Battle of the Bulge: the Simulation Game for the iPad is, easily, my favorite Kickstarter project ever. I’m a huge fan of Kickstarter and I’ve been heavily impressed with a number of the iPad related projects on it – but this is a no contest type situation.
One of my favorite things growing up was playing strategic war games – board games like Blitzkrieg, Gettysburg, Afrika Korps and many many others by companies like Avalon Hill and SPI. Some of my fondest memories are of playing these games against my brother – who was younger than me and far, far better than me at all of these strategy games.
This Battle of the Bulge iPad game will bring that great tradition of strategic war games to the iPad, and I honestly can’t wait to see it – and play it!
Watching the project video on the Kickstarter page for the project just filled me with excitement and the more I learned about the project and the team behind it, the more excited I got. Seeing the background of Eric Lee Smith and the team at Shenandoah Studio – with all their years of experience and involvement with strategy games is just fantastic.
Shenandoah Studio is a new game company dedicated to bringing top quality turn-based games to the iPad in the style of classic board games. The team consists of six people with over 130 years collective experience in game design, game graphics, and programming: Jeff Dougherty, David Dunham, Nick Karp, Miguel Nieves, Eric Lee Smith, and Pat Ward. Including John Butterfield, designer Battle of the Bulge, that number exceeds 160 years! Collectively the team has been nominated for over twenty game awards and has won many. The entire team is thrilled to be working on games for the iPad!
Their huge enthusiasm for bringing this type of game to the iPad shows through in the project intro video and throughout the project page – I can’t even express how good seeing sentences like these makes me feel:
Battle of the Bulge is the first game by Shenandoah Studio, a group of veteran game designers and developers who have come together to publish top quality strategy games on the iPad, in the spirit of classic board games.
Battle of the Bulge matters for a variety of reasons: one, it is a fun game in its own right!; two, it is a serious simulation game, a memorable educational experience; and three, it begins the process of bringing these types of games to a new generation of players. Because it is an iPad game, it is simple to learn, fast to play, yet deep in its value both as fun and education
I’ve tried out quite a few strategy games and turn-based war games on the iPad – but none have really felt like those classic board games my brother and I played. This game looks like the real deal. Here are a couple more early preview shots – a prototype map and an ongoing battle view:
Here’s more detail on it from the Kickstarter page:
Battle of the Bulge is a serious historical simulation game about the famous World War Two battle. John Butterfield, one of the most accomplished game designers ever, has created Bulge from the start for the iPad. It is turn-based and you can:
- Play by yourself, as either the Germans or Allies, or
- Face-to-face by passing the iPad, or
- Face-to-face using two iPads, or
- Over the Internet, asynchronously.
You can play as many games simultaneously as you would like, “Wars with Friends” if you will. The touch screen totally changes the experience of simulation games, making them faster to play, more interactive, and more fun.
.The project goal is to raise $20,000 and they’re nearly half way there with 30 days to go. There are pledge levels from $10 (for which you get the iPad game as a reward) all the way up to $5,000. Some of the higher pledge levels offer play of a full campaign against the designer and a day of face-to-face gaming with the Shenandoah team and more cool rewards.
Needless to say I became a backer very quickly tonight. I pledged at the $25 level and I get a great package of rewards for that – the iPad game plus:
a ready-to-print PDF version of Battle of the Bulge as a board game (a $20 value); another wallpaper this time a detail of the Bulge map showing the Battle of Bastogne; an MP3 of the Bulge theme music; a copy of the Bulge Player’s Guide in PDF format; credit as a SUPPORTER (rather than a Friend).
The game is due out in August and it will be all I can do not to count the days like a kid waiting for Christmas morning.
If you have any interest at all in strategic war games, or remember any of those classic strategy board games, you should definitely check out the Battle of the Bulge Simulation Game for iPad Kickstarter page.
Here’s hoping they meet and exceed their funding target and that the game is even close to as great as it sounds.
I spotted this via Peter Cohen’s post on it at The Loop.