Originally published on Steam

I've been reviewing the Tank Battle series and it's getting hard to differentiate the games now. East Front might be "the one with the odd campaign interface". Instead of showing the flags of your army and the opposition, this installment gives you a choice of dates from 1941 to 1945 and "Core". Then you see a cryptic set of campaigns with names like "Attack!", "Momentum" and "Collapse". Finally, you can work through a series of missions with slightly less mundane names ("January Thunder", for instance). I believe all of these missions involve just German and Russian forces, so you really need to be interested in their combat equipment.

If you are the sort who cares about each variation of the Panzer III (and II and IV, etc.), this is the game for you. According to the feature list, there's even a chance to deploy flamethrower tanks. Unfortunately, I have no idea which missions might include them since the campaign menu is so convoluted. Other than the model differences, it can be hard to tell the difference between one tank variation and the next. Instead of changing the way you use units, the variations mostly seem distinct only in having slightly different stats.

Poking at the missions randomly, I did find one new mechanic that added to the experience. Some missions give an option to destroy AA guns in order to grant the player with air support. In theory, that would give players a choice in how they tackle the battle. Instead of racing to the final control point, it might be better to divert a few units to accomplish the optional objective and call in more firepower. However, the one mission I found with this feature didn't use it well. Since there was a bridge to the final objective, there was a traffic jam. So it didn't cost anything to move a few units out of line and take care of the AA.

I still recommend this game, but not as strongly as Tank Battle: Blitzkrieg and others in the series.