Sunday, April 28, 2013

Eador: Masters of the Broken World Gameplay Review

I'm playing Eador: Masters of the Broken World, a role-playing turn-based fantasy strategy game by Snowbird Games.

The game features a campaign mode where you choose from a set of maps to dominate, slowly expanding out from your initial stronghold, capturing provinces to accumulate more resources and purchase better units. You can also choose from custom games on randomized maps and online multiplayer. Map layouts commonly place outrageously strong neutral units adjacent to your starting location, so methodical grinding of your hero through exploration and location battles within provinces must be accomplished before slow expansion can begin in earnest. Your stronghold can be improved by constructing buildings which provide new units, income, happiness, spells, resources, or weapons; basic buildings can also be placed in provinces. Troops are lead by heroes, both of which gain experience during battle that unlocks new abilities. Heroes can explore provinces, hire troops, visit locations for tactical battles, study new spells, or visit stores to purchase or repair weapons. Tactical battles resolve conflicts on the map, and the terrain, along with units that have special abilities, can make the battles more interesting. The strategic AI quality seems to be competent enough, expanding quicker than the player is able to, and the tactical AI does engage fragile units and only occasionally throws units into certain death. The interface is improved over Eador: Genesis thanks to a higher screen resolution and more efficient presentation, which (along with the online multiplayer) is the primary improvement this version offers over its predecessor. While not a perfect game thanks to frustrating, tedious early-game imbalance, Eador does offer some intriguing features and mechanics for the fantasy strategy enthusiast.