'A serious World War II grand strategy game on the DS' is right up there with 'Peace in the Middle-East', 'Duke Nukem Forever' and 'A badger at the helm of a Premier League football club' in my Things I Didn't Expect To See In My Lifetime list. The PC is awash with them (serious WW2 grand strategy games, not badger managers) but none have made the scary leap to handheld. None until now.
Trail-blazing Commander: Europe at War is grand strategy not because its panzers have walnut dashboards or its generals swan around in mink pants (though with Goering, who can tell), but because its units represent entire army divisions, fleets, and airforce groups, and its one seamless map encompasses a whole continent. It's serious because it digs deep into the history, and works hard to deliver plausible scenarios and outcomes.
The premise of the game is as simple as the premise of the conflict it seeks to simulate. You either take the role of the goose-stepping fascists and endeavour to enslave Europe, or play as the Allies and struggle to 'free' it (obviously Stalin's version of freedom came with provisos). The first of a string of mild disappointments is the realisation that there's no option to fight the war as an individual nation. Want to be the pudgy-faced cigar-sucking Winston Churchill? Hard Cheddar, you have to be the pudgy-faced cigar-sucking moustache-stroking walking-stick-wielding composite of all three Allied premiers.