Trenches II made me think of something: how come there are so few games about World War I? Of course, it happened a relatively long time ago, compared to its more popular sequel that also featured a much higher body count, as well as a very charismatic villain, who still isn’t forgotten from the collective minds of humanity, which is not how wars usually work – but whatever. Still, WWI isn’t forgotten and once in a full moon, someone remembers it and maybe even tries to make a movie or two out of it. The videogames, made in that era, are probably still being counted with a single digit. Trenches II is a great addition to them, because not only is it a game, set in a First World War – it’s also a great strategy, probably with the most unique strategy mechanic that I ever encountered. Which means that I’ve shamefully missed its first iteration – but I’m more than happy that I’ve stumbled upon this one, at least.
The gameplay is largely similar for all sides, barring a couple of differences in the troops’ number and effectiveness.
Trenches II features four sides of the First World War. Namely – French, German, English and suddenly, United States, which is a total surprise, minding how they only participated on the late stages of the war. Regardless, it only means that there are more missions to play through in the campaigns and although they don’t differ that much from each other, it’s still better than nothing. The gameplay is largely similar for all sides, barring a couple of differences in the troops’ number and effectiveness. Each level is a long field, with the height of your device screen. There are two bunkers on each side of the field, one yours and one – your enemy’s. Your task is to get your forces to the enemy bunker, at the same time trying to stop him from doing the same. You have several types of troops for this job, as well as a couple of abilities. For example, the most basic unit is infantry that has three soldiers, spawned as a single group. Infantry doesn’t have any specific abilities and simply shoots at whatever enemy it encounters. There are also engineers that are killed off easily, but are able to create and remove barb wire lines, landmines and anti-tank hedgehogs and even can upgrade the trenches into bunkers.
Frankly, to explain the whole game, several pages of text are needed, because although it seems to have a very primitive gameplay, that is far from the truth.
To control your forces, you tap on it and slide your finger to the place you want them to go – mind that the troops are receiving a great bonus from being behind barriers, scattered across the battlefields. There are also artillery strikes available, as well as air attacks, to get rid of a particularly difficult enemy entrenchment. To be fair, I’ve only scrapped the surface of how many different tactics, units and abilities are available for you in Trenches II – I didn’t even touch on the subject of specialized units, such as snipers that have a really low rate of fire and only spawn by one at a time, but can kill pretty much anyone with one hit, I didn’t explain a great amount of perks, available throughout each campaign, that improve some units or abilities – or give you whole new ones. Frankly, to explain the whole game, several pages of text are needed, because although it seems to have a very primitive gameplay, that is far from the truth. Trenches II is actually one of the best strategies I’ve ever encountered – and certainly the most unique. I’m sure that it’s going to be a great title, for anyone interested in strategies.