Massive Assault Network
Billed as 'a hardcore online strategy game' (a turnbased one at that), it would be easy to assume that Massive Assault Network is something of an unwieldy beast, packed full of unfathomable figures and statistics only the serious-minded armchair generals could decipher. But in fact, despite the barely camouflaged hex' tiles that overlay each map, MAN is a simple game to learn and master, and one that's nowhere near as ponderous as its developer would have you believe.
The aim, of course, is to eliminate your enemy, which is accomplished by capturing the capital cities of each of his provinces and eliminating his forces. The trick is, at the beginning of the game you're not sure which of the 12 or so bordered zones are your foe's until they're declared by him deploying his units. Blitz into a neutral country and you're almost guaranteed victory, until you discover too late that your other neighbour - the one you left no defences against - is an enemy state as well.
Massive Assault Network has no resource management. You simply receive an income for each of your territories - unless an enemy unit is encamped within its borders. The money, as you'd expect, is used to acquire new units, ranging from the cheap-but-effective light armoured vehicles to expensive mech-like walkers, seaborne battleships and tactical bombers. The spread of units is rather thin (there are essentially just 13 varieties), but the mechanics of the game are so simple and random factor-free that you hardly notice.
The game itself is played out similarly to a play-by-email game, in that you simply log in and check to see if your opponents have made their turn, or seek and accept new challengers. The game server notifies you of any events by email if you wish, so waiting around is not a problem. The interface also includes a chat function, so if you do want to hang around, at least the wait won't be too boring.
Trial And Error
The 3D graphics in MAN are decent enough but hardly what you'd call spectacular, and the unit designs are somewhat lacking in style or originality. As for the game - well, it's an enjoyable diversion from the norm, yet despite the fact the ft/sk-meets-chess gameplay is tactical and challenging, the games seem to follow a similar pattern and the lustre quickly fades after a dense play session.
As a game, MAN is certainly worth checking out. The trial version may feature only a single map, but you can enjoy it for as long as you like. Eventually, you may find the mechanics are too simplistic to get any real longterm enjoyment from. As a consequence of this, there's little incentive for you to invest in a lengthy Massive Assault Network subscription.
Download Massive Assault Network
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP