Welcome to our first Retro Revival post that sees us take a fresh look at our choice WW2 games from yester year and review them in a mission to teach the kids of today a lost lesson; the history of WW2 games!
Operation Europe: Path to Victory is a World War II-themed game produced and released by Koei. It was available on across all the main platforms of that era, specifically the PC, Sega Genesis and the SNES in 1994. The game received mixed reviews from critics at the time and was by no means a classic title. But for us World War 2 geeks, it was by no means worth ignoring.
It is always hard to review retro games when you are so used to the realism and engagement of gameplay that we are so used to from the current plethora of consoles and computers of the current age. However, in the same way a vinyl collector would tell you; old certainly does not mean dead, and it is even possible to see beauty in the wonderfully pixelated games of yester year. The fact that I can still walk into my local bar and play Pac Man on an arcade coffee table, fuels that theory all the more.
Operation Europe: Path to Victory is a simple turn based strategy game that allows players to play as both the allies and the Axis power. The aim of the game is to achieve a set of objectives that will eventually lead to victory of your chosen side. The whole game is based on theory and reaction to real time statistics. If you hate math and numbers then it may be a good time to forget this game now.
As far as the graphics are concerned there is a good use of color throughout the game, although it can feel a bit boring at times with lots of browns and dark greens taking over the screen. Icons and animations are clear and concise making the game appear very simple and easy to grasp.
Discussing sound will not take long, as there are no important or useful sounds to mention. A dodgy theme song and a few beeps is all you get with this title. But to be fair, if you had a SNES soundboard as your vehicle to deliver audio to people, you would probably agree that there is little to no point in spending much time or money on something of such poor quality. Even if we do agree that the Mario theme tune rules!
Although the game itself is simple, the learning curve is surprisingly steep. This is partly due to the lack of instructional content, specifically within the game. The user manual is something that you really will need if you want to start winning. Much like many of games of this era, the manual itself is not the easiest to follow.
Number crunching is the name of the game in Operation Europe, it reminds me of dungeons and dragons on a table. There is a board game feel to the game that has a similar feel to risk in that there is a real element of skill and statistical understanding to progress effectively.
Overall, Operation Europe: Path to Victory is a good game, some woul argue it was even ahead of its time for what it delivered. I think if the colors were a little brighter and the sound was improved we could have a true classic on our hands. But if you are looking for that retro feeling and have a real knack for numbers then this is well worth checking out. Just don’t forget to make sure the copy you buy has instructions included!
Overall Score: 3.5/5