Pathway to Glory (Sniper)
Genre: Turn-based Strategy
Developer: RedLynx
Publisher: Nokia

Pathway to Glory opens with a cinematic featuring some stunning hand-drawn artwork, which leads into polished, clean menus, which lead to, obviously, the game engine. The in-game visuals are, bar none, the most detailed 2d visuals I have ever seen in a video game. Gritty, full of substance, mood rendering, and superbly animated, they set this game to life, and provide the backdrop for the gameplay. Trenches, buildings, flaura, and, of course, humans, are all depicted in wondrous detail, and really prove that little-know developer, RedLynx, has some seriously talented artists in their camp.

As if the visuals were not mood-setting enough, the soundtrack is dark, and perfectly conveys the positive aspects of war-- chivalry and heroism-- while also playing up the dark side of war-- death and destruction. The sound effects are, likewise, nearly perfect, and, according to the developer, accurately depict the sounds that the real weapons made. Voice acting is also rampant, and it is here that RedLynx shows a bit of a sense of humor, such as the Italian soldier that says, "Hey, I was just about to eat, huh?!", when you make him move. The darkness and sense of humor adds a great deal of character to a game that already oozes with it.

Pathway to Glory doesn't really break any new ground in the realm of turn-based strategy titles, but it does take formula elements from a variety of other strategy games, puts them all together, and perfects it. There are many different types of units, dozens of weapons to choose from, and some of the most splendidly designed maps ever to grace a strategy game. Importantly, these maps give the player many choices as to what approach he/she would like to use to defeat the enemy, both in the single player and multiplayer modes. Balanced and deep, Pathway to Glory's gameplay is masterful.

Forget Advance Wars; Pathway to Glory is, far and away, the finest mobile strategy game in existence, and is an instant classic. Oozing with atmosphere, unbelievable levels of realism, a great attention to detail, some seriously deep and involving gameplay, and a plethora of modes make for one of the best mobile games I've played in years. If there is a shortcoming, it's that the online play is a bit flaky, but aside from that one complaint, anyone who owns an N-Gage absolutely must play this game, whether they are a strategy game fan or not.

Sniper's verdict: