User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 202 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 202

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. May 9, 2012
    10
    Does 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 userDoes 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.
    Expand
  2. May 12, 2012
    8
    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 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 greatWhere 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. Expand
  3. May 12, 2012
    9
    Can't believe the "expert " reviews are low so far. It's much more fun than civilisation. Something is happening every turn whether it's fighting, preparing for war, deciding which spell to cast etc. In civ you often just clicking end turn over and over while waiting for the next lot of research. War is also way better. Every unit is useful for quite a while as you can't afford a big armyCan't believe the "expert " reviews are low so far. It's much more fun than civilisation. Something is happening every turn whether it's fighting, preparing for war, deciding which spell to cast etc. In civ you often just clicking end turn over and over while waiting for the next lot of research. War is also way better. Every unit is useful for quite a while as you can't afford a big army of the latest units most of the time- their upkeep and cost is going to be way to high. You can also actually work with an ally to defeat an opponent. In civ you hardly ever see 2 vs 1 ganging up on the same screen. More likely your ally is not going to send out any units and will just declare peace on your mutual enemy making your whole plan a waste of time. There are some issues. On normal enemies seem to target neutrals and others rather than you most of the time. They also don't optimise cites well rather making them jack of all trade places which disadvantages them. They also don't expand as much as they can (maybe they stop after a certain number of cities or are too afraid of highish level monsters). The lack of any negative side effect of having many cities may mean that when multiplayer comes- whoever has the most cities early on will almost always win- time will tell. If you like turn based strategy this is a must buy, especially at the price.

    Latest patch has made the enemy more aggressive.
    Expand
  4. May 11, 2012
    8
    Quite enjoyable 4x game, with a load of content to keep you occupied for the whole time. Sure it has some bugs, and AI is not very challenging, but tbh it almost never is, unless it cheats. The game utilizes fine graphic and music, although some units could use a little more details/polygons. The game is really easy to grasp and the mechanics are not very complex, but still the amount ofQuite enjoyable 4x game, with a load of content to keep you occupied for the whole time. Sure it has some bugs, and AI is not very challenging, but tbh it almost never is, unless it cheats. The game utilizes fine graphic and music, although some units could use a little more details/polygons. The game is really easy to grasp and the mechanics are not very complex, but still the amount of content (building/units/spells/gods/terrain's types/unit perks etc.) makes it interesting even for folks who already played all 4x games out there. Some features just scream to be developed further, but well, it is as it is. Maybe some mods or expansion can build upon them... This is not Realism Invictus or Fall from Heaven in the terms of sophistication and complexity, but it has its moments. I should also mention that the game works flawlessly so far on my rig - even after 7 hours of game play the time it takes AI to do its turn is virtually the same as it was at the beginning of the game. It crashed on me once (luckily there is an autosave ) when I clicked on a message related to a building in a city I just razed. so I guess the message pointed to some content that was not in the memory anymore. It is a very minor issue thou. There is a demo available, so everyone can check it out before buying. Overall it is a solid game, well worth 20$. Expand
  5. May 10, 2012
    8
    This game is great for what it has. If you ever played Masters of Magic, this game runs the same concept. You are a great mage in Ardania and want to become the BEST mage. You can do that by several ways (supposedly), and have a lot of units to help you get your utopia. The graphics are nice, the sounds and music are ok, and you can play on very different challenge levels, with more orThis game is great for what it has. If you ever played Masters of Magic, this game runs the same concept. You are a great mage in Ardania and want to become the BEST mage. You can do that by several ways (supposedly), and have a lot of units to help you get your utopia. The graphics are nice, the sounds and music are ok, and you can play on very different challenge levels, with more or less enemies and a few customizations for your avatar that make the game more interesting. Now what this game lacks (so far, as I've read in the official page that some of this features will be released later) are first and more importantly, a multiplayer (LAN and Hot-Seat at least) option, and from MY point of view, a campaign mode (since you only get to play on the map you created at the moment). Units are varied, but there is only 3 species you can use (humans, monsters and undead). And the units on each are virtually the same, but with special features each (undead are immune to dark magic, for example, but can't be cured with healing magic). The AI is quite straight forward, and there's a lack in the diplomacy department (when the NPC mage ask for money or mana, you can comply or declare war, there is no middle point). If you "ask" (demand is the button) something from them, even a little, is war. Once you take the capital, that NPC is dead, and all his remaining cities and units become something like "pirates" (they attack every other creature on the game, except themselves). Here is the winning option I mentioned earlier. You could try to destroy the gods, or become their friend (a pope of sorts, I guess), but so far, all the games I started ended with the heads of my "colleagues" at my feet... If the developers solve this little (but important) things, this game is priceless. :) Expand
  6. May 10, 2012
    7
    It's a fun and addictive game with the combat and units. You get obsessive about being able to eventually make the highest tier of units (court werewolves are overpowered with buffs). Plus if you find special resources on the map, you can build unique buildings on it which can either give a resource bonus, an upgrade to all your units, or a whole new unit can be built. Very fun combat andIt's a fun and addictive game with the combat and units. You get obsessive about being able to eventually make the highest tier of units (court werewolves are overpowered with buffs). Plus if you find special resources on the map, you can build unique buildings on it which can either give a resource bonus, an upgrade to all your units, or a whole new unit can be built. Very fun combat and upgrade gameplay.

