Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. May 9, 2012
    As fun as combat is, it's not enough to have me engaged in Warlock beyond my professional obligations.
  2. Jan 22, 2013
    Despite not explicitly saying so, Warlock: Master of the Arcane serves as a decent entry game for those who want to dabble in 4X strategy. Thanks to the lack of a decent tutorial and in-game instructions, the game still has a steep learning curve, and the lack of attention paid to the diplomatic aspects of the genre will leave some players overwhelmed once they move on to something with more substance.
  3. May 16, 2012
    Dedicated and studious players might be able to look past the limited information on how to play if they're familiar enough with the genre and don't mind learning by trial and error, but less patient newcomers will be left on the proverbial sidelines.
  4. Jun 27, 2012
    It's certainly not about to reach out to anyone who doesn't like wargames, nor appeal to anyone who wants the broader scope of the Civilization series, but it does a perfectly good job as a tombola of fantasy combat nonsense, full of new and wonderful and silly surprises.
  5. May 21, 2012
    A good game that lacks certain things we hope to be included through patchers or modifications. Its gameplay base is good and fun, but we miss too many things, especially more diplomacy and religion options.
  6. May 25, 2012
    All in all, I think Warlock: Master of the Arcane is a decent little strategy game. It has some problems, but that didn't stop me from putting in over 15 hours into it. If you want to be really good at the game, you'll need to become a rather hardcore player. This game is not really for the newcomers to the 4X genre, but if you enjoy a good challenge in the same vein as Civilization, you can still have a good time game for the inexpensive $20 price tag.
  7. Jun 17, 2012
    But Warlock is colorful and entertaining, and it's budget-priced, so as long as you can stand some bugs and quirks, and as long as you don't mind that it doesn't break any new ground, then Warlock might be a game for you to consider, perhaps after waiting for a patch or two to come out first.
  8. May 22, 2012
    It's decent fun for the $20 price point, but good graphics and a nice interface aren't enough to mask poor AI and a complete lack of depth.
  9. May 21, 2012
    Warlock: Master of the Arcane brings you a magical world where winning battles gives you a pretty good feeling. The diplomacy part of the game is pretty shallow and the lack of a multiplayer mode is just a shame.
  10. May 10, 2012
    Warlock: Master of the Arcane is a highly addictive and entertaining game, although it would not meet the need of a nicely-updated Master of Magic. The game perfectly fulfills the expectations raised and offers good content at an affordable price. And this is quite important these days. If it keeps growing in the right way (through some DLCs) it would become an unforgettable game, but needs to improve its AI and add more options.
  11. CD-Action
    Jul 6, 2012
    If you're searching for 'fantasy Civilization' and can look past complete lack of any story within the singleplayer campaign, you may want to check Warlock out. [August 2012, p.80]
  12. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jul 29, 2012
    Fast paced turn-based strategy with lots of options on the one hand, weak diplomacy and absence of any multiplayer on the other. [July 2012]
  13. May 13, 2012
    At a bargain price point, Warlock: Master of the Arcane will be just enough to keep those fantasy fans entertained without breaking the bank.
  14. Jun 23, 2012
    A pleasant surprise for all those fans of the genre, who play the Civilization game mainly for its battle component - those players will get their satisfaction here. However, the rest of them will strongly feel the absence of the other gaming elements. On top of that they will most likely dislike the game's cheating AI, no hotkeys availability along with the game's very few options as to how to win the game.
  15. May 23, 2012
    A game that is mostly oriented towards new gamers that would like to take their first, bold steps into the realm of Turn Based strategy games.
  16. May 30, 2012
    Develop and cast magic spells in this turn based strategy game. It's not as complex as many other games in the same genre and sometimes it feels more like an ambitious mod than a full priced game.
  17. PC Gamer UK
    Jun 19, 2012
    Exploring is fun, resource exploitation is basic and extermination is tedious. [July 2012, p.84]
  18. Jun 29, 2012
    Warlock is a combat-focused empire builder that can be quite addictive and enjoyable. It doesn't quite have the depth that would give it the kind of replayability we get from classics such as the Civilization-games, but it's fun while it lasts.
  19. May 7, 2012
    So yes, Warlock is a streamlined strategy game, at a cut price, and that is absolutely no bad thing. It has a few unfortunate quirks, but if you fancy something a bit lighter and a bit more combat-focused than the usual fare, then you'll get at least a few dozen hours of entertainment from this rather enjoyable title.
  20. Jun 28, 2012
    Warlock is just a failed attempt to reproduce Master of Magic.
  21. 73
    Similarly to Civilization V, combat elements are the most evolved and those of you who favored that particular battle system will get right down to business, helped a lot by the map's visual familiarity. The positioning of units on hexagons allows for attacks from multiple directions and, just like in the eternal source of inspiration, in the lower left you get an approximate report of a fight together with any bonuses given by unit type or terrain type.
  22. May 14, 2012
    Tuning issues aside, Warlock is a fantasy strategy game that's more than just Civilization with dragons and elves because it's not Civilization at all. Far too many strategy games rely on Sid Meiers' classic formula, often bogging down in the process. It's nice to see a developer getting back to the basics and down in the trenches with goblins, werewolves, skeletons, dragons, clerics and the odd angry fireball.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 211 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 73
  2. Negative: 7 out of 73
  1. May 9, 2012
    Does anyone remember the combat in Civilization 4? Yeah, it was pretty tedious and annoying, wasn't it? Thankfully, Warlock: Master is aDoes anyone remember the combat in Civilization 4? Yeah, it was pretty tedious and annoying, wasn't it? Thankfully, Warlock: Master is a civ-style turn based strategy game all ABOUT the combat! Gameplay revolves around the 4X style of gameplay (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) and while the game RIGIDLY follows that formulae, the way it does so, combined with a friendly user interface, fantastic graphics and a variety of units with distinct appearances and situational modifiers allows for tons of replayability, completely nailing the "just one more turn" aspect of these civ-style games. The most interesting feature I found in this game, however, is the ability to allow for multiple "worlds" to exist in the maps you generate. These "worlds" are basically separate maps you can access via portals on the main starting map. These additional worlds provide unique or rare resource nodes as well as monster dens that, if destroyed, yield very powerful spells. These worlds, are of course absolutely TEEMING with powerful monsters, to the point where they often overflow into the main map, so they aren't exactly something you can just claim unprepared.

