Every now and then a mobile game surfaces and threatens to drain every inch of your battery. Could my latest iOS game purchase be one of those? Read on folks.
I’m a keen fan of the tabletop hobby known as Warhammer, both the Fantasy (swords and magic) and 40,000 (masses of massive guns). Building, collecting, painting and then of course doing battle over handmade terrain with tape measures and dice. It’s an expensive hobby, with units of troops and heroes costing, in some cases, an awful lot of your hard earned cash. Because of the scale of purchases I’ve always been tempted by the boxed board game sets that Game Workshop (the creators of Warhammer) have produced based on their franchises. They play like a pen and paper RPG in some cases, and involve a lot less miniatures (and in some cases, less time) to play. They do of course, like every pen and paper RPG involve lots of statistics and rules.
Rodeo Games struck a deal with Games Workshop to bring one such board game to iOS, entitled Warhammer Quest. At £2.99 and with the word ‘Warhammer’ in the game’s title I found it very hard to resist. Needless to say it was purchased within seconds.
First impressions were very good. I’ve played a few games similar to Warhammer Quest on my iPhone, yet none of them seem to have that extra sprinkle of presentation that’s on display here. While the game is basically a top down dungeon crawler I was impressed with it’s visuals, both in the menu/map areas and when you’re taking part in actual gameplay. The studio have taken a good deal of care in ensuring the finished article is polished from the moment the game boots up to the moment you close the game.
So, what about the gameplay, I hear you cry. For starters you control a team of 4 heroes:
A Marauder, a brutish warrior. Think massive Viking, and you’re part way there.
A Grey Wizard. I doubt you need more of a description than that, but incase you do, think Gandalf.
An Ironbreaker. The dwarf of the group. Heavy armour, shorter legs.
A Waywatcher. Every group needs an elf (in this case a Wood Elf). Very handy with a bow.
Most of the gameplay takes part in dungeons, which are randomly generated when you walk in them. If you are sadly killed or decide to leave the dungeon early be warned that upon your return it’ll look different. It’s all about turn-based tactics with Warhammer Quest with each of your heroes having a limit on how far they can move which is displayed by lightly coloured blocks showing where you can move too. The melee characters have the option to attack any enemies that are in ‘base contact’ with your hero. Your ranged characters however, can stay at relative safety and deal out damage from range. Once you’ve run out of movement/attacking options you simply select ‘End Turn’ and watch what your enemies make their moves, then its back round to you.
Throughout your adventures you’ll encounter loot ranging from items that can be sold without a second thought to new pieces of armour and weaponry. This is where another little bit of the polished shine comes into play. Whether you’re in the middle of a dungeon or browsing the world map simply turn your phone from landscape to portrait and the inventory screen appears, giving you the option to re-equip your warriors, check out your current quests or read about your character’s stats. Once you are done tinkering tilt the phone back to landscape and carry on.
Between dungeons and quests you are given the opportunity to stop off at various towns and cities. While at one of these places you can choose to use the money you’ve looted throughout your time in the game to buy new items/equipment or level up your characters. All the travelling you’re doing between cities and quests are usually greeted with well-written dialogue which fits neatly into the experience, telling a story about what you are about to do, or just generally setting the scene.
Sadly there’s no multiplayer, which is a massive shame as I feel it would have fitted this title. Short battles between your heroes against other real opponents would have really complimented this game. It does however offer a couple of opportunities via downloadable content to further your ‘questing’, with additional levels and enemies (the rat-like Skaven) available to purchase for £2.99. Additionally you can also purchase 3 other characters, giving you the option to mix up your band of heroes. You have the Warrior Priest, the Troll Slayer and the Archmage, all downloadable at the cost of £1.99 each. Coins, which can be looted and earned throughout the game can also be purchased with your real life money. However I didn’t find that this was necessary, although some gamers may wish to level up their heroes quicker by buying the in-game currency.
It can be challenging. I’m currently playing on the 2nd (aka, Normal) difficulty setting, with an easy option and a harder option available from the start of the game. Enemies can randomly appear at times, making positioning of your characters difficult.
However, when all is said and done this is a polished little gem that you can dip in and out of with ease. The fact it is turn based may put a number of people off, but with this being a game for mobile devices I found it to be beneficially especially when faced with only a few spare moments to just have a quick go. It isn’t heavy with RPG elements but it does enough to keep the gamer engaged with the characters and storylines. Mixed in with it’s Warhammer heritage (such as for each turn the ‘Winds of Magic’ randomly generates a number which in turn affects which spells you can afford to cast that turn) makes this for me, possibly a little biased, a really enjoyable title.
If you have an interest in simple turn-based RPGs then this is simply a must buy, even if Warhammer really isn’t your thing. If, like me, you do enjoy a spot of Warhammer then I highly recommend you pick this up.
Warhammer Quest is available now to download on iOS and is priced at £2.99.