    Points where the game can be improved: (1) Better AI combat (they can defend fine but they don't seem to be upgrading their units and they don't get aggressive unless you wage war). (2) Better diplomacy system (you can only declare war, make peace or trade one resource for another. Plus trading resources can be super biased in your favor because the AI is stupid). (3) Summary UI elements (Currently you can only see what the town has built by going into that screen and hovering over each hex. It gets confusing once you have upwards of 10 towns. You don't know which town can build what unit). (4) Objectives path (The game doesn't tell you how you can win or the progress you are making towards it. You just sorta romp around doing stuff until otherwise dead).

    It's a decent game with potential. I just hope successive patches will flesh out the content until it's a better game than what it already is.
    Expand
  7. May 10, 2012
    9
    Great game! While you get the feel of Civ 5 with the grid layout, the comparison ends there. The focus of the game is combat and everything you do is related to this. I love how the city management is focused. You can't build every single building in every city you build. You have to focus on which resource your city with produce. And this can change depend on which resource tilesGreat game! While you get the feel of Civ 5 with the grid layout, the comparison ends there. The focus of the game is combat and everything you do is related to this. I love how the city management is focused. You can't build every single building in every city you build. You have to focus on which resource your city with produce. And this can change depend on which resource tiles you have in your city limits. This game has hooked me better than both Civ 4 and 5 did. The low price is also a big +. Expand
  8. Jul 15, 2012
    8
    I don't understand the comparisons to Civilization. Aside from being a turn-based hex-map resource management game, they don't have all that much in common. The Master of Magic comparison is a bit more accurate, because rather than a deity overseeing the development of an entire civilization, you're a wizard striving for supremacy in a regional conflict. If you really want to compare thisI don't understand the comparisons to Civilization. Aside from being a turn-based hex-map resource management game, they don't have all that much in common. The Master of Magic comparison is a bit more accurate, because rather than a deity overseeing the development of an entire civilization, you're a wizard striving for supremacy in a regional conflict. If you really want to compare this game to another of the genre, the best comparison is to the Age of Wonders series. Even the artwork and flavor text are reminiscent of AoW. That said, this game is on a smaller scale. It's streamlined, in some cases perhaps a bit oversimplified. Terrain affects movement, but nothing else. The races, units, and spells are more limited, and you don't have the same degree of specialization you had with MoM or AoW. At first I found that limiting, for example I didn't like not being able to stack units. But you can't stack units in the tactical combat maps of MoM or AoW either, and that's where all the fun was in those games. That's when I realized that W:MotA is essentially an entire game devoted to the tactical combat aspect of fantasy 4x games, and started having fun. As with Master of Magic, all maps are procedurally generated, which means there's not really a story line, but if you're a real RPGer, you'll create your own story line anyway. If you loved Master of Magic, this isn't its successor, but it may tide you over until someone does finally come up with the real thing. Expand
  9. May 13, 2012
    10
    This is a great game! It is fun and addicting and well worth $20.00. Also, the game is quite polished. I truly cannot understand why someone would say otherwise. I've put about 10 hours in the game so far and have not encountered a single but or problem.

    As others have said, this is basically Civ 5 with magic and mythological creatures. The game looks beautiful and plays well. It
    This is a great game! It is fun and addicting and well worth $20.00. Also, the game is quite polished. I truly cannot understand why someone would say otherwise. I've put about 10 hours in the game so far and have not encountered a single but or problem.

