Strategy games are a challenging mix of tactics and decision making, two points I struggle with when it comes to turn-based games as I often make the wrong choice at the wrong time. Drive on Moscow has you command a battle set during World War II in Russia around capital city Moscow, in which you must occupy tiles and march forward to victory, gaining full control.
As the Soviets you make a bold push to seize Moscow back, whilst control of the Axis forces has you put up a brave defence, by holding your ground on Moscow and capturing tiles on the grid. The whole game is played over time on a gridded map, in which your units and enemies occupy tiles, and it’s your job to gain control of the battle using units such as tanks, horsemen, airbourne and infantry to your aid to defeat the enemy.
As commander, it can be quite complex and overwhelming to start with, as there are a lot of mechanics to learn before you’ll be achieving any sort of victories on the battlefield. The tutorials seem pretty long winded as well, which are largely text-focussed – not ideal for someone who learns better visually. I did manage to learn how Drive on Moscow works though eventually, albeit a little bit longer than expected, which most players may not last as long and simply quit playing altogether.
The game also features an impulse based turn system, whereby you activate individual sectors. You’ll need to choose wisely, and time is of the essence and correct timing is crucial to winning the campaign. This is a key example of one mechanic you’ll need to master early on otherwise you’ll fail and lose the war without an enemy casualty.
Its roots actually began on mobile for iOS in 2013, in which the game’s UI won an award. Sadly I felt the UI lacked its award-winning status on console though as it was bombarded on screen at times and way too much information was on-screen for the eye and controller to process in the heart of battle.
Drive on Moscow has 3 ways to battle it out: online multiplayer, local or against AI. The last option is by far the most challenging, as the AI have a full understanding of the game, which creates a steep learning curve for newcomers such as myself. There are also 3 different scenarios to play out.
If you do manage to overcome the elements to learn, then you may very well experience victory and there’s even a replay feature to watch back every move made right up until that final winning move.It does have to be said though, the title is well supported by documents and photos from WW2, which were placed thoughtfully.
Drive on Moscow is a niche strategy title that will likely immediately switch off a lot of players. It’s gameplay has a lot to be learnt and that takes time, and to be honest I wouldn’t spend that long with it if it wasn’t for this review. However if you do enjoy this type of game and spend the time to learn how to play, then I’m sure it will deliver short bursts of thought provoking gameplay.