Wartime strategy games have always proven popular, and you can tell from the blurb on the box alone that Uncommon Valour should appeal to the fraternity of gamers who spend long nights poured over their computer attempting to succeed where others have failed.
So it's probably fairly telling that when on the back of the box it claims that the "Level of Complexity" is Advanced to Very Advanced, that you are going to find certain aspects of the game to be require either a strong knowledge of all things military, or the brain of a rocket scientist.
And it doesn't take long to find out that you need both, plus quite a bit more. From finding your hex position on the map to giving orders to your squadron, keeping tabs on the port capacity, supply and fuel points, ships in port and everything that is going on all of the time can be fairly confusing at best, and although the manual includes a tutorial, there's still aspects which seem confusing during the early stages of gameplay.
A huge amount of information and terminology greets you on each screen which appears during the gameplay, so it's highly recommended to read the manual to get the basic idea of what everything means, and become accustomed to the various military terms.
Thankfully a handy reference card comes with the manual which gives you an at-a-glance overview of the features that make up the interface, a complete guide to all of the icons, a keyboard hotkeys list, and a vital piece of information telling you what each of the ships types and game abbreviations mean.
There's no doubt that Uncommon Valour is an excellently crafted strategy game with an enormous amount of variables which can affect the outcome of your each and every move. However the appeal to most gamers will fall short from the very start due to the difficulty of getting to grips with what needs to be done.
If Uncommon Valour had taken a more welcoming approach to a broader spread of gamers then it'd have been an ultimately more enjoyable game - unfortunately though it hasn't done this, and so will only appeal to the most die-hard of wartime strategy game fans, of which this game would possibly be a dream come true.Overall score: 6 out of 10
Publisher: Just Play
Players: 2 (can be played by email)
Recommended Price: £29.99
Available: NowBuy Uncommon Valour from Amazon