    As others have said, this is basically Civ 5 with magic and mythological creatures. The game looks beautiful and plays well. It is true that the game is lacking a "Civ-pedia" type feature, but the game play is straight forward enough that I never found the need for it. Also, you can right click on pretty much everything in the game and get a good amount of useful info on it.

    For anyone who is interested in this genre, I can easily give this game my highest recommendation! Also I think the game is a steal at the current price, it's easily worth 2x the price.
    Expand
  10. Sep 12, 2012
    9
    Picture a fantasy-based Civ 5 turn based portion of the game. The big difference is this turn based portion is FUN to play even if you aren't a history buff trying to re-enact Napolean's battles.
    I have enjoyed playing this game more than I have enjoyed any of the Civ games. Maybe I am not high-brow enough? Anyway if you are looking for a fun experience that is easy to learn, but has more
    Picture a fantasy-based Civ 5 turn based portion of the game. The big difference is this turn based portion is FUN to play even if you aren't a history buff trying to re-enact Napolean's battles.
    I have enjoyed playing this game more than I have enjoyed any of the Civ games. Maybe I am not high-brow enough? Anyway if you are looking for a fun experience that is easy to learn, but has more depth that you will learn as you play grab this game. But grab the demo first to make sure it is your cup of tea.
    It says it is just Single Player on Steam, but in game there is a Muiltiplayer (beta) menu.
    Expand
  11. May 13, 2012
    9
    [INTRODUCTION]
    What if Sid Meier's Civilization V was not based on the long term, historical progression of a nation, but instead revolved around a powerful mage leading his empire to victory through might and magic? Paradox's Warlock: Master of the Arcane is perhaps the best answer to that question. Warlock takes many of Civilization V's elements -- a hex grid, combat in which ranged
    [INTRODUCTION]
    What if Sid Meier's Civilization V was not based on the long term, historical progression of a nation, but instead revolved around a powerful mage leading his empire to victory through might and magic? Paradox's Warlock: Master of the Arcane is perhaps the best answer to that question. Warlock takes many of Civilization V's elements -- a hex grid, combat in which ranged units can shoot across tiles, and the franchise's trademark empire building -- and turns it upside down with an intense focus on war and many unique gameplay features that harken back to past fantasy turn-based strategy games like 1994's Master of Magic and 1999's Age of Wonders. [CITY BUILDING]
    Warlock's city building is among the best I've seen in the genre. As opposed to Civilization V's cities which are always visually represented by one hex no matter how many structures they contain, in Warlock structures are individually placed on free hexes within your city's boundaries. Better yet, some hexes contain special resource nodes on which unique structures can be placed for special bonuses. [SPELL CASTING]
    Rather than spending time researching technologies like in Civilization, in Warlock you research a wide variety of spells that you can cast on any turn to try and tip the odds in your favor. These range from offensive spells like fireballs and shadow bolts to defensive ones like melee and ranged resistances. There are even support spells that can be cast to summon friendly units that remain until death -- upkeep and all. [QUESTING]
    Questing is a staple in most fantasy titles and here, it's implemented brilliantly. At certain intervals in the game, sometimes even at the very beginning, you're assigned quests which task you with either killing one or more monsters, constructing a building in one of your cities, or even founding a new city in an allotted number of turns. Upon completing these quests, much like looting monster dens, the rewards range from extra resources to brand new units. Although failing some quests results in no penalty, others give you a slap on the wrist by decreasing your status with the gods -- something that seems insignificant at first but can cripple you later in the game once you gain access to powerful spells that require a certain standing with the gods to cast. I would have liked to have seen a greater variety of quests, but I think they work to improve the game by giving you even more incentive to continue playing for just "one more turn." [DIPLOMACY & VICTORY]
    One area in which passive players might be put off by Warlock is that of diplomacy. Although rival mages do exist, most of your interactions with them will consist of handing over resources when they demand them or engaging in all out war. Non-aggression pacts can be formed by handing over some mana or money and you can make demands of your own, but those are the only alternatives at your disposal. In most games, expect brutal wars sparked by ridiculous resource demands that would put you in the hole if you were to follow through with them. Although there are victory conditions that don't require demolishing the empires of others, because of resource demands alone you'll need to maintain a powerful economy to meet them. [PRESENTATION]
