Review

Making History: The Calm & The Storm Review (PC)

They say history has a way of repeating itself. You can rewrite the history of World War II in Making History The Calm and The Storm. Will your military tactics secure victory for your country or will it be disastrous? Only time will tell in this turn-based game.


A look at the USA army
A message from the frontlines

In Making History you choose which scenario you want to play. Next choose which country you would like to represent. Each country has a nice summary with detailed information that is relevant to the time period. This will be your starting point for your chosen country. In game you will have total control over domestic production as well as the country's military. Do what you think needs to be done, then click "end turn." Your orders will then be carried out. Time will pass, possibly even months. The game calendar will move forward. You will then see to the side menu a summary of what has taken place in the world. Time to evaluate what now needs to be done. Submit the orders, whether it is to increase oil production or increase the military.

Each scenario takes the players on a journey through time. The game is set during World War II and is historically based on what happened during that time. Players control troop movement, deployment as well as domestic productions. Each turn a player can issue several orders, then it is carried out. Time advances, and the player can review how those decisions not only affected his country but the whole world.

Since Making History is set in WWII, there is some help in the form of a book in the play area located beside the end turn button. This will give you information into the strengths and weaknesses of all countries and an account of game events. It's also helpful if you forget information or need to find information about a country.

During your turn, you will also have events that will pop up on screen that need your immediate attention. This could be anything from a country declaring war to a country wanting to enter into a treaty with your country. Pay attention to what the messages say and act accordingly.


Select the country you want to play
China's domestic production at a glance

One cool aspect of the game is that you can set the terms for winning the game. This can tailor the game to your strengths and what avenues of the game you would really like to explore. There are three ways to achieve victory in Making History: Alliance Victory, Nation Victory, or Ideology Victory.

Making History the Calm and the Storm is all about strategy and being able to see the big picture. Your decisions must not only be good for your country but for your allies as well. It is like playing Chess in that regard that you need to play out possible outcomes in your head before going through with your turn. Making History the Calm and the Storm is a game for the micro-manager. Those gamers that love to tweak every aspect of the game should really enjoy Making History.

For educational purposes, Making History can be a wonderful asset to a classroom since it helps to develop critical thinking and makes history fun since players are in control of a country. Making History even incorporates a report feature for both students and teachers that can be generated so that decisions can be analyzed later in the classroom.

Game play is slow and methodical. The more time that is spent on each turn to manage every aspect of your nation the better success you will have playing the game. Although Making History can be entertaining, true gaming strategists will enjoy this game more than a casual gamer. Game play can be altered for the classroom setting, making it a better fit when you only have so much time.

The game starts in normal mode but can be lowered in difficulty. After playing for many hours, victory still wasn't mine. It was only after playing for quite some time that I found the difficulty level could be lowered to easy.


Right click on an object on the map to get more information
Read through the Turn Summaries before moving forward with your next one

Making History the Calm and the Storm is the kind of game that a history buff, a war gamer, or the micro-managing gamer can really appreciate. The game does offer a covert way to learn history. This strategic game can help bring that dull history lesson to life. The 30 minute tutorial is the first thing to do in Making History. The gameplay and graphics plus the historical accuracy of the game make this game a good choice for the right kind of gamer.

Top Game Moment:
After a few rounds of negotiations, finally getting an important, game breaking treaty signed.

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