    Now, time for the breakdown, this score is based on a 10 point system:

    Presentation: 8. Graphics and art style manage to be both cartoonish AND badass, but nothing really unique or too interesting.

    A.I.: - 2. The A.I. is sort of all over the place, no matter the difficulty. Making the game harder seems to just give the A.I. a resource advantage rather than making it play smarter.

    Gameplay part 1: - 4. I'm knocking 4 points off for the hideously bare bones diplomacy system. Or, lack thereof. Every so often a rival player will attempt to extort money or mana out of you, and your ONLY two responses are "WAR!" or to capitulate to their demands. I suppose this was the developers way to try and foster a cut-throat mindset in the players, by attempting to make war an inevitability rather than something that can be avoided. If you aren't currently attempting to murder the crap out of an opponent, stealing their land to add your glorious war machine, you're plotting how to.

    Gameplay part 2: +3. I'm giving 3 points back due to the aforementioned "glorious war machine" thing. Because while combat is the sole focus of this game, it manages to be DAMN GOOD. Every battle, every personal campaign I have launched or fought, every one of them has felt like an epic siege. The developers took the combat system from Civilization 4 and 5 and made it actually fun and interesting. For one thing, you can't stack units on the same tile. a single squad of units is a significant time and resource investment, which means you'll be handling a siege consisting of maybe 3-5 squads at any given time. That may seem like weaksauce weakness at first, but combine that with the spellcasting system and suddenly you've got 2 squads of black minotaurs with VAMPIRIC AXES and immunity to ranged attacks, leveled up and specced for city attacks laying waste to your enemies defensive fortifications while your shamans constantly heal them to full health while you're waiting for your Apocalypse spell to finish charging. And yes, there IS a spell called Apocalypse, it's basically the nuke from Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword, except in this case it actually DESTROYS CITIES and is a GUARANTEED one hit kill to any and all units in a 3-hex diameter radius from the epicenter. The only reason I didn't give all four of those points back is because naval warfare is really... lacking at this point. There are only 2 naval units at this point, as far as I know, and none of them are any good at damaging the various sea serpents that plague the oceans (which incidentally are capable of killing your ships in 1-2 hits) Transport ships are a non-issue, as moving a land based unit onto a water hex automatically spawns a transport ship for them.

    Music/Sound: 0. No points given or taken away for this, as the sound effects and music are exactly what you would expect, nothing spectacular but nothing horrible either.

    Graphics: +1. Looks pretty without bogging down my computers framerate (I have been playing this game on a 2011 Acer Aspire laptop with AMD Radeon HD 6650M graphics card)

    Mics. : +0.5. I'm giving a bonus 0.5 due to the fact that I can skip my opponents turns by clicking the mouse repeatedly. Final Score: 7.5

    So close to perfection, but a few nagging problems keep this game from being perhaps the best 4x turn based strategy game I have ever played. Hopefully the negative elements can be fixed through either patches or expansions. I mean c'mon, as much fun as I have duking it out against the other empires on the field of battle in this game, it would be nice to be able to ally myself with another empire so I don't feel like it's just me against the world all the time.
    Full Review »
  2. May 12, 2012
    Where did last night go? Do not play if you have anything pressing to do (like eating / sleeping) because you'll find your eyes twitching andWhere did last night go? Do not play if you have anything pressing to do (like eating / sleeping) because you'll find your eyes twitching and your bladder bursting and realise a) it's 4am and b) you've been playing just one more turn for 6 hours straight. Warlock:MotA is a combat-centric turn-based strategy game that clearly loves the fantasy setting it uses so well. You play as a great mage against a number of other AI controlled mages, each one raising an empire using one of the three selectable races of humans, undead and monsters. The hexagonally tile based world is imaginative, colourful and full of unique touches like portals to different worlds (that you can visit and settle in), and monster-invested caves that spawn evil meanies if left alone. Every unit feels real and unique and can be upgraded with perks through buildings, experience or magical blessings. Trust me, losing a buffed up and beefy veteran can tug at the emotions, not to mention the purse-strings. The magic system and variety of buildings, units and upgrades makes for a deeper experience than first appears and the (almost) constant stream of monsters adds a nice layer of variety. It's the little things also, like the creeping dread of scouting the land knowing that an ogre or elemental could be hiding under the fog of war. Such encounters, especially in the early game, can prove lethal. There are a few shortcomings, such as the lack of keyboard shortcuts, underdeveloped diplomacy and a poor manual but the game itself plays very well and the £14.99 price is bonkers. Also, donkey knights. Full Review »
  3. May 11, 2012
    Excellent, lovingly crafted 4x game. Centered around combat, fun diverse units and spells. this is a highly polished Masters of Magic StyleExcellent, lovingly crafted 4x game. Centered around combat, fun diverse units and spells. this is a highly polished Masters of Magic Style game made up to date. The AI is pretty good defensively, could perhaps use some work on being more agressive, but for the price there is a TONNE of content to play through, and a free multiplayer patch coming up soon. VERY highly recommended if you loved the old MoM Games. Full Review »