    Presentation-wise, Warlock delivers on all fronts. Its interface is clean and streamlined, the game's visuals are colorful and detailed, unit animations are fluid, and the voice acting and soundtrack are top notch. The game's engine performs outstandingly, too, delivering high frame rates even on large maps with multiple rival mages and alternate worlds and tons of activity. [CONCLUSION]
    In some ways, it's hard to believe the quality of product Paradox has published for just $19.99. Warlock is an addictive, charming game that's just as fun to look at as it is to play. I can't recall the last time that I was so engrossed with a strategy game, I sat down to play for just an hour or two and found myself still glued to the computer in the wee hours of the morning. Although it could be improved in some areas, especially documentation and diplomacy, and is oddly missing features such as the ability to demolish buildings, Warlock's developers have managed to beautifully merge Civilization V's look and feel with the magical nature of older titles like Master of Magic while implementing many unique ideas of their own. Although multiplayer is currently missing, the developers have stated that they're considering implementing and including it for free in a future update. Needless to say, unless you're pinching pennies and refuse to play any turn-based game from which Sid Meier's name is absent, Warlock is an absolute must-play. For every bad taste pathetic past efforts have left in your mouth (Stardock's disastrous Elemental: War of Magic comes to mind), this one offers a nice, big glass of water to rinse it all out and then some.
    Expand
  12. May 12, 2012
    9
    While the game looks very similar to Civ V, I think is actually better. And I'm saying this as a lifelong fan of Civilization titles. The battle is practically the same, but with the addition of damage types and wide range of hp points for units, which makes for a surprisingly better tactics. There are a lot of spell, and in my opinion, the balance of gold/research/food/mana production isWhile the game looks very similar to Civ V, I think is actually better. And I'm saying this as a lifelong fan of Civilization titles. The battle is practically the same, but with the addition of damage types and wide range of hp points for units, which makes for a surprisingly better tactics. There are a lot of spell, and in my opinion, the balance of gold/research/food/mana production is done much better than in Civ V. There is no penalty for expanding here! And dynamic and shifting god favor is quite nice - and adds real weight to gameplay. Diplomacy is not as advanced as in Civ IV - but better than in Civ V. All in all, it is a very solid and enjoyable game. I find myself going back to it. Expand
  13. May 9, 2012
    9
    While taking several cues from "Master of Magic" it is definitely it's own game. The graphics and animation are superbly executed. The computer AI seems to "gang up" on you and there are a few quirks with the diplomacy feature that I wish were included (like the ability to negotiate for alternative goods / resources than just the ones that are requested by opposing characters. If you don'tWhile taking several cues from "Master of Magic" it is definitely it's own game. The graphics and animation are superbly executed. The computer AI seems to "gang up" on you and there are a few quirks with the diplomacy feature that I wish were included (like the ability to negotiate for alternative goods / resources than just the ones that are requested by opposing characters. If you don't give them exactly what they want...WAR!). There is no unit stacking so battles are played out on the world map. I thought I was going to be disappointed by this as I'm a huge fan of the Master of Magic micro battles, but this lends to the games pace and allows you to get to "the next turn" where your kingdom and battles continue to develop. Overall this game is a steal for $19.99 and FAR better than the last offering. If you're a fan of high fantasy and CIV games in general this ones worth your cash. Expand
  14. May 13, 2012
    8
    Warlock is a very enjoyable game. It's approach is very similiar to Civilization in terms of city building and combat. Unlike Civilization, you quickly get to combat with neutral units, and while not groundbreaking, it is fun. The game has a wonderful selection of units, many of which are beautifully rendered. The game shifts away from Civilization style city building, in WarlockWarlock is a very enjoyable game. It's approach is very similiar to Civilization in terms of city building and combat. Unlike Civilization, you quickly get to combat with neutral units, and while not groundbreaking, it is fun. The game has a wonderful selection of units, many of which are beautifully rendered. The game shifts away from Civilization style city building, in Warlock you place buildings on the tiles, which does force you to make choices as you build your cities.

