Jan 10, 2014
If Zombies were so 2012, H.P. Lovecraft inspired games were so 2013. It’s true that the 1920’s author’s works did not reach the levels of success that zombie titles have, but many game developers nonetheless have used the mythos from his writings as a basis of their games. Among these in 2013, is a small title called Conjurer: Awoken. This title, while not necessarily ripped from the late author’s pages, is inspired by his style and incorporates the ideas of the arcane, relics of the past, and an overlying sense of dread and horror.
But another thing that Conjurer: Awoken is, is a lot of the same old game we’ve seen time and time again. This title is a tower defense game boiled down to the most basic it could possibly be. For instance, all towers are already pre-placed, meaning there is no strategy of construction of where you place the towers, as seen in the Fieldrunners games. Rather, players can choose from one of two elements, fire or ice, to cast upon one of the “towers”. Ice slows down the enemies, while fire hurts them. You can make the affects more powerful by holding down on a particular tower longer, but the time and ability to do that depends on the mana one has.
The story in this title, is that you are a mage, drunk on power, who has unleashed hellish beasts onto the world, and now must stop them from destroying everything. Again, while not taken from the pages of one of the best horror writers of the 20th century, it nonetheless has a little bit of his flair. Then again, the argument can be made that any creepy horror that doesn’t contain Eli Roth levels of gore could be inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, so to conjure his likeness for promotion of this game may be somewhat of a stretch. Of course, one will need to get used to those aforementioned beasts, as they will be the only enemy one will see in the entire game.
Another thing anyone will notice when playing this game, is just how ancient the overall presentation seems. The text, graphics and menu options all look like something that would’ve been exemplary in the late 90s or early 00s, but not in the second decade of the 21st Century. In fact, they feel quite underwhelming, making it even harder to get behind a title that gamewise, already comes off a little drab.
I can appreciate what the developer of this title was going for, but Conjurer: Awoken feels like just another tower defense title. It’s graphics, presentation and overall gameplay are far from impressive, and borders on tedious. Everything about this title is plain, old, dull and something we’ve all seen before, which is unfortunate given that the game is advertised as something much better.