Braveland Review

Braveland Review

May 14, 2014

Your village has been attacked, and now its time to gain control back for your people.

A turn-based RPG, Braveland puts players in the role of a warrior’s son as he attempts to build an army of his own by traveling through the world. Players build up their army during their journey by meeting new warriors on their path, or stopping at taverns and hiring mercenaries to join your quest. The game features over 25 different types of characters that can potentially join your armor, allowing players to build up the best army possible for their specific fighting style.

The turn-based fighting system plays similar to that of the classic Heroes of Might & Magic games of the 90s and 2000s, with a hex grid to show movement range and the option to either fight, defend or wait. Your hero can even learn spells a la Might & Magic to cast in battle.

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The game allows players to get the hang of battle early on by not making the fights too difficult. As you continue throughout, however, the fights become a bit more difficult, and require players to actually formulate a strategy based on how the opponent is playing. That being said, with no major penalty for death in battle, aside from losing gold, taking a trial and error approach to the later fights really didn’t have much of an impact on the game. In fact, it simply made a short game a bit longer.

Braveland follows a set of linear paths that, with the exception of a few instances for different bonuses, rarely branch out. You march along a path, fight battles, fight bosses and repeat. It’s a very straight forward, and restrictive, process that could turn off players who prefer non-linear gameplay.

Still, despite the linear story and no major challenge, Braveland is a fun game during the first run-through. While the want for more variety with how the game plays is there, the game remains enjoyable throughout, and can result in you getting lost in time no matter your experience with turn-based strategy titles.

Battle Islands Review

Battle Islands Review

May 5, 2014

With the success of Clash of Clans over the last year, it’s no surprise that other companies have decided to get into the mobile freemium strategy genre. Battle Islands is just another one of those games that takes a popular concept, and attempts to put its own twist on it all.

The game is set in the World War II era of 1942. Players are required to build up units of soldiers in order to attack, and take over, various islands in the South Pacific. The theme is a fresh take on the genre, but the gameplay is just all too familiar. And unfortunately, the team at 505 Games fail at delivering anything more than a briefly entertaining re-skin of what Clash of Clans is.

battle islands fight
The game throws you right into a nice tutorial session upon launch that shows you the basics of how to place and build buildings, train soldiers and make sure you have enough equipment necessary to defend against attacks later on in your game. After the tutorial, players can complete a variety of challenges to earn the gold bricks.

The gold bricks are the essential currency of this game that can either be earned or purchased. Purchasing the bricks allow the game to progress much faster whereas earning them becomes a long, tedious process over time. Players do start out with a few gold bricks, but they quickly run out, leaving you empty handed when you need them the most.

Then comes the waiting. More often than not, your time playing this game will be more of waiting for troops to train and buildings to finish constructing than it is actually fighting. The game’s slow progression takes away from the briefly fun aspect of fighting with opposing players.

The World War II theme keeps the game somewhat fresh at the beginning, but that charm only lasts so long before you realize you are playing the same type of game you are used to. And it’s not like the game does anything truly terrible, it’s just the same package in a new wrapper.

At the end of the day, it all depends on how much you love the genre that will determine your enjoyment. If you don’t mind the repetitive place buildings, train troops, attack enemies and block off attacks gameplay, then Battle Islands may be the game for you. If you are tired of the new dog, old tricks gameplay, then your best bet is to move on to something else.


 

Spellcreepers Review

Spellcreepers Review

May 1, 2014

The world of match-3 puzzles is an ever-growing market that could easily be viewed as oversaturated. With so many different choices, it could be overwhelming when sorting through the number of games available. With Spellcreepers, bitComposer Online and Neobird hope to make that decision of what game to play that much easier.

Spellcreepers is a free-to-play puzzle RPG that puts players in control of up to 32 creatures as they battle other creatures in a turn-based magic duel that allows players to cast spells based on the puzzle board presented during the fight.
The single-player campaign has a player take control of one Spellcreeper, battling in a variety of different matchups and unlocking new, more powerful Spellcreepers in the process. There is even a player-vs-player multiplayer arena that can be unlocked as you progress through the campaign.

For a match-3 game, the strategy required in some of the later battles of the solo campaign make this one of the most unique games out there. Deciding between doing a double attack or a heal and attack combo can signal the difference between winning a battle, or being crushed by your opponent.

Players can purchase equipment to help boost their characters

Players can purchase equipment to help boost their characters

A minor nuisance with Spellcreepers is the fact that the RPG elements aren’t that strong. If anything, this game plays more like a strategy game infused with features of an RPG. Sure, you have to decide what boosts and equipment to purchase, but other than that, a good enough player can devise the right battle strategy during fights to overcome a mis-selection of items.

The multiplayer battles require even more strategy. If you don’t have the right boosts and equipment equipped, your battle could be very short lived.

That is where the big downfall with Spellcreepers comes in to play. The fact that it can very easily turn into a pay-to-win type of game when it comes to the multiplayer mode is a turn off. There were a few times where playing against a human opponent resulted in a two-turn loss because my opponent clearly used real money to upgrade their Spellcreeper to a much stronger level, per se.

That being said, there isn’t much to complain about from a gameplay perspective. The game is simple yet addicting, which makes for a fun experience even if you don’t know exactly what the best route of action to take is for a specific battle.

The selection of Spellcreepers, the number of unlockables and the fact that no two battles are similar in how you play them makes this a game you can find yourself lost in for hours. And though the risk of pay-to-win is there for PvP, the single-player mode is the real joy of this game, and is definitely worth the download.

Spellcreepers even allows cross-platform synchronization, allowing players to never have to worry about restarting their game should they decide to play on a different device.