Axis & Allies: Iron Blitz expands on a classic
(IDG) -- The computer version of Axis & Allies was one of the greatest board game-to-computer conversions of all time. It looked and felt just like the board game -- without all that painful setup time.
Iron Blitz, an expanded version, brings this masterpiece even closer to perfection.
As in the original A&A (which is included), Iron Blitz is set during WWII. You'll command the land, air, and sea units of any of the five major powers -- the USA, Great Britain, USSR, Germany, and Japan -- in an attempt to gain either an economic victory by reaching a certain sum or a military victory by capturing two enemy capital cities.
Easily the coolest part about Iron Blitz is its eight unique scenarios. Instead of playing out the exact same scenarios every time you play A&A -- Germany pushes into Russia, and the USA and Britain launch amphibious assaults on the beaches of France -- you can play one set in 1939 in which Germany and Japan are just beginning their bids for power. Or you can take part in a "what if" 1945 scenario in which Germany has been defeated and Russia betrays the Allies and joins Japan in a last-ditch effort to rule the world. They're very addictive.
You also get nation-specific unit graphics. Japan's Shinano-class carriers now look like Japanese carriers should, and the USA's fighters now look like Mustangs--a nice touch that definitely adds to the A&A experience.
Cheaper than a battleship, and more defensive than a submarine, the new Destroyer class naval unit is a worthy addition to A&A. The new Marines infantry unit costs more than normal infantry, but gets a attack bonus when participating in amphibious assaults. Both add to replayability.
Multiplayer is a blast, as it was in A&A, and finding opponents is a breeze with the aid of online services like The Zone.
Sadly, the sound hasn't improved much. It sounds just as it did in A&A--with the exception of a few new scores.
When all is said and done, Iron Blitz is a fantastic product. Unfortunately, Hasbro Interactive is charging $39.99 for it, and A&A fans who already shelled out $39.99 for the first game only get a $10 rebate when they spend another $39.99 for Iron Blitz. Expansion packs normally cost around $19.99. Hence, a $20 rebate seems in order.
A wonderful game... at a terrible price!
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