    The negatives are that the game could've used a bit more in the way of documentation and/or ingame screens to show you what the various spell paths and buildings open up as you progress. Overall, especially for it's price, I'd recommend it to any fan of turn based games and/or civilization.
    Expand
  15. May 14, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I got the game on the weekend and was pleasantly surprised by it. Warlock: Master is a Civ style fantasy romp that can definitely be described as a 'just on more turn' experience if you're a fan of the turn-based genre. It's quite a simple game with some lovely variety, there are some slight balance issues (ie: once you get the big scary units you'll own the opposition), but I quite like this about the game.

    I am a fan of the genre however so will be slightly biased towards this game. I'll say for certain though that I preferred this to HOMM and a lot of the other fare out there competing with this, and for the price tag, this is some good bang for your buck if you're into turn-based games and are an old fantasy fan like myself.
    Expand
  16. Jun 10, 2012
    9
    I absolutely love this game, the amount of complexity is just right and the interface is amazingly easy to use. The graphics are nice and colorful, the soundtrack is pretty cool and the maps are usually really cool.
    The only thing I dont like is the lack of a campaign mode. I didnt expect much fo a story but there is literally no story at all here. That and the AI which is a little weird
    I absolutely love this game, the amount of complexity is just right and the interface is amazingly easy to use. The graphics are nice and colorful, the soundtrack is pretty cool and the maps are usually really cool.
    The only thing I dont like is the lack of a campaign mode. I didnt expect much fo a story but there is literally no story at all here. That and the AI which is a little weird sometimes are the reasons why I take away one point.
    Expand
  17. Jul 16, 2012
    10
    warlock est un tres bon jeu, pas aussi bon que civilization mais c'est une bonne alternative ! il manque quand meme une diplomatie plus developpée : c'est vraiment un probleme. sinon j'adore !
    (desolé pour les erreurs je suis pas tres fort en anglais)
  18. Jul 23, 2012
    10
    Wow! What can I say... this game is FUN. Some gripe that the hexagonal combat system is taken from Civ5, when actually, if you've played some other older games developed by Ino-Co, like Fantasy Wars, it's easy to then see that Civ5 actually took a lot of their ideas from them. This game is quickly becoming the absolute "gem" of what I've always wanted. With the most recent 1.2 patch, whichWow! What can I say... this game is FUN. Some gripe that the hexagonal combat system is taken from Civ5, when actually, if you've played some other older games developed by Ino-Co, like Fantasy Wars, it's easy to then see that Civ5 actually took a lot of their ideas from them. This game is quickly becoming the absolute "gem" of what I've always wanted. With the most recent 1.2 patch, which includes new content such as heroes and artifacts, it absolutely shines. I feel like I'm playing with all the best elements of Majesty, Heroes of Might and Magic, and yes, Civ. Highly recommended! Expand
  19. Oct 27, 2012
    9
    Excellent game. Unpretentious, not too complicated, and just plain fun. The unit upgrade system is very elegant. The only (minor) detraction is that the pocket planes are too hard. By the time you can tackle them, you can completely obliterate the computer.
  20. Dec 16, 2012
    10
    Damn, this game is fun. It takes half an hour to get accustomed to the mechanics, then you're away. I've been exploring a few games to get my strategy fix, and can happily say I've found what I've been looking for. Wasted 10 hours this weekend and would gladly waste 10 more if I didn't have to work tomorrow. Some reviewers will say the game lacks depth, and they're right, but I like whatDamn, this game is fun. It takes half an hour to get accustomed to the mechanics, then you're away. I've been exploring a few games to get my strategy fix, and can happily say I've found what I've been looking for. Wasted 10 hours this weekend and would gladly waste 10 more if I didn't have to work tomorrow. Some reviewers will say the game lacks depth, and they're right, but I like what they've built. The game is streamlined in places where it makes sense and is really elegant and liberating. One example is the ocean travel system. If you have a unit that needs to cross water, just walk it to the shore and next turn it will build its own boat and take to the seas. No building a dockyard, then a transport, then loading the transport. This is daring, and ingenious. Basically, Warlock gets out of your way so you can engage in tactical fighting non stop for hours on end. No doubt it will lose its pull a bit quicker than some deeper strategy games, but I really don't care at this point because I've already gotten my $20 worth and will do so five times over. Grab it and enjoy! Expand
  21. May 25, 2012
    7
    If you like the game Civilization, (CIV) and you like Fantasy/Magic you will probably love this game. It's fun, it's simple, it's inexpensive. Yes it can become a little tedious with the massive amount of troops that you can generate, but all in all, it's a fun little game. I haven't gotten the DLC yet for this game, and am looking forward to trying that out. Cheers!
  22. Dec 6, 2012
    9
    While the original score of 71 was probably accurate at release, currently it is a much improved game with patches and cheap DLC. It also has a multiplayer feature in beta that I have yet to try out. The game keeps getting better over time and I learn something new with each play through. It reminds me of the older CIV games (I am one of those that think CIV5 was a step backwards in theWhile the original score of 71 was probably accurate at release, currently it is a much improved game with patches and cheap DLC. It also has a multiplayer feature in beta that I have yet to try out. The game keeps getting better over time and I learn something new with each play through. It reminds me of the older CIV games (I am one of those that think CIV5 was a step backwards in the franchise) and Alpha Centauri. This is an evolving WIN for the turn-based game enthusiast. It also goes on sale frequently with a current promotional price of $4.99 at GamersGate for the base game, which ensures that you won't have any reason to say no to this gem. Expand
  23. May 31, 2012
    10
    I agree that there is a core of a good game here - but that the AI and depth of strategy are lacking. The battles are civilization-style, and lacking any of the depth of a game like Heroes of Might and Magic. The different creatures are interesting...the spell selection not as much. I just wish that on games like this that could could strip away the extra elements and really focus on depthI agree that there is a core of a good game here - but that the AI and depth of strategy are lacking. The battles are civilization-style, and lacking any of the depth of a game like Heroes of Might and Magic. The different creatures are interesting...the spell selection not as much. I just wish that on games like this that could could strip away the extra elements and really focus on depth of strategy and game balance. Still: a very fun game for the money. Expand
  24. Aug 8, 2012
    9
    As noted in my original May 25th review, when I rated a 7, I said it was very close to an 8 or 9. With 3 patches and the new Elven and Artifact DLC, the addition of lords and artifacts help fill a void. A few stability issues still and unbuffed naval still sucks, but those are minor complaints. It is far and away the spiritual successor to MoM now. Will re-review if future patches and DLCAs noted in my original May 25th review, when I rated a 7, I said it was very close to an 8 or 9. With 3 patches and the new Elven and Artifact DLC, the addition of lords and artifacts help fill a void. A few stability issues still and unbuffed naval still sucks, but those are minor complaints. It is far and away the spiritual successor to MoM now. Will re-review if future patches and DLC change my score.

