12 February 2019
World War II board game epic Axis & Allies is heading to PC with the announcement of a new online digital app.
Originally released in the early 1980s, Larry Harris’ Risk-like wargaming classic sees players controlling the various forces of the UK, US, Soviet Union, Germany and Japan battling around the globe during the Second World War, contesting territory with dice-driven combat and producing different units to dominate the enemy.
Its PC version, Axis & Allies Online, will feature both single-player against AI opponents and multiplayer modes, including local hotseat play for up to five people and global matches across the net. Multiplayer games can fill empty seats with computer players, and there’s support for asynchronous turns.
Specifically, Axis & Allies Online is based on the second edition of Axis & Allies 1942, the 2009 instalment in the franchise that included several rules changes, such as integrating air defence into industrial complexes and making Honolulu one of the cities that contributes towards a victory.
Behind the app is developer Beamdog, known for its remastered versions of ‘90s Dungeons & Dragons-based computer RPGs such as Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights and Planescape: Torment.
If you’re new to the long-running series, the app will include tutorials and interactive game guides, as well as a feature only referred to as “war diaries” – we’d hazard a guess at some kind of appendix explaining the real-life history and events behind the game.
Axis & Allies Online is set to launch on Steam’s Early Access programme ‘soon’, meaning the app will remain in development even as players have the chance to play it. It will cost $20 (£16).
In January 2018, Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks teased the possibility of a version of Axis & Allies for mobile, saying, "I think we will be correcting that in 12 to 18 months." In the same interview, Cocks floated the idea of Axis & Allies & Zombies – a game that became a reality later in the year.