DDay, an island hopping war game for Windows Phone

DDay is a relatively new Windows Phone game that caught our eye the other day. The game is a combat strategy game with a touch of time management and city building elements thrown in for good measure.

You play the good guy and have to build up an army to defeat the evil legion that has taken control of neighboring islands. As you recruit and train soldiers, you will also need to build up your island defenses and establish an industrial infrastructure to help your military empire grow.

While the DDay Windows Phone game has nothing to do with the Invasion of Normandy, it comes across as an entertaining game to invest a little time with.

As with many games from this genre, DDay launches to a series of short tutorials that cover the basics of game play. This will include building structures, recruiting and training troops and traveling to neighboring islands to battle the evil legion. Once the brief tutorial is complete, you are free to unfasten your seatbelts and explore the game at your leisure.

DDay Base Island

Game play centers around your base island where you will find a small collection of buildings already in place that includes your headquarters building, a wood mill and a sniper tower. You will also have a pair of landing craft docked nearby that will transport your troops from island to island.

The base island screen will also have your gaming level and resources (gold, wood, engineers and gems) displayed across the top of the screen. Running down the left side of the screen are buttons to view your achievements, see the game's high scores, access the game's settings and access the various structures you can build on your island. Any of the game screens can be pinched to zoom to give you an up close and personal view or a better picture of the world at large.

DDay Binding

Game settings are rather brief with options to mute the sound/music, choose your language and contact the developers. You also have a Bind option that links the game to either a Facebook or AEMobile account to save your progress should you ever change devices. If you prefer, you can play DDay as a guest without binding your account. I imagine that if DDay becomes available for Windows 8, this binding may allow you to synchronize game progress across devices.

Building new structures and recruiting troops is relatively straightforward. With regards to troop management, tap on one of the landing crafts to display menu options for upgrading the vessel, managing your troops or view the information bubble. Upgrades will increase the craft's capacity and managing the troops offers options to replace fallen soldiers as needed or change the type of soldier being transported. You begin the game with your run of the mill foot soldier but as you advance in the game machine gunners, artillery, medics and other types of troops will become available.

DDay Building Menu

Accessing the building menu will offer you three types of structures to build – economy, defense and support. The economy structures help generate resources needed to build your population and infrastructure. Such as wood storage, rock quarries, gold storage and more. Defenses include sniper towers, mortars, rocket launchers and other items needed to protect your base island. Support items include a radar, landing craft and an armory to help with your campaigns to other islands.

Menu options are available for structures in the same manner as they are for your troop management. Tap on a building to pull up buttons to upgrade or view the information about the structure. The upgrade menu will detail the cost of the improvements, the time required to complete the upgrade, the benefits of and the amount of gems needed to upgrade instantly.

DDay Landing Craft

Both training troops and creating buildings will take time, gold and other resources (wood, stones, iron, etc.). You can speed up time by spending some of your gems and structures will require an engineer to oversee construction. You start the game with only one engineer, which will limit the amount of expansion or upgrades you can have going on at the same time. Additional engineers can be purchased with gems, but the cost is rather on the high side.

Picking a Fight

In the lower right corner of the base island screen is a map button that will transition the game over to the world map, where you can find islands to invade and rescue. Many of the islands are concealed by dense fog. You will need to explore areas of the map, at a cost, to reveal what is hidden in the fog or install a radar at your base island to uncover what is out there.

DDay Island Map

A hamburger menu button is in the upper, left corner of the map screen to give you access to the game's activity log. Another navigation button is in the lower, right corner that will send you back to your base island. You may also find a few treasure chests floating in the waters that can be collected to give your gaming resources a little boost.

DDay Scouting

Tap on any island you wish to invade and a bubble will appear detailing the cost for the attack, your rewards for defeating the enemy and the option to scout the island out before hitting the beachhead. Confirm you want to attack and you will be sent over to the combat gaming screen.

Battles are timed with your troop compliment displayed in the lower left corner and your rocket inventory in the lower right corner of the gaming screen. To begin the battle tap anywhere on the beachhead to mark the landing spots for your amphibious landing crafts. Once your ships land, your troops will deploy and begin to attack the various structures on the island.

DDay Battle

For the most part, the battle automatically unfolds. You can offer a little support to your troops by launching rockets at the various structures. Just tap the rocket button and then the target you want fired upon. You do have a limited number of rockets per battle so choose your targets wisely.

The battle ends in victory if your troops destroy all the structures or the enemy headquarters building (whichever comes first). You lose the battle if the timer expires before you demolish things or all your troops are killed. A victory earns you a few rewards while defeat earns you nothing.

Post Battle Activities

More times than not, after the battle is done you will retreat to your base island to rebuild your troop strength and spend any gold you earn by building or upgrading structures. As new structures become available, a red numbered alert will appear on the building menu button and any structure available for upgrade will have a green arrow besides it.

DDay Battle

Islands that are conquered are given back to the control of the native population. As a tribute, any island freed from the evil legion will deliver gold and other resources to your base island.

Overall Impressions

DDay joins a rather crowded field of strategy combat games in the Windows Phone Store. DDay is a decent addition to the club with nice graphics, simple mechanics and challenging game play but the game may struggle to set itself apart from the field.

I imagine if you are a fan of this genre and have already sifted through the other gaming titles ( Age of Empires, Total Conquest, World at Arms, Cloud Raiders, etc.), DDay will have a good amount of appeal. However, if you are trying to sort out which of these games is best it may very well be decided by a coin toss.

As with other games in this field, DDay is a game that you will need to invest a little time with due to the time management element. It is not a painfully long time to have buildings constructed or troops trained but if you are looking for a quick gaming fix, DDay may not be the best choice of games.

It should be noted that while DDay ran smoothly for the most part, I did experience random crashes that caused the game to reload. These crashes were not very frequent and happened while the game was idle. I never lost any ground as far as gaming progress is concerned but it did take a minute for things to re-boot. I don't think this is a deal breaker and hopefully an easy issue for the developer to address with the next update.

Having a large selection of quality games from a certain genre is not a bad thing. I'd rather have too many fun games to choose from than not enough. DDay joins a healthy group of strategy/simulation games in the Windows Phone Store and overall, if you like this genre of games DDay is worth a try and many will find the game appealing.

Download DDay for Windows Phone (Free)

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George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.