Tanks in the Desert

By Jean Marciniak 30 Jun 2014 0

The third installment of The Crisis in Command series is out. Desert Fox: The Battle of El Alamein was a long time coming but it has finally arrived. This game throws you in the middle of the battle for North Africa. It takes the amazing game system that worked so well for Shenandoah Studios previous titles, Battle of The Bulge and Drive on Moscow. Question is will the game be as good as the previous two. Let?s find out.




Beautiful map - Well Shenandoah Studios did it again! They made a beautiful map for this game and it?s incredible. It definitely looks like they put a lot time and effort into making it. I commend them for continuing making such incredible and detailed maps for these games.


Intuitive Gameplay - Just like in their past games, they made movement and combat incredibly easy to use. This is one of the most important features when making a game. Making sure you can drop the player in the middle of a game and within seconds they know how to play it.


Roads & terrain are important - In this game you need to be aware of the roads and terrain and utilize them to your advantage, especially if your fighting as The Commonwealth. The British has smaller units in this game compared to The Germans, so utilizing terrain is vital. This can make the difference between victory or defeat.


Nice animations - I notice and appreciate the small things this game offers. For example, when a unit moves across the map it leaves a trail of dust in its wake. Or another one being when Germans are trying to clear a minefield ? ?radio waves? are sent out from the units to destroy it. These may not be big huge features, but they add that little bit of flavor to the game that I appreciate.


Enhanced UI - Another thing I appreciate that Shenandoah Studios has done is adding a time and victory point counter on the main game interface. In their previous game Drive on Moscow you had to jump into another window to check your victory points and the game time. Imagine doing that a couple dozen times ? gets very old very fast. Glad they improved it.


Minefields and night movement - Minefields are an important element in this game. They will slow down the enemy and give your side that added defensive bonus it desperately needs. This comes in extremely handy when you have 2 German panzer divisions trying to breakthrough your lines.

I haven't utilized night movement much but it?s a nice addition. I have been utilizing this primarily to shift my front line forces.


Lots of history included - In their last few games, Shenandoah Studios packed their games with tons of knowledge detailing everything about the battle, and they did the same here. They included a full history section into the game, detailing the battles, the armies, and even commander bios. I really enjoy having these.



No iCloud game saves - So I play a lot of single player games and 1 thing I do a lot of is switch between my iPad and iPhone. So usually I begin playing a game on my iPad when Im at home. I switch over to the iPhone when I?m out of the house or at work, where I try to squeeze in a few moves. Unfortunately when I got to work I discovered this game doesn't allow you to continue your iPad game on your iPhone. I was hoping they would of added this feature as many games I play do.


Weird turn processing information - So when you end your turn a weird information box pops up in the top right corner. It starts listing the names of numerous provinces in the map, one after the other. Then underneath that it displays ?Evaluating (goes from 0 to 10,000) moves?. I don't know if this is a bug or supposed to be in the game. But honestly it serves me no purpose. [Ed: readers may like to check out our first impressions piece here as it has a note on this from Shenandoah]


AI is not as smart as I was hoping - Every time I play the computer I notice that it sometimes makes reckless decisions. Numerous times the enemy left their supply lines open, and I was but all to happy to cut them off. Those units eventually were destroyed. Honestly it didn't feel really challenging. Or perhaps I?m getting too good for my own good.


Confusing supply issues - Supply in this game still confuses me a bit. It plays more importance in this game than it did in the previous games. Unfortunately even when I cut the enemies supply off they still pack a punch. One example was when I had my Air Force destroy the supply for 2 German units, but they still managed to cross 2-3 provinces, hit my lines and cripple my strong defensive units.



Units can dig in and setup mines each turn - I would like to see a feature added where units can dig in and build trench works, as well as setup minefields during each turn.



After waiting months for Desert Fox the question that comes to mind is - Was it worth the wait? Yes it was. There are some rough edges but that can be smoothed out with patches. But this is the best World War 2 game set in North Africa I have played on the tablet or even a desktop.

So if you?re looking for a good El Alamein game for your iPad ? this is it. $9.99 will keep you busy until they release the fourth installment, whatever that may be.


Link to App - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/desert-fox-battle-alamein/id745555885?mt=8

Strategy tips from Shenandoah - http://www.shenandoah-studio.com/tips-survive-desert-fox/



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