    MY ORIGINAL REVIEW FROM MAY 25 FOLLOWS:

    I've been a big fan of old school Master of Magic from the mid-90s and been trying to find a suitable modern replacement since. This is probably the closest that I've come across, although it still has some flaws that keep it from being a full love. It plays like Civ with magic versus its own style. The good: City management, troop management, magic research/casting. The game flows well, and runs smoothly. The bad: Combat stinks and naval/sea is horrendous. Combat is unpleasant since there is no unit stacking (a huge negative, imo), no tactical fighting (a la MoM), and very limited magic casting to support a fight. Also, there is DLC with some hero options, but otherwise there are no hero units available. Honestly, there can't be enough bad things said about naval. The buildable units are weak, and you are constantly bombarded by sea serpents that are impossible to counter and eliminate. The strongest available naval unit, the Galleon, dies easily and can't be buffed or spawned fast enough to actually do anything worthwhile. As others have noted, there's really only an extermination option available as a victory path. I could theoretically cast the Unity spell to win, but it kept getting cancelled by the other wizards, and there's no way to buff yourself or the spell up higher to avoid the cancellation. With a few balancing issues corrected (notably naval), I'd give this a strong 8 or 9.
    Expand
  25. May 13, 2012
    9
    If you like 4X games that lead more towards Warfare than Economic management you will have fun with this. The fantasy theme is used well to provide a large number of unique types of units to recruit. As well as a lot of spells to research an cast which can really spice up the combat. Those craving tons of death will be a little disappointed. But what the game aims to do it does reallyIf you like 4X games that lead more towards Warfare than Economic management you will have fun with this. The fantasy theme is used well to provide a large number of unique types of units to recruit. As well as a lot of spells to research an cast which can really spice up the combat. Those craving tons of death will be a little disappointed. But what the game aims to do it does really well. Which is provide a strategy game with a fast pace that focuses more on action and exploration. I only count off for a few rough spots like lack of some common settings, and a few annoying bugs. It's well worth the cheap 20 dollar asking price however. Expand
  26. Jan 19, 2013
    9
    Steam tells me i have blown 140 hours of my life on this game, what it won't tell me is that i'll probably blow hundreds more. Probably the best value for money game i've ever purchased. Because the game is so completely wonderful in every aspect it's hard not to simply want MORE, more info in the interface, more data about the civilization, better visibility of unit attributes in specificSteam tells me i have blown 140 hours of my life on this game, what it won't tell me is that i'll probably blow hundreds more. Probably the best value for money game i've ever purchased. Because the game is so completely wonderful in every aspect it's hard not to simply want MORE, more info in the interface, more data about the civilization, better visibility of unit attributes in specific game-play states - but these features few other games of the same genre have put forth so it certainly doesn't go against Warlock for overlooking some interface elements. Diplomacy doesn't really make a lot of sense, but i tend to ignore that section of the game. I don't think there is multiplayer. Diplomacy and multiplayer are 2 things i am absolutely not interested in however so this is not a drag. If those things are important to you, don't expect to have them in Warlock.

