War of the Worlds

6War of the Worlds is based on the original H. G. Wells book about an alien invasion that devastates the Earth. The game itself is a mix of action-strategy and an over-arching campaign map where you have a larger picture of the invasion. The campaign map covers Britain and follows the progress of the human forces or the martian aliens. Three toggled overlays shows resources that set variables such as construction speed, types of facilities, strategic movement and research options. There isn’t any set story, but the ultimate goal is to secure Great Britain for either side.

The cool idea here is that the technology is very backward. Forget fighter jets rushing giant alien space craft. Here you have pre-World War I era weaponry, like lorries, submarines and balloons. Thankfully, you can develop technology quite quickly and unlock new weapons. The martians have the higher tech, such as heat rays, poison gas and even psi-weaponry. But they too start out with most of their tech in initial stages, and continually upgrade them.

Command posts are the key to strategy here. They are required for movement, construction of vehicles, defense structures, and resource management. Humans start out with several command posts, but the aliens don’t, which sort of offsets their advanced tech. Their pods fall all over Britain, but they have to make due with limited units and resources to construct new command posts. Humans, in turn, use this time to build defenses and upgrade their existing tech.

You eventually come into conflict with the enemy and that’s when the game switches to the other mode – real-time combat. It turns into a pretty general RTS game that is much more conventional than the more cerebral campaign portion. There is no save system, and the AI is quite bad overall. In fact it shows zero coherent tactical plan and is quite easy to outwit provided you have enough forces. And with no working multiplayer, there is little in War of the Worlds to distinguish it beyond a regular bargain bin product.

System Requirements: Pentium I 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win98

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