Real time strategy games have taken us to numerous locals, in horde we’re off to a typically medical setting. Complete with, knights, dragons, princesses, and thieves. Only the twist is, this time we get to be the dragon.
Available on Steam for PC & Mac, Also Avalible for PSP and PS3
This is a deceptively simple game at the start. There’s you (a dragon), your opponents (also dragons), and everything else (lunch). Everything else is the human kingdom which is yours to terrorize. The goal in a typical round of game play is to be the first played to a predefined gold total. Gold comes from people. You can burn down pretty much anything on the map for gold. As the game progresses and the human settlements become more advanced archers and knights will appear which will need to be fought or avoided. Terrorize one town long enough and it will start sending you tribute, which other dragons can steal from you. Thievery by other dragons isn’t the only kind of thievery around either, there are human thieves too who will show up from time to time to perpetrate devious acts of thievery.
Perhaps my favorite touch is, once the human settlements on a map get large enough a royal carriage will spawn. Destroy it and you can capture the local princess for a nice gold ransom. Assuming you can defend her from the heroic knights long enough to collect it. Or! The wizard tower, that gives you a huge gem if you can destroy it, just be careful getting it home to your base.
The graphics here are solid and nicely stylized, the polish level is high overall. I like the touch of finishing the edge of the map area like the edges of aa board game on a table. There are layers of strategy here, everything from a burn everything style, to letting to human settlements flourish for a higher gold payout later. All this makes it easy to keep coming back for ‘one more round’ to try different tactics and grab an even higher score.
I did have some trouble getting out of the gate with this one, but in large part that was my own fault for ignoring the game play advisories and flying around the map looking for power ups, finding the edges of the map, and trying to murder the NPC dragons. None of which activities help you pile up gold. Even playing the game as intended I have a few quibbles. There is no strafe, which wouldn’t feel like punishment if there were not encounters in game where the option to circle strafe would be very helpful. Be warned you cannot use your breath weapon while moving, I ‘died’ several times trying to move around enemys while breathing fire. The game does encourage you not to hover over an enemy and just roast it by giving your fire breath a limit that needs to recharge, but still, frustrating.
Verdict: Satisfying lightweight RTS game, bonus for letting me play as the dragon.
Next Week: Bastion (as recommended by both Brandon and Josh