    To write Warlock off simply as a "Civ Clone" would be to deny yourself the enjoyment of one of the greatest "4x" games ever compiled.

    Another important point to make is the degree of DLC that has been released since launch, and at micro pricing ($1.99-$2.99USD). A number of patches have also been released, though i hadn't noticed any of the bugs they were fixing. The most recent patch was 3 weeks ago, so they're supporting this game over 8 months since release, that seems pretty cool.

    I hope they make another one and i hope it's pretty much the same, but with MOOARRR STUFF.
    Expand
  27. Jun 8, 2012
    8
    A very enjoyable 4X'er. Pros:
    Great combat
    Great use of magic and spells
    Good application of formula
    Good random map Neutral:
    The 'other worlds' could have had some greater use, there is little to no reason to ever venture within them, as no faction ever spawns within.

    Cons:
    Lack of multiplayer
  28. Jun 8, 2012
    7
    The Civ game that is a stripped down and casual version. If you are a fan of the Fall From Heaven mod for Civ 4, then this game is probably not for you. The Civ games are far more in depth with city management, but this game does its job if you just feel like relaxing on the couch, watching some TV and playing a lite strategy game. For me, it's nice to take a break from the microThe Civ game that is a stripped down and casual version. If you are a fan of the Fall From Heaven mod for Civ 4, then this game is probably not for you. The Civ games are far more in depth with city management, but this game does its job if you just feel like relaxing on the couch, watching some TV and playing a lite strategy game. For me, it's nice to take a break from the micro management of the Civ games and play something like this where you can just beat up on some other Great Mages (basically factions). As long as you aren't looking for a Fantasy version of Civ, then you will like this basic strategy game at a cheap price. Hopefully, in future DLC's or updates they will expand on things like Diplomacy, AI, and give the players the options for a more in depth game. This series could really benefit from the player deciding how much micro management they want in their strategy game, since the framework for a basic game is there and works. Expand
  29. Aug 29, 2012
    8
    Quite entertaining; I've enjoyed playing Warlock more than Civ 5. I particularly like the unit buffing mechanics; you can have some very expensive units with high upkeep, in a variety of different ways. Unit base perks, experience perks, magical buffs, equipment and unit upgrades can all be applied. And then there's also hero units. I'de give it a 9, but the enemy AI seems to miss combatQuite entertaining; I've enjoyed playing Warlock more than Civ 5. I particularly like the unit buffing mechanics; you can have some very expensive units with high upkeep, in a variety of different ways. Unit base perks, experience perks, magical buffs, equipment and unit upgrades can all be applied. And then there's also hero units. I'de give it a 9, but the enemy AI seems to miss combat opportunities even on the hardest difficulty setting, and the alternate dimensions currently have little strategic merit. Expand
  30. May 16, 2012
    7
    Warlock: Master of Arcane (WMA from now on) is inspired to the unforgettable Master of Magic, forefather of the 4X games (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate). Taking the role of a Great Mage, the player fights for supremacy in a randomly generated world. The game inherits the impressive lore of the Majesty games, thus giving all the creatures ingame a background that helps theWarlock: Master of Arcane (WMA from now on) is inspired to the unforgettable Master of Magic, forefather of the 4X games (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate). Taking the role of a Great Mage, the player fights for supremacy in a randomly generated world. The game inherits the impressive lore of the Majesty games, thus giving all the creatures ingame a background that helps the players immerse themselves in the role of the Great Mage. When first starting a game, the player will notice a good world customization gui: size, type of map (islands, continents,..) number of Great Mages and parallel worlds are all configurable to the player liking. When thrown ingame, veteran players of Civilization V will feel right at home: infact, the similarities with said game are many, from the hexagonal map to the Gui, almost anything seem to recall (and perphaps revere) the Hydra of turn games. There are three races in WMA: humans, beasts and undeads. The humans are the usual civilization, comprehending all kinds of classical