Read about and participate in some of America's most important wars in this amazing strategy game!
- Relive the action from America's most exciting wars from the 18th century to the present day
- Simple controls and intuitive interface and menus
- Basic turn-based mechanics where you place armies, fortify and attack
- Use Cards to further increase your army's size
- In-depth historical accounts provided for each war
- Highly realistic battlegrounds and topography
- Handy keyboard shortcuts for key in-game functions
- Music is good but not nearly diverse enough
American History Lux is a free virtual board game for PC, developed by Sillysoft Games, in which the player is given the opportunity to be a part of the many wars that have shaped American's short history. The game is available to download here as a trial version only. The full version is available externally.
American History Relived
America is hailed by many as the quintessential self-made nation with beautiful landscapes and towering cities, ideals to aspire to, amongst many other qualities. However, this society did not sprout up overnight. In American History Lux, the player has the chance to relive some of America's more troubling historical encounters in a highly realistic RTS-style setting. The trial version includes three important wars, while the others are available with the full version of the game.
Core Gameplay and Features
American History Lux presents the world as a set of allegiances and borders, typical of strategic conquest games. From the main menu, you can select which war you would like to participate in. If you are unsure how to play the game, you can also check out a set of instructions. I would recommend this option. In addition to being a compelling strategy game, each mission also offers an in-depth look at the history surrounding each war with detailed historical accounts outlining any political or ideological issues or other historical nuances which have led to this turn of events. The game also provides a link to Wikipedia should the user want more information. This makes one's participation in the war all the more exciting.
Your objective is to amass more armies than your opponent and invade their territory. To invade territory, you must place available armies there, visible in the bottom corner. You can place as many armies as you like in a single location - just be careful not to leave yourself open from other areas
When you begin, you are placed on a battlefield with an overhead view of various red and blue zones. The player will be controlling the blue zones. Your objective is to amass more armies than your opponent and invade their territory. To invade territory, you must place available armies there, visible in the bottom corner. You can place as many armies as you like in a single location - just be careful not to leave yourself open from other areas. Attacking is done by linking arrows between red and blue zones. When you have finished attacking for a turn, you can 'Fortify' your defenses by moving your men around as you please. The game also has an interesting way to upgrade your armies known as Cards. These are awarded when you have captured at least one city during your turn. Cards have one of three symbols on them and three matching cards can be exchanged to provide more armies for the player.
The controls for the game are all point-and-click, however there are some handy shortcuts for placing larger armies, attacking, and accessing menus more easily. The user interface for the game is fairly straight forward, containing menus for your armies, income, etc. as well as Bonus and card options when you defeat enemies.
Graphics, Visuals and Sound
Albeit a simplified approach, the graphics for the game are very well displayed. The zones are easily identifiable, maps are clear and sharp and there was never any issues with lag when attacking and accessing menus. The terrain is geopolitically accurate for the time, as well. Throughout missions, the game is also accompanied by an orchestral theme designed to inspire and motivate. It does get a little repetitive after a time, and I was disappointed about how little musical diversity there was during missions. Sound effects in the game are limited to placing your armies and attacking other zones, and there is nothing of note here.
Playing the game well can be a thoroughly rewarding experience for players. This means keeping an eye on your distribution of your forces, ensuring that you strike when you have the opportunity and trying to amass as many armies as possible in a short time. To maintain historical accuracy, the wars included here were all of those that America in at least some way succeeded in.
Overall, American History Lux is a great strategy game that lets players relive some classic battles of American history through an overhead RTS-style layout. The graphics and sound effects are simple but effective, letting you feel every crushing blow you deliver to your opponent. Detailed historical accounts educate you about the troubling conflicts behind each and every war, with supplementary information available through in-game Wikipedia links. This realism is supplemented by a highly accurate geopolitical landscape for each mission. The controls and general gameplay are easy to pick up, particularly for board game enthusiasts. Place armies, invade, fortify, and collect matching cards to further increase your army's size. If you're a fan of strategy and board games and are looking for one that's both fun and educational, I'd give this one a try.