(3DS eShop)

World Conqueror 3D (3DS eShop)

Game Review

World Conqueror 3D Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Stephen Kelly

Tanks, but no tanks

Field Marshal Archibald Percival Wavell of the British Army once said that “war is a muddle” and, quite frankly, we couldn’t agree with him more. The conflict he described was that of World War II; that's the very same that World Conqueror 3D strives to simulate, with messy results. No more than an overcomplicated clone of classic board game Risk, this turn-based strategy title manages to capture all the randomness and frustrations of war without doing justice to the tactics that can make it interesting.

Immediately intimating, the world map sprawls out before you whether you choose a campaign mission or the unmanageably bloated Conquest mode. Static sprites stare menacingly at one another, accompanied by numbers that probably mean something important, but digging into the poorly communicated instruction manual is the only way to find out for sure. After deciphering what you can and hoping the dots you’ve mentally connected are in the right order, World Conqueror begins to make more sense, particularly if you’ve played similar games in the genre (read: Risk).

Three unit types take up arms to defend their respective countries: infantry, tanks, and artillery. Infantry are run-of-the mill weaklings of the battlefield while artillery can strike without fear of countermeasures, but tanks — as the unit page puts it — “continue action when complete destroying the enemies”. Head-scratching translation like this makes it tough to give orders like a boss general, particularly when the results of a given skirmish end in random dice rolls. Every attack your units make as they hop from continent to continent are governed by dice of varying power, which means your brilliant flanking of the enemy coastal base can fall to pieces at the drop of a hat if the odds aren’t in your favour.

But what would gambling be if not for money with which to bet? Each space on the map helps to fill your pocketbook with cash to spend on new units and upgrades, so it behoves you to snatch up every piece of land you can reach. The enemy can steal it back just as easily, of course, leading to a game of military cat and mouse that encourages you to come, see, and conquer on the double. If this were exciting in some way, the strategy might hold merit; yet as it stands, it just slows the game down to a snail’s pace. Once every world power on the block has briefcases stuffed with riches, bases start to pump out obscene numbers of troops until toppling a capital city (the win condition) becomes a teeth-grinding war of attrition.

There’s a lot you can scheme to do in World Conqueror — outfitting units for sea travel is vital, building defences for your home base will pay off for the cautious warmonger, and nobody will deny the effectiveness of a nuclear strike — but none of it is particularly interesting. All of that extra depth only serves to muddy up a simple set of rules that Risk had down in 1957, but the board game version didn’t constrain your field of view or lack UI functionality important to flow of play. An oppressively grey and boring presentation does nothing to help World Conqueror’s case, despite serviceable 3D effects and a handful of militaristic tunes that aren’t half bad. A total lack of multiplayer is the final straw that break the Sopwith Camel’s back, and yes, we know that’s a World War I reference, but we couldn’t resist.


When a game’s positive aspects boil down to “mostly playable”, something has gone wrong; World Conqueror is one of those games, and wrong has indeed gone. For every minute spent grinning over a carefully constructed stratagem, you’ll spend five plodding away at monotonous ocean encounters or simply waiting for the AI to finish its turn. When thinking becomes a chore, the battle is already over.

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User Comments (32)



Dyl_73 said:

That's a shame. I had hoped that this was going to be a good game. Oh well. Carry on with Fire Emblemfor my strategy fix.



Klimbatize said:

Yeah, I wish I had waited one more day for this review. I downloaded this last night after holding off for a few days, but because I'm a big fan of strategy board games like Risk I caved in without reading a proper review.

I think down the road I could get into this game, but it just looked like a catastroeff on my first play. It is a bit much to take in and understand from the outset, and after about a half hour of play I still couldn't figure out if I was winning the war or not. I set it aside and will tackle it again when I feel up to really digging into the instruction manual.



Philip_J_Reed said:

after about a half hour of play I still couldn't figure out if I was winning the war or not.

So it's the world's most accurate Vietnam simulator. Good to know!



Spoony_Tech said:

A year ago when there wasn't as many games out for the 3ds I probably would've dl'ed it day one! Thankfully I've got so much to play that waiting for a review was easy! Glad for the year of the 3ds!



KnightRider666 said:

@Spoony_Tech: As my comrade Captain Brenner would always say, "Where there is light, there is hope!" Let me jog your memory: www.nintendolife.com/...isnt_done_with_advance_wars_just_yet



SyFyTy said:

@KnightRider666 YES, YES OMG YES where IS our Advance Wars 3d????? bring it ON. If they can do Fire Emblem, A.W. should be a shoe in and make it multiplayer ONLINE please!!!



EaZy_T said:

Thanks for the review; I kinda wanted this but it has too many issues for me, I'll pass.



Spoony_Tech said:

@KnightRider666 Yes I do remember that but man o man would it be nice to actually hear that they really are working on one! Even though they would like to work on one and the 3ds is really popular right now doesn't mean Nintendo is going to give the ok! I'm surprised how poorly the series has sold in Japan and its not much better over in the west either!



