The Star and the Crescent
|a game by||Shrapnel Games|
|Editor Rating:||5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||4.0/10 - 1 vote|
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The Star and The Crescent is a serious game based on the same simulation engine as Raging Tiger: The Second Korean War, previously reviewed here. This later title is as dry and decidedly 2-D, but exhibits slight improvements in the map graphics. Yet though the terrain layouts are somewhat sharper, unfortunately, the subject matter -- post-WWII desert warfare between the State of Israel and its Arab neighbors -- works against it as this setting lends little color to the maps.
So it works out even. Visually these games just don't cut it in this day and age. One aspect that appears exactly the same as the previous title is the Line of Sight Fan, a yellow starburst that looks like a cracked car windshield. It's supposed to tell you what can be seen from that spot on the map. Even though the site lines appear true enough, the maps only roughly represent the topography. It's somewhat disturbing to the eye and only moderately useful.
The look and feel of the game is browser-oriented. The mission briefing comes up in your default web browser and the window that the game runs in seems to have that same thinness as web browsers do.
By virtue of its ambitious level of detail, and again, its choice of interesting subject matter however, Star & Crescent lands slightly more solidly in the Fans Only category than its predecessor product. These fans though, must be of the most serious variety and not be so interested in the graphics. Enduring the long training period necessary to learn the game is also a required taste.
It is a highly meticulous simulation of operational tactics using strict command-and-control concepts. You are a task force commander and most of your work will come in the planning of the mission. You will be able to adjust actions of individual units but once you've unleashed your force, the units themselves do most of the fighting.
The simulation -- it's more that than a game, really -- depicts the various and sundry direct clashes of arms between the Arabs and Israelis in that bleak part of the world. The game is suitably bleak, amounting to little more than an animated Order of battle diagram on a map table. The campaign sets included are Pre-1973, the Yom Kippur War, Future Scenarios and a set from the Arab point of view. Some of the battles can be played individually as well.
Multi-player gets a 1 rating because it crashed the software during the single attempt to set up a game.
This is an ambitious series of games targeted and, who knows, if they do well enough, maybe later versions will add a hint of a third dimension.