Originally designed in 1981, Axis & Allies (A&A) has had major staying power in the board game market. This highly-strategic, tactical war game sets players in the spring of 1942, where the world is teetering into war. Many gamers to this day are huge fans of A&A and now they have a new way to play that will bring players from all over the world together: Axis & Allies Online.
Canadian video game developer Beamdog has released the official digital adaptation of Axis & Allies: 1942 Second Edition. Staying faithful to the board game, the digital version allows for online multiplayer versus your friends and enemies and automates the setup and the rules, which makes starting a game simple and fast. As with the original, five players or A.I. opponents will take on the roles of the five major nations involved in WWII: the Allies (USA, UK, USSR) and the Axis (Germany and Japan). The axis powers start off militarily strong whereas the Allies have to quickly invest their resources into building defenses and readying themselves for battle.
On your turn, you’ll build, deploy, move, and command your army, navy, and air force units to claim territories from your opponents. The more land you occupy, the more resources you’ll have for building weapons and units. At the beginning of the game, the Axis powers control six cities while the Allies control seven. To win your side must control three more victory cities than it started with (9 for the Axis or 10 for the Allies) or you can go for a total victory where one side manages to control all 13 cities.
The game is designed for veterans and beginners alike. If you are a newer player like myself (I hadn’t picked up the game since college, so I was pretty rusty on the rules), Axis & Allies Online has a series of tutorials which walk you through each section of the game, making it easy and fun for beginners to pick up.
I like how the tutorials ran you through the game. You have your instructions at the top of the screen which will give you information about the different windows, units, and actions you can take, but the game also does things like highlight the areas its talking about, making it easy to see what window is being referenced, and letting you play through examples, such as moving troops, rolling attacks, and building up your forces. Within a few minutes, you’ll have the basics down and be ready to start your first game.
There are two different modes of play: Local and Online. Local play lets you either play a solo game against A.I. opponents or with friends using “Pass and Play” and Online play lets you create or join games with players anywhere in the world. You can specify which roles will be either A.I.’s, invited players, or open to the public so you can easily set up a game even if you don’t have enough human players at the time.
Overall Axis & Allies Online is a sleek, streamlined, and successful adaption to the beloved board game. The user interface is friendly and intuitive to navigate, the board is simple and clean making easy to differentiate the factions, and with the automated gameplay, the action is smooth and satisfying. If you are an Axis & Allies mega-fan or just someone who is curious about war games, this is a fantastic way to dive in and enjoy this classic board game. Axis & Allies Online is coming soon to Steam.
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Image Credits: Axis & Allies
Hailing from New York, Jessica Fisher is a writer, artist, and all-around geek. In addition to Geek & Sundry, she writes for Gameosity.com and produces the Gameosity Reviews Youtube Channel. Find her talking about all things geeky on Twitter as @miniktty.