your win count and achievements. The graphics are optimized for the new iPad's Retina display, not that the cartoony visuals need to be bleeding sharp.

If you're looking for a lighthearted wargame, be sure to commandeer Little Generals this weekend.

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