Average User Score: 7.4Apr 7, 2013There is no doubt that this game is difficult, but the challenge is intellectual, not how fast you can click, as it is turn-based. It is not complex to play, but strategy really matters in this game. Units carry between missions, as do unit losses. Play sloppy, it will hurt you in later missions.
One detail I like, is there is a turn-limit on each mission. You get Gold, Silver, or Bronze depending on how many turns it takes, and rewards reflect the rating. The time-limit forces you use strategies other than the defensive turtle tactic that always seems to work against AIs in other games.
As for units, they are varied and actually tactically different, and position is important. Archers can stand behind a melee unit, and when that unit is attacked, the archer gets a free retaliatory strike. Mounted units do massive charge damage, but only to units standing on plains. Heros are satisfyingly powerful, but not so much that mastery of other units isn't still needed.
All units can be promoted, which allows you to customize them a bit. There are also artifacts to add more flavor. You also get to choose the units to bring on each mission. It makes the game feel more like a campaign, rather than a collection of individual missions.
So, rating... If I just rated on quality and polish, the game would be a 7-8. But I chose to rate this game based on how much fun I had playing it, so 9. I played the main campaign twice, something I rarely do. It is a great tactical game.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.4Feb 16, 2013I have actually played the game and and after seeing the delusional reviews here, I felt compelled to chime in. (8.3? Really?) The atmosphere in the game is fine, and the humor, while a bit simple, is also fine. The real problem is the game-play. It isn't fun. In fact, it can be rather tedious. Basically the game consists of 5 parts. Building your dungeon, defending your dungeon from heroes, adventuring, raiding, and maintenance. No, it is not as exciting as it sounds.
Building your dungeon is basically rotating and dropping a pre-sized room next to a corridor. Layout is unimportant because you generally teleport your units everywhere. Other than perhaps a cluster of kitchen's as you will spend a fair bit of time feeding your minions. It is generally unsatisfying and happens at a fairly slow pace. It feels more like the base building in a RTS, you do it just to get the buildings deployed to unlock functionality, not because you are actually designing a base.
Defending your dungeon, now here is one of the tedious parts. Every couple of minutes, 2-4 (depending on stage of the game) ladders will randomly appear scattered within your dungeon. If you don't destroy them, a group of heroes will come out of one of them roughly twenty seconds later. You can setup patrols to destroy the ladders, but you rarely bother, because if you do, the heroes will simply come in through the dungeon entrance and attack your base anyway. So you teleport your squads back and attack the ladders and then teleport them to the entrance to attack the heroes. Then you send your minions to feed, and teleport them back to where they were before you were attacked.
Adventuring is wandering around a too-dark area doing simple quests with mediocre combat. It is the best part of the game, and you can't enjoy it because you have to stop and teleport your minions back every couple of minutes to deal with the heroes. Or feed your minions.
Raiding. Basically, you switch to a world map with a couple dozen locations on the map. There are 3 different types, each gives a different resource, and sometimes quest specific locations as well. But all you do is right click on one and select a single squad to send. Your squad leaves the dungeon, and comes back a minute later and you get resources, and possibly lose units. That is it. The quest ones are basically the same, just with a quest update thrown in. There is no real interactivity. It adds a little something to the game, but nothing to write home about.
Maintenance. Ugh. You have to send your minions to feed. Often. When you lose a unit, you have to go through a couple of screens to create a replacement, send him to training to level two, go to a squad menu, add him to a squad, purchase upgrades for each unit separately (basically armor/weapons lvl 1-3, no real customization) and then send the squad for feeding. You can have replacements on hand, but still have to do all the same micromanagement.
The UI has issues and needs to be streamlined, and there is too much micromanagement. Like you can tell an imp to repair a building, and he will, then just sit there. You have to wait until the repair is complete to then manually request an Imp go to work in said building. The same with ladders. Unless you set squads on patrol mode (which you generally don't want as they will wander off) when you teleport a squad next to an invading ladder, you have to manually select the squad you just sent, and manually tell him to destroy the ladder he is basically standing on top of. When you have to destroy 4 ladders, it is teleport, select, target ladder, repeat. 4 times. Every couple of minutes.
Beyond the tedium, there is no real tactical depth and combat is kinda boring. Squads (which consist of 4 units) get bonuses depending on unit composition and level, but only with 4 different units. So, for example, if one of your bonuses is extra healing and you replace a DPS unit with a second healer, you lose the healing bonus. Odd logic. So the game encourages you to throw together squads from random groups of units. And combat is basically swarming the enemy with all your squads. There is no strategic reason not to, as you can instantly teleport your squads to wherever you want them. (albeit one at a time, as the UI has no streamlining) There are also reports of a few bugs, though I have not personally encountered any. To be fair, the developers have been active on Steam forums and I suspect the bugs will actually be fixed rather quickly. They have also promised to address some of of the other game issues, like the UI and constant need to feed your minions. With a couple of patches, they could get the game to a 6-7 rating, which is respectable for a $20 game in a genre with few other options. But as of right now, playing the game is a chore.… Expand