SyFyTy said:

This reminds me of 'Panzer Tactics' for the DS, that was good one with stylyzed retro character with the WW2 theme.. for those interested, but that too was much more direct and easily understood. For those who enjoy updated-retro check it out if you can get one these days. I still have mine. Oh well, back to Panzer Tac. (on DS) & Advance wars 1,2 (GBA) & A.W. DS & A.W. DoR. & End War on the DS.



Eisenbolan said:

I won the first campaign. US vs Japan. Hint leave middle of US empty and move everything out west. Actually in main mode leave back spaces empty.



slidecage said:

dont see why people think the game is hard... its an okay game Just think RISK. its just too bad it could not been better (with medals you could win) also anyone know What does unlocking the other countries do? if you win the first campain you get to unlock other countires to play on the first campaign. I could see if there was medals to unlock (Like beat the campaign using USA or USSR but with nothing like that to unlock why replay the same maps)

I would give it a 5 out of 10. its a middle of the road game (just think RISK) i think i beat the first cam. in 1 1/2 hours and the first normal game in an hour. put around 3 hours into it sadly never went back. I will go back someday though after thanksgiving probally.

but does anyone know what good does unlock the other countires do???



BulbasaurusRex said:

Actually, a deeper version of Risk with a World War II theme sounds pretty good to me, and I don't really care that much about lack of multiplayer. I'd appreciate an in-depth look at the mechanics from someone who's actually deciphered the instruction manual and given the game a thorough run through.



Spoony_Tech said:

@KnightRider666 Well I made a topic on this about a year ago wanting a return to the series. Someone there posted that two of the games were combined and released that way so that's how it probably not on the list. Otherwise I don't believe that Days of Ruin did make it over there though!



KnightRider666 said:

@Spoony_Tech: If that's true, Japan seriously missed out. DOR is the series best IMO, and I hope the next AW retains the better graphics, seriousness, & dark style .



Spoony_Tech said:

@KnightRider666 I totally agree! I like the darker story and actually hated some of the characters(mayor). Which isnt a bad thing to hate him, it drew me into the story more and wanted to hate him. It feels a little more like war that way as oppose to colorful and more friendly!

I felt Dual Strike was trying to do too much and felt it was the weakest!



KnightRider666 said:

@Spoony_Tech: I agree. The story was amazing, and kept me playing just to see what happens next. The other 3 AW games were to comical and kiddie. Tabitha is my favorite CO btw. I wish The Beast was a playable CO.



Fink-Nottle said:

There it is another board game called Axis & Allies, which from the looks of it reminds me of.

Apart from playing with dices, units and a board, Axis & Allies is nothing like Risk.

I will not dismiss this game because of this review, because if it is anything like Axis & Allies, it takes a good deal of "getting used to" before you can even say if you like it or not.

It's like saying you don't like chess, because you only know the movement of the pieces and the outcome is confusing.

Of course you can say you don't want to invest in learning this game, that is another matter, but not an attitude that qualifies for a review of it.

I may give it a try.

Although lack of multiplayer, is a BIG loss for this kind of games.



Phantom_R said:

After trying the demo... wow. This could not have been a more shameless clone of Risk. Although while World Conqueror is fueled by devouring battery life, Risk devours friendships, mercilessly and irreparably.



Fink-Nottle said:

Shameless clone? It is nothing like Risk!

It is fun, it is cheap, it is worth a buy.

But it lacks variety and customization in gameplay, complex strategy & multiplayer.


We need TripleA for Wii U/3DS!



MCI1983 said:

Too bad. I love games like this and was hoping it would be good. Anyone here that is looking for a good one, though, try Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution. It's my fave for the system, so far. Worth a try!



notchucknorris said:

i really dont understand the logic on these reviews. i Love Risk, and World Conqueror 3D is GREAT!. Worth Every Penny. the rating seem horribly skewed.

imagine if Milton Bradley announced they were going to release a licensed version of the classic boardgame "Risk" in eShop for $4. RISK fans would say its an incredible bargain and an instant buy.

and yet somehow a fresh take on the classic boardgame with MORE CONTENT and challenges dosent get a proper score just because it dosent have the RISK brand name? ppft. whatever



KittenKoder said:

Actually, in spite of the review, this is a pretty good game. The fact that it's not grid-based like many strategy games is why it's a strategy game, actually. One aspect often missed in games like these are supply routes, access routes, etc. If you can cut off take a territory that has only one way for the opponent to attack, you can hold that territory for a long time and gain an advantage.

Many reviews on this site have swayed my purchases, I'm glad this time I ignored the review. I spend hours a day playing now, plotting out tactics that take the advantageous territories in a campaign. The AI is also no laughing matter, though sometimes it seems like it's just throwing troops at you there really is a thought process going on there.



XCWarrior said:

I've actually enjoyed this game a lot. I'm a big fan of risk, so being able to play against someone (the cpu) on the go and not have to pick up all the pieces, not to mention there is more strategy, is nice. It could use a bit more variety, but I'd give it around a 6.5/10. Worth a look if you enjoy Risk.

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