European Conqueror 3D (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Andrew 09.09.2014

Review for European Conqueror 3D on Nintendo 3DS

Turn-based strategy games have been a staple of video games for many years now. Whilst series like Fire Emblem have taken the genre to new heights, European Conqueror 3D has gone back to the roots, taking inspiration from board games such a Risk and Axis and Allies. Battles are even decided by (virtual) dice rolls. Set in World War II, there are five different European nations to choose from, with the aim of conquering the continent.

European Conqueror 3D logically opens up with a tutorial on how to build, move and attack units. This tutorial is short and surprisingly daunting; a deluge of information of which the significance is not always clear. There are also one or two typos present. The first game was a blur of figuring out what was going on as it unfolded, mixed in with trial and error. After a bit of play the confusion subsides and things fall into place, but a slower and more complete tutorial would still have been appreciated.

The game plays like a slightly more complex version of Risk. Troops are moved from territory to adjacent territory and battles are decided by rolls of the dice. As a whole the system works, but there are one or two imperfections that consistently arise during play. There are three basic unit types to fight with (Infantry, Tanks and Artillery), and each piece of territory can only have one type of unit in. This can make things very cumbersome if units want to switch places, as those that are retreating will be blocked by those moving forwards and vice versa.

In addition, battles usually consist of multiple allies (and neutral countries, too), and this can causes strange situations where it is necessary to attack allies to progress to the enemy. Whilst this could be considered part of the strategy once used to it, it does feel rather unnecessary. The fact that only one country can be controlled by the player, as opposed to controlling the entire alliance, means that there is no way around this issue. At times the most effective method is to stick to one type of unit (usually Tanks) and blast through all units blocking the path, whether friend or foe.

Screenshot for European Conqueror 3D on Nintendo 3DS

That's not to say there's a lack of strategy, though. Troop deployment plays a large role in the game, and there is also the classic problem of Rush verses Power Up (attacking quickly verses building up long term potential). The core gameplay balances addictive fun with a splash of depth, ending up with title that requires some basic thought and planning, but without anything too taxing.

European Conqueror 3D comes with two modes: Conquest and Campaigns. Ultimately they amount to the same thing, although a campaign often provides a mission brief to only defeat certain enemies. Strangely, once a brief has been given there's no way to check it mid-battle. Whilst briefs such as "defeat the invading German and Romanian troops" are simple enough, it is sometimes necessary to know the flags of the corresponding countries to work out who the enemies actually are. This may not be an issue for everyone, but it is a potential sauce of confusion, especially in the early stages. There's also no way to easily check things like how many units or territories the player controls, and there are no statistics or scores to dissect at the end of a mission. These kinds of things are staples of the genre, and their inclusion would undoubtedly improve the game, even if they are not really a necessity.

The graphics and audio are rather basic, which is to be expected from a title of this nature and price. Everything is clean and runs smoothly, though, and the developers should be praised for providing an experience that works as it should. Loading or saving times are lightning fast and the total of seven save files is rather generous. One slight annoyance is the 3D effect; given that "3D" is in the game's title, it might be expected to be a highlight, but it seems like a quick add-on that doesn't add much to the experience.

A final point of note is the multiplayer, which is bafflingly non-existent. A basic multiplayer could (and should) have been slotted in, even if it were a simple affair where the console needed to be physically passed from player to player. It's not that the single-player modes aren't fun, it's just that multiplayer is a realistic expectation from a title that is inspired by board games, even if it is a budget title.

Screenshot for European Conqueror 3D on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

There's no doubt that European Conqueror 3D is a fun title that provides value for money, even if the lack of multiplayer is a surprising omission. The relatively simplistic graphics and non-intrusive audio allows focus to fall on what really matters: fighting battles. The turn-based system work well, and small annoyances are outweighed by what the game does right.

Developer

Circle

Publisher

Circle

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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