If you think this looks cold, you should see my wife after I told her I needed to buy this game...again.

Drive on Moscow Reappears on App Store

A long time ago, in a mountain fortress far, far away, our benevolent leader Owen fell in love with a series of games from digital newcomer Shenandoah Studios. The games in question would be Battle of the Bulge, Drive on Moscow, and Desert Fox. These were full-blown wargames from tried and tested designers presented with historical accuracy and a not a little bit of panache.

Unfortunately, war games are still a small niche of a niche and Shenandoah ran into financial troubles but were bailed out when they were purchased by Slitherine (disclosure: I am an ex-Slitherine employee). Things seemed pretty great until they re-released Battle of the Bulge for both iOS and PC with cross-platform multiplayer. I hadn’t played the re-release, but I know it was met with some frustration from fans of the original.

Enter Drive on Moscow. It was re-released last Friday and, like it’s predecessor, has been refit to include cross-platform multiplayer. It’s also a new app, meaning that the old app has been yanked from the App Store. What this means is that you’ll have to shell out the $10 for Drive on Moscow even if you had already paid for it back when Shenandoah released it in 2013.  Oh, and it’s iPad only now when the original was for iOS Universal. At least now you can play it against folks on their desktops.

So, if you want to re-purchase (or simply purchase) Drive on Moscow, you can nab it for iPad here for $10. It’s also available on Steam for Windows at the same price.

Notable Replies

  1. [rant]Insert scathing rant here[/rant]

    Actually, I don't want to break the site on like the third day. I'll leave it at this: what a shameful development.

  2. rinelk says:

    I'm of two minds about this kind of thing. I genuinely want game companies to put in the work to keep games accessible as platforms change, and to be paid for the development work that requires. I understand that new purchases of well-supported games will often be too few to justify such work, especially given the current expectation that everything will go on super sale for the patient. So I don't really have a good model that isn't this one, and I applaud Shenandoah/Slitherine for exploring ways to keep their seminal games accessible in a viable way.

    But, as a consumer who already owns the Crisis in Command series, this does feel like a nail in the (already well-nailed) illusion of ownership, and it particularly sucks that the only reason I'd consider a purchase of one of these re-releases is to escape the bugs introduced when they switched to the new engine.

  3. In my experience this sort of thing predominantly occurs on iOS and is a byproduct of Apples general view that their products should be forced into being obsolete every couple generations, they break games pretty severely on OS updates, and offer no easy solutions for the developers on their platform. Aside from Dungeon Raid (which is playable, but painfully unoptimised as it was originally ported from iOS), i've been able to play every Android game I've ever owned on every phone I've ever owned. At least as far as I recall.

  4. rinelk says:

    In this regard, Android seems to parallel Windows, while iOS follows a pattern more like consoles. Part of what I'm thinking about here is the upcoming Nintendo Switch, which I'm strongly considering. I don't have a 3DS, Wii, or Wii U, and I'm hoping Nintendo ports a lot of the best content from those systems to the new one (partly, of course, I'm thinking about Tanner's extremely appealing review of 3D Picross 2, but I'd also like to be able to share most of the Zelda series with my kids and let them explore some of the other great first-party titles they have). So I'm used to having new hardware obsolete my old games, and having to re-purchase them if I want to play again in that context. I do wonder what pattern is best at encouraging the sorts of development and support I'd find most satisfying.

  5. We learn pretty quickly that updates sometimes don't 'up' anything, and this very issue is the only reason I've found to use the TimeMachine backup thingy on my Macbook.
    To say I have the original versions of "Battle of the Bulge" and "Drive on Moscow" feels akin to declaring I have an Elvis Presley single on vinyl.

    The line "a nail in the (already well-nailed) illusion of ownership" is superb and couldn't be more accurate.

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