In classic RPG’s it used to be that your party would stand patiently on one side of the battlefield waiting like gentlemen for their turn. Well this is a game that thought that was far to active, a game that lets you play summoner with a bunch of angry bickering children who can’t always agree on whether to wear pants to a battle. This is………………………………………………..
You play as a feisty red haired hero stricken by the plague and thrown in a pit to rot for all time. But it turns out you aren’t quite dead yet as you have for some reason developed strange new powers that let you enter the half way world between life and death. For some reason this is the best place to hurt the now mutated plague victim zombies scrambling for a taste of your pretty flesh but you can’t do it alone and as you try to escape you must pull other unsuspecting fighters, wizards, clerics and knights into your struggle.
To be honest the plot is so so, while it held me on my first play through it’s light and unobtrusive to the point where any subsequent play through it’s pretty much ignored. For those who like a seamless blend of game and story look elsewhere. Here you travel the over world map with red dots denoting a battle and blue a cut scene or more importantly a shop where you can upgrade and hire. The towns themselves and any cut scene that jumps in before a battle is skipable leaving you with a few snippets of “character building” dialogue just before the skirmish begins.
This leaves you with the meat and potatoes of the game a fantasy styled tower defence where creatures spawn in and you must place your valiant fighting force to stop them tearing you apart. As to be expected they each have different costs, strengths and weaknesses. Your berserkers are your grunt line force, swinging a sword in their immediate vicinity and hoping to connect. Your rangers are, well, your ranged defence letting fly a volley of arrows so long as the enemy isn’t too close nor too far away. Your healers heal, your ice mages cast ice, your Knights are good against armour but swing slower than the rest and so on. There will be a few summon points from which the enemy can enter depending on turn order and what not at the top of the screen and its possible to recall and re summon your army to your hearts content.
The limit to all this is your Psi, the blue bar near the top of the screen with each unit costing a certain amount of Psi to summon and returning a typically different amount if recalled. This Psi can also go toward upgrading each unit making them harder, better, faster, stronger. Though they can be permanently buffed from the xp you get from battle after it’s all said and done. That’s not to say you can dump them and leave of course as you are given certain abilities that can pull your derrière out of the zombie horde, literally speaking. Not only is it up to you to place each person and re-summon them when they’ve had to much, you also gain spells as you progress, starting with the standard buffs and working your way up to throwing exploding crystals and hurling bolts of lightning.
Now if I had a complaint about the game, and I do, is that I would class it as a little too easy and when I’m saying a game is too easy then you’ve usually got a problem. Sure each level comes with four difficulty settings from casual to extreme and there is always an incentive to make sure you don’t just beat them but ‘perfect’ them; but unless you start coming up with rules for yourself then it isn’t too much of a threat. The game seems built around the notion of playing on setting one or two first to build up the xp and gold which you can then invest before coming back for the harder modes which with your new powers and party members will typically have turned into a cake walk. The ability to level up seems slightly random with there being no real concern on how you invest the points so long as you do invest them. The shops are nice enough to let you know clearly which weapons on sale are better then which weapons you have equipped and not only equipping them for you on purchase but also selling off your old gear with the tick of a box, thus avoiding too much farting around on menu screens and the like. Don’t worry about which abilities you’re giving your men just spread the points out fairly evenly and they’ll take care of that in battle for you leaving you to very quickly figure out whether you can take this level or not.
It’s a fairly light game with a plot there if you want it, a rather easy mode on offer and a decent enough sense of humour about itself. There is a special item available if you like and follow them on face book and a different one if you stick it to them man and turn them down. There are a few options for screen size but if you want it windowed be prepared for small. Some games are designed to have podcasts and radios playing in the background, I can’t help shake the feeling this is designed to have youtube vids or movies playing alongside.
They’re currently “hard” at work on number two with a less flash animation art style and turtle battle tanks. No word yet on when it will be available or how much it will cost but this is around the ten quid mark on both steam and GOG.