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Warfare, Inc. Review

Developer: SpiffCode Publisher: Handmark
Release Date: September 1, 2003 Also On: None

Warfare Inc. is a real time strategy game in the likes of Command and Conquer. When I first started playing, it reminded me a lot of a few years back when I would spend the night in front of the computer playing Red Alert.

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In case you were unaware of what a real time strategy game is, imagine being the general in a battle and telling troops what to do. The troops follow your orders, whether it is to attack a group of enemy soldiers, send vehicles for a quick raid of a base or to capture an enemy building.

A tutorial is all but unnecessary because of the wonderful structure of the missions. The beginning missions were almost boring to me because I was able to jump into the game quickly. I had even started to form thoughts that the game would be great if not for the lack of difficulty. But soon the missions changed in variety and started proving quite a challenge. There are even a few missions I had to repeat almost ten times to complete. That kind of replay value is exactly what I look for in games.

On the Warfare Inc., website there is a large collection of additional missions produced by other players using the Mission Creator add-on. The missions are almost as fun as the single player game and add almost infinite replay value.

The controls are almost perfect. Unit selection is done almost exactly how it is done with a mouse. Highlight a group of units and click somewhere else to move them to another location. The screen can be moved by clicking the box in the bottom right of the screen or by using the hard buttons on the bottom of the device. The best way to move the screen though is moving the stylus around in the graffiti area. If you click and move up, the screen goes up, if moved left the screen shifts to the left; it is very intuitive.

I cannot talk about this game without mentioning the multiplayer. Games can be played over bluetooth or WiFi and it is an amazing experience. I have been playing games online for years but I never imagined I’d play on my Palm. The first time I joined an online game I was shocked to see how smooth it was running and how absolutely fun it was.

The graphics are almost awe-inspiring. If people ask why I have a PDA, Warfare Inc. is one of the first programs I pull up. The amount of depth on the screen is fantastic, even on the small Palm screen you can differentiate between different types of soldiers, vehicles and buildings. The game runs smoothly and has almost no evidence of slowdown, which is really great considering all the things going on onscreen at once. One thing to note, the game even runs great on grayscale and non Palm OS5 devices.

The sound is the best I have heard on my handheld. Click on a soldier and he can be heard saying “ready sir� or when a unit is done being trained the game will tell you. Gunfights can be heard in the distance, alerting you of battles off screen and soldier’s screams are very convincing when they are killed in combat. Overall, the sound is top-notch.

I did have some minor problems with the game. I wish the controls could be remapped for the hard buttons, I use a Sony Clie and it would be great for the jog dial to move the screen up and down and the left and right arrows to go left and right but, no dice. Also, more units would have been appreciated, but this just leaves room for a sequel, right?

Overall this game is nothing short of amazing. Every time I play, I still get near-chills at the realization that I’m playing such a sophisticated game on my Palm. The gameplay, controls, graphics and sound are superb. I can’t wait until SpiffCode releases another game; if it is anything like Warfare, Inc., I’ll grab it in a second. Warfare, Inc. is the Palm OS’s first real must-buy; a killer-app.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 9.6
Written by Chris Review Guide