A Review of Narco Guerra

The Grumpy Grog says “Try Narco Guerra for a blast of good casual fun”.

 

Developed Auroch Digital Ltd and Published by GameTheNews.net

A Flash Review by Boggit

 

Choices, choices. Story mode is more involved including variable street prices for drugs. Skirmish mode doesn’t include that aspect.

Choices, choices. Story mode is more involved including variable street prices for drugs. Skirmish mode doesn’t include that aspect.

I got Narco Guerra from Gamersgate for the equivalent of $1. It’s an operational level game about the drugs war in Mexico. The game is very easy to learn, and there is a help screen with it that gives you all the information you need.

 

Confused? Don’t be with this handy help screen. The learning curve is really easy.

Confused? Don’t be with this handy help screen. The learning curve is really easy.

 

Single player, you represent the police, fighting up two different cartels (and up to 3 more can emerge during the game). There is a local multiplayer option – read hot seat play – where the first human player plays the police, and up to 5 additional human/computer players can choose a cartel to play.

Local multiplayer is easy to set up, with extra AI opponents of varying ability if you wish.

Local multiplayer is easy to set up, with extra AI opponents of varying ability if you wish.

Playing the police can be hard, as not only do you need to deal with the cartels, but police corruption that acts as a sort of attrition on your strength. The game also takes into account political issues, including legalising drugs, zero tolerance, street value for drugs, economic changes and so on.

 

You too can play “Breaking Bad” Mexican style! It would have been nice to choose a gang name, but I’m stuck with “Red Cartel”. Not very sexy is it?

You too can play “Breaking Bad” Mexican style! It would have been nice to choose a gang name, but I’m stuck with “Red Cartel”. Not very sexy is it?

 

 

The police are struggling against the odds. Their budget isn’t great, whereas the cartels are making lots of cash.

The police are struggling against the odds. Their budget isn’t great, whereas the cartels are making lots of cash.

 

Narco Guerra plays on a turn basis split into a support phase, and an attack phase. The support phase allows you to buy additional forces, do internal investigations to reduce corruption, move your forces to different provinces, and carry out intelligence ops.

 

I ready my force for a new offensive. If I succeed getting Jalisco and Colima it will give me an attack roll benefit if I later attack from that province.

I ready my force for a new offensive. If I succeed getting Jalisco and Colima it will give me an attack roll benefit if I later attack from that province.

 

The attack phase lets you attack an adjacent province, using risk style gameplay – essentially rolling a dice and beating the other guy with it. This is modified by temporary global benefits – for example, if you have a hard-line government in power your police/army units will get a +1 global benefit to combat, and possibly more as different provinces yield different benefits – either a +1 on the die roll for defence, or the offense – which are cumulative.

 

The battle doesn’t start well, and the cartel dishes out damage.

The battle doesn’t start well, and the cartel dishes out damage.

 

NG8

Fortune favours the brave. I lost 4 units, but captured the province.

 

Once you capture a province you get a reward – reflecting a seizure of assets/cash etc. The first attack in a phase is free but further attacks cost money, representing overtime etc.

 

The fruit of victory! I then lost this province on the following turn - Grrr!

The fruit of victory! I then lost this province on the following turn – Grrr!

 

Each turn has the potential for an event like the murder of key officials, political changes, news items, and so on. Wipe out the opposition and you win.

 

A journalist indicates the political dilemma. Will we soon see an election?

A journalist indicates the political dilemma. Will we soon see an election?

 

I thought the game was fun for what it is, and it’s available at a price that is non-contentious. It’s not heavy going and you can play a whole campaign in 20 minutes or so. The set-up is random, giving some replayability. I found some of the events intriguing giving a real life impact on the game.

 

The Cartel AI on “Normal” will give you a good run for your money. They win by dominating for their faction, and are not afraid of turf wars. As the police you have to use that to your advantage.

The Cartel AI on “Normal” will give you a good run for your money. They win by dominating for their faction, and are not afraid of turf wars. As the police you have to use that to your advantage.

 

Is the “Hippy” politician right? Or will this make the police’s job harder? You can help or hinder him with your budget at election time.

Is the “Hippy” politician right? Or will this make the police’s job harder? You can help or hinder him with your budget at election time.

 

I think Narco Guerra is unlikely to hold the long term interest of many people, as aside from the variable initial set up, and the unknown order of events it can get repetitive. However, it has a good chance for survival on my hard drive as it still holds a casual charm for me as an occasional quick diversion, much like Minesweeper, or card games like Free Cell or Solitaire do.

Game the News also publishes a variety of topical games, some of which – like End Game Syria – are free to download and play. You can check out their games here: http://gamethenews.net/

The Grumpy Grog says “Try Narco Guerra for a blast of good casual fun”.


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