medieval/renaissance units: so knights, cutthroats, catapults, and so on. The Beasts are an inusual alliance between many different creatures: goblins, werewolves, minotaurs, but also gnomes and dragonkins. Finally, the undeads are what you will expect: skeletons, zombies, vampires, and all kinds of evil creatures you may think of. The races are different not only aestethically, but also in creatures stats and building. In every city is possible, after reaching a certain population, to build certain structures. The structures must be phisically on a tile, thus adding an other strategic variable (What should I build? Where should I build? Is it better to build this city near this one, so I'll colonize this island rapidly, or should I build it farther, granting me additional space in a few turns?) Every unit in WMA will gain skills through experience (may it be from killing evil creatures or to skill/spell related benefits). Note that the skills are all stackable, letting you create true war machines, so powerful they can destroy entire enemy armies. This, along with the one unit per tile limit, in some way discourages the creations of enormous armies, encouraging the possesion of few powerful units that compensate each other. Just think at the Holy Trinity: Tank, Dps and Healer. However, nothing stops the player from ammassing an impressive army, maybe through spells. Yes, because there are LOTS of spells, in WMA, ranging from the classical fireball, to city blessings, to armies evocations. There are multiple ways to receive the spells: research, quests or events. The spell-tree, though, isn't completely clear: there are always 5 possible spells to research, but seems that there isn't any correlation between the previous and the next ones, forcing the player to choose randomly between the available five. As said, there are also quests, usually concerning the disposal of an enemy unit. Quests can be given by people of the realm, or by the gods themselves: there are, infact, 8 gods in WMA, each one with its own avatar and special units. Through ingame actions the player can influence its relation with the gods, granting their benevolence (and thus units and resources!) or their hate (that can even bring the god to declare war on the player! And that is one though opponent;) However, despite the good general gameplay and the vast variety of units, buildings and events, WMA suffers from a lack of AI, that isn't really challangening even on the highest level of difficulty, just sending in waves of units, more or less experienced, to their demise. Technically speaking, WMA shows good graphics, rich in colors and mildly detailed, with nice artistic choices (love the Count Werewolves and the Magic Towers!). In the end, WMA is a good game, taking all the epic feel that 4X games give, and adding its own flavour. The deficitary AI and the few bugs are easily resolvable through patches, and if the future DLCs will add additional civs and features, then we will really have a game to remember for many years to come. Expand
  31. Jun 15, 2012
    0
    This game, simply sucks. It's NOT master of magic, NOT civilization and NOT a good combination of the two !! The game interface is annoying, with clicks doing different kind of things from the ones you expect them to. Units mix with the graphic environment and are really difficult to see. Combat has no graphic display (just some sounds and minus symbols for the health lost). If you plan onThis game, simply sucks. It's NOT master of magic, NOT civilization and NOT a good combination of the two !! The game interface is annoying, with clicks doing different kind of things from the ones you expect them to. Units mix with the graphic environment and are really difficult to see. Combat has no graphic display (just some sounds and minus symbols for the health lost). If you plan on spending money on a good turn based strategy with fantasy elements, look elsewhere. Collapse
Metascore
71

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Jan 22, 2013
    70
    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.
  2. Aug 31, 2012
    75
    Warlock does not offer something truly new to the genre and the components borrowed from Civilization far outnumber its renovations. The gameplay options offered may feel many, but are in fact, very limited: combat is over-simplified, diplomacy is poor, the religious element is non-existent and the actions you take in one turn are 90% the same. Despite that, the 'one more turn' magical effect can be felt at times. [July 2012]
  3. Aug 2, 2012
    90
    A well-crafted, easy-to-play game with an entertaining fantasy bent, Warlock will have you staying up nights taking one more turn to blast King Rrat to kingdom come.