The value of trenches in a war gets a major spotlight in Warfare 1917. In this game, players are introduced to the concept of entrenchment and the importance of recognizing the value of different soldier classes -depending on a unit's armament and speciality, the advancement of troops and gaining of territories can be an easy or difficult task. Of course, the enemy AI will also be attempting to halt the advance and it is up to the player to find ways to adapt, survive, and prevail.
How it Plays
Warfare 1917 is composed of many stages through which, the enemy forces slowly grow more and more powerful. At the same time, as the player advances through the game, new classes and support abilities are unlocked -as well as experience points earned that allow for leveling up (which in turn earn skill points used for permanent passive bonuses).
In order to win a stage, players must deploy troops and conquer the whole stage territory (which basically means getting a unit all the way across the other side of the screen). Deploying units is a simple matter of just clicking on of the various unit class types. No resources are needed for training troops, but a general cooldown has to be finished before more troops can be made. As expected, troops with better stats have longer cooldown.
By balancing the types of units being trained, the player can create a waves of attackers. When soldier encounter an empty trench they will stay in it and use the entrenchment as an advantage against enemies (it is a good idea to stock trenches full of machine gunners, snipers, and maybe a commander). Trenches can also be used to coordinate the advance of your troops (you can pile up to three squads then launch them all together).
As long as a player controls a trench, the trench can be locked or unlocked (meaning player units will either use the trench or automatically advance over it (when laying siege on an enemy, locking out trenches near your side will reduce the time your units take to join the fight).
How it Plays
There's a lot to appreciate with regards to the way the game looks. The soldiers march across the fields with pretty fluid animations -the animation frames are limited, but they managed to make the movements look smooth and fluid. From walking, to crawling, to reloading weapons, and of course, the way the little infantry units happily celebrate a successful mission. And that's just the main troops, all the while there are mortar/artillery rounds blasting across the battlefields, armored vehicles, and various other little details going on at the same time. The crackling audio also adds nicely to the ambiance. The only catch to all these details is that you will want to play on a pretty good system -a powerful netbook can probably handle it without any slowdowns. Otherwise, there's an option in the settings to set the visuals at the lowest possible quality.
Warfare 1917 is a decent game made better by a well developed play mechanics. There are occasions when the battles start taking a bit of time to finish - but that is the point of battles of attrition, and seeing how the slow exchange of territories is affected by troop movement (and the sheer number of fatalities that occur on both sides) makes for quite a revelation for many players about the cruel truths of war. But aside from the morality lesson, the bottom line is that Warfare 1917 is a simplistic 2D game is fun and satisfying to play. We highly recommend it for anyone who likes World War themed games, plenty more of which can be played online at worldwargames.org including Warfare 1944 and the Endless War Series.