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33rd Division Review (iPhone)
Review Score:

After receiving some fantastic reviews for their flying adventure game Blimp, Crane Ball Studios venture back into the iDevice market with their second game titled 33rd Division. The question on everybody’s lips is whether 33rd Division can be as successful as Blimp or whether Crane Ball Studios are a one hit wonder company?

33rd Division is a line-drawing game set in the World War 2 era. There have been countless amounts of line-drawing games in the past for the iDevice but I’m happy to say that 33rd Division brings new and exciting features to the genre. Remember an old classic PC series called Commandos? You had to guide your team of soldiers from one point on a map to the objective area without being seen by the enemy soldiers; 33rd Division is identical in its gameplay. You have to think quickly on the spot and react to certain situations to ensure your soldier doesn’t pass into the enemy soldiers line of sight, which is indicated by a green area projected infront of them. If your soldier is unfortunate enough to step into this line of sight, they will be relentlessly killed where they stand.

2 33rd Division Review (iPhone)

The soldiers you command constantly move around the screen unless you tap on them which tells them to lay prone on the floor. The constant movement of your soldiers along with the movement of the enemy patrol and therefore their line of sight has you always thinking one step ahead and creates tense and frantic gameplay. You have 3 different sets of soldiers to command throughout your mission. Firstly you have a Soldier who moves at normal speed and rewards you with 1 point for every successful trip. Next you have a Medic who moves at a faster past and rewards you with 2 points for every successful trip, but they appear less often than a Soldier. And last but not least, on a rare occasion you must command a Sergeant to the rally point, and these units move at a painfully slow pace but reward you with a nice 3 points for every successful trip; triple that of a normal Soldier.

Power-ups are thrown into the mix throughout the game which you can collect if the situation allows, and these offer nice variety to the gameplay and help keep the game fresh. There are 10 power-ups in all which range from making your unit invisible, freezing your enemies and even doubling or tripling your score, among other useful bonuses which will help improve your high score.

Two games modes are on offer in 33rd Division; these being Life Mode and Time Mode. Life Mode is touted as the easier of the two modes by the developer, and it has you starting with 5 lives. As soon as 5 soldiers of the 33rd Division die, the game ends and you’re left with a score to show off to your friends or in my case, be ashamed off and show nobody. Time Mode starts you off playing with 30 seconds of time on the clock. Every time you successfully reach the objective with a unit, 10 seconds gets added to the clock. However, if one of your unit is killed, 10 seconds gets deducted from the clock and brings the end of the game ever closer. The two modes vary from each other enough to provide a different challenge and therefore add replayability to the game.

Only one map is available to play from the offset, but you can unlock a further 5 maps by unlocking a certain amount of points. This has both positive and negatives. In a positive way, it gives you something to look forward to and an incentive to play the game more. In a negative way, you have to score way too many points to unlock the next map which could dishearten you and keep you from playing the game if you get bored of a certain map or find it particularly challenging.

The maps themselves are fantastic and designed extremely well. The earlier maps ease you into the game, with the latter maps offering a real challenge to achieve a respectable high score. The maps, along the whole game in general, look fantastic. The amount of detail on show is astonishing and easily the best I’ve seen on the iDevice to date. Lovely little effects like footprints in the snow add charm to the game and give it a polished feel. The sound effects also sound fantastic, whether it be your soldier screaming SIR, YES SIR, the sound of a machine gun in the near distance or a catchy song that plays on the odd occasion throughout the game.

The ever popular OpenFeint thankfully appears in 33rd Division which allows you to unlock achievements, upload and compare your high scores to your friends and gamers across the world, and also see which of your friends are playing the game. The achievements are mainly given for scoring high amounts of points and unlocking the available maps, so aslong as you play the game for a long period of time, you’re sure to unlock them.

Overall, 33rd Division is a fantastic game that comes highly recommended if you have even the slightest interest in line-drawing games; and if you don’t, then start showing an interest now! At £0.59, 33rd Division is an absolute bargain and a must-buy in my opinion.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
33rd Division Review (iPhone), 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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