Gallic Wars: Battle Simulator – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy Game
Developer: Mad GameSmith
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Platform: Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, PS5
Tested on: Switch

Gallic Wars: Battle Simulator – Review

Site Score
Good: Pre-battle campaign phase adds a unique layer of strategy
Bad: Pretty much everything else
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (2 votes cast)

It’s been quite some time since we last looked at a game from Mad Gamesmith but the indie developer behind Redneck Skeet Shooting is back with a new strategy game for the Switch in the form of Gallic Wars: Battle Simulator. At first glance, the game looks like a light-hearted take on the historical conflicts between the Gauls and the Roman Empire, not too dissimilar from what we’ve seen with Asterix and Obelix -albeit without the license for the famous comics. Is Gallic Wars a worthy game in its own right, or is it riding the coat-tails of its better-known source of inspiration in order to entice unsuspecting players to spend their hard-earned gold on an inferior rip-off?


It’s clear that Gallic Wars takes inspiration from the Asterix comics and the title is centered around a campaign, but no effort was put into actually adding a story to the game. The Gauls simply want to defeat the Roman invaders. That’s it. There are no character motivations, no backstory or even narrative campaign elements to be found here, which frankly makes very little sense as it would have been very easy to tie everything together with text blurbs.


Gallic Wars’ in-game visuals are a blurry, muddy mess. The game is nigh unplayable in handheld mode on the Switch, so if you’re a Switch Lite owner, this title definitely isn’t for you. Even if you’re playing the game in docked mode, on a TV, the selection boxes are often difficult to make out as they blend into the color of the battlefield. If it wasn’t for the on-screen troops being marked with arrows in bright neon colors, it’d be impossible to make out what was actually happening on screen. Outside of battle, things are better but not by much. Character designs look like rejected concepts from Asterix and Obelix and there isn’t a smidge of originality to be found here.


To its credit, Gallic Wars features a limited amount of voice acting in its tutorial, although the voice actress’ performance is lackluster and feels phoned in. The music featured in the game is generic action music that doesn’t really fit with what you’d expect from a title that is set during Gallic times. The battle sounds also fail to do what they should, with the grunts of the troops barely audible and the sounds of weapons clashing vaguely reminiscent of someone hitting an empty metal tube with a stick.


As the full title of the game implies, Gallic Wars: Battle Simulator is a strategy game centered around the conflict between the Gauls and the Romans. The ultimate goal in this roguelike strategy title is to lead your tribe of Gauls to the heart of Roman civilization, the city of Rome itself. This lofty goal is achieved through a sizable campaign that sees you start out with only a handful of warriors, but as you achieve victory after victory, you’ll see yourself handsomely rewarded and your budding warband eventually reaches the size of a full-fledged army worthy of Ambiorix himself. Each stage of the campaign presents you with a number of battles, though you’ll only have to clear one to move on to the next stage of the campaign. You can still commit yourself to fighting the other battles and reap their rewards, of course, but you’ll need to spread out your army to do so. This adds somewhat of a tactical element. Do you go in with the bare minimum of troops in order to maximize your gains but risk defeat or do you focus your entire force on a single fight and easily crush your enemy? This risk and reward system is easily one of the better elements of Gallic Wars, although unfortunately, that isn’t saying much, as the game leaves a lot to be desired in other places.

The actual battles are the main focus of the game -as they should be- and it’s here that Gallic Wars misses the mark almost entirely. Battles are fought in a series of phases, starting with the deployment phase. This is where players position their troops on the battlefield. In the planning phase, movement instructions are given and traps can be set up. Of the three battle phases, the planning phase is by far the most interesting one from a strategic point of view, as it is the most interactive element of the battles. The third -and final- phase, the action phase, is where combat happens, but unfortunately, during this phase there is no way to interact directly with the army. This means that you cannot change plans on the fly and are stuck with the instructions you’ve given during the planning phase, even if it means certain doom. Given the roguelike nature of the game, losing a battle can have catastrophic consequences.

This lack of interactivity hurts the overall appeal of Gallic Wars, but it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, as a tough as nails strategy game that requires careful thinking before you take any actions can be quite fun in its own right. However, Gallic Wars lacks variety and strategic depth, up to the point where every battle plays out pretty much the same way once you find a strategy that works, and by sticking to it, you can complete the campaign in about an hour. Adding insult to injury, the tutorial fails to adequately explain the basic controls of the game and you’ll have to find out how the game works for yourself. The controls take some getting used to and the touch screen isn’t always responsive, hurting the game’s accessibility.


It should be clear by now that Gallic Wars is a title that isn’t worth your time or your money. Although there are a few interesting elements here, such as the campaign option to spread out your army to cover more battles, the game fails to really deliver where it matters. As a proof of concept, Gallic Wars certainly has potential, but as a finished product, it suffers from poor execution and lack of polish. Beyond its poor control scheme and lack of a decent tutorial, die hard strategy fans will find the title ridiculously easy and casual fans looking to dip their toe in the genre will find little more than frustration here.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Gallic Wars: Battle Simulator - Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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