From Pixelated Milk, the creators of Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs, comes Warsaw, a turn-based strategy game published by gaming company. With its heavy focus on strategic gameplay set in the Polish city of Warsaw in 1944, Warsaw is a great game for anyone needing a change of pace.

Not Your Average Story

Many recently released games are World War II-themed, but that’s where the “inspiration” for the setting often ends. Warsaw, on the other hand, is far more inspired by the history of its setting. In order to bring true authenticity to the game (at least location-wise), true historical events have been woven into the game’s central storyline. Your forces will patrol the streets of the Warsaw to drive out the Nazi threat, many of which actually existed at the time.

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You are a member of the Polish Home Army and part of Operation Tempest. It is the duty of you and your forces to stand against the Nazis and save as many people as possible. Finishing your missions as fast as possible will minimize casualties resulting from the constant conflict.

The full map of Warsaw is certainly a nice touch, but there were a few problems I had when first playing the game. During your tours through the streets of Warsaw, you are afforded flares that reveal things hidden throughout the map. When I used mine, I saw icons on the map for a few seconds before they disappeared. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to last long enough.

The RPG Element

Nowadays, many developers are seeking to cash in on the event sequences of their games. Most games will give you a linear unfolding of events, regardless of how ghastly your behaviour during the game might have been. But in Warsaw, Pixelated Milk, had randomized the game’s events in a way that I have not seen other games do. Make the wrong choice, even if the odds are in your favour, and you’ll possibly lose ammo and a few personnel.

Each of your soldiers, young or old, has a personality trait unique to them. You’re more likely to have a favourable outcome if your character’s portrait is blue and their percentage is above 50%.

The hardest part about participating in events that require certain traits, such as endurance or intuition, was that a high percentage didn’t guarantee success. It didn’t stop me from enjoying this part of the game, though. If you are a completionist like I am, you’ll be spending hours trying to map out what works and what does not.

Skills Galore

In addition to personality traits, each of your characters will eventually gain a unique skill to be used in battle. These can range anywhere from AOE moves to speed and damage buffs. Pay attention to what each of these skills does and ensure your party members’ abilities compliment each other.

Each medical officer has either one or two heal skills. Not all officers will employ the use of a weapon. Some medical officers may posses a damage ability in place of a weapon-based attack.

Your biggest advantage against the opposition will definitely be your AOE attacks. Heavy hitters are certainly a great way to gain the upper hand, but you don’t want to rely on them completely. These particular attacks work best after each ‘light weapon’ has been used to wear down the opposing forces.

While it certainly sounds simple, it requires quite a bit of finesse to work your way past some of the games’ encounters. Even if you are ready to attack, you may get an unexpected debuff from your enemy. You might be getting ready scorch an enemy, only to have the attacked suppressed by your opposition.

You also have to use your ammo sparingly. Some attacks may require 1 round of ammo and others may require 3. If you use your heavy attack constantly, you’ll run out before the fight is over.

Frozen in Time

There were a few occasional glitches that forced me to have to either restart the game or exit to the main menu. During a few encounters or triggered events, the game would freeze completely. That wasn’t the only problem I encountered during my playthrough. One of the biggest I noticed was when I picked a specific target node. After selecting my attack and highlighting a specific node, hitting the mouse button to attack would not garner a response.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Warsaw is a wonderful title with a great amount of replay value. Seeing as I have a soft spot for anything history-related, this is definitely one game I can fully support. Playing for the time I did, it was genuinely hard to find anything that I particularly disliked about it. Despite its 2D appearance, it does not take away from the action and somber story of the Warsaw Uprising.

The game does have a bit of a learning curve, so if you are just getting into the strategy genre, you may want to steer clear for now. Warsaw is available now for the PC.

Thanks for taking the time to read! If you like what you read here, feel free to check out our other reviews.

Hand-painted Artwork
Original Music
Intense Fighting
Emphasis on Strategy
Froze on occasion
Scarce resources
Temporary Flares

Review Summary

Warsaw is a turn-based 2D strategy game with RPG elements. It is great for anyone who fancies themselves a World War II history aficionado and those who want a new take on the 2D genre. Despite the occasional glitch, it is still completely enjoyable. Pixelated Milk continues to develop the title, so what we see here may not be the finished product.

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