Archives for : Andreil Games

Dark Seal Review

Andreil’s Game put out an XBLIG, Dark Seal back in March 2010 and I spent some enjoyable time with it this weekend. Let’s go over this simple to play turn based strategy game. As simple as this game is it, really made me remember what I missed of the board game era.

Dark Seal is played on a hexagonal board filled with hexagonal spaces. Six evil warlocks are vying for control of the Dark Seal, and the one who controls the most territory at the end will be the victor. To stop you from doing this you have 10 waves of good guy troops attempting to take all of the warlocks territory away as well as other warlocks looking to keep you out of the running.

The way the game works is the more territory you own the more spells you’ll have at the beginning of your turn. The spells and your minions are how you will beat back the hero’s and blast the other warlocks. There are a few interesting rules to the game. One is that you can’t use your minions to take a rival warlocks land or attack a rival’s minions. They can only be used against the heroes that move in from the outer ring. Your spells on the other hand can be used against anyone. That is how you strike at your rival warlocks.

There is an aspect of randomness to the game that, I feels adds a great deal to it. The spells you start off with in a round are more like if you had to draw so many cards from the top of a deck, what you get is what you get. They can be very unhelpful or incredibly helpful. This randomness gives any warlock a chance to come back from the brink. That is if they know what they need to do. The magic cards could be as simple as take an empty enemy territory or place two units in one of your territories. Some spell cards destroy a set number of units from a square, and some do that and take the square if it is unoccupied after the troops are destroyed. There is a set of random ones that will randomly switch one square you chose with a randomly picked one on the board. This could be good or terrible for you.

The key thing to remember is territory is what counts the more you own the more cards you get. So if you are wanting a lot of options on your turn you need to maintain control of the majority of spaces. The game may seem very random, in playing it a number of times it really isn’t that random even with the chance of drawing some spells that are weak. Once the final wave hits the turns will continue until the good troops are all gone. No new good troops will arrive so this is your chance to take back the lost territories and steal your rivals land.

Once that last good troop falls the game will finish out the turn and the winner will be the warlock that controls the seal. It’s easy to tell who controls the seal since the seal changes to there color. So you always know who is in the lead. While the computer AI acts a bit erratic at points with their moves, the game is definitely meant for multiplayer. In multiplayer up to 4 of the 6 warlocks can be players, sadly you can’t choose which warlock you want to be.

The music isn’t really worth noting and visually the game isn’t stunning or anything like that. What it does have is simple game play, that classic board game with card drawing feel and a great multiplayer strategy game that won’t take you multiple days to finish.

I give this a 3 out of 5. I think some people will be expecting more than what this game is, not to mention that its true shine is in its local multiplayer. So if you got some friends to play it with, it’s well worth the 80 msp otherwise play the trial first.

Little Kingdom Review

XBLIG developers Andreil’s Game creators of Pioneerz and Pioneer have created another great game. Little Kingdom is just that. A real-time strategy game of peaceful world conquest. Yep that is right, I said peaceful. The game is simple to play, very easy to learn and family friendly. Not to mention quite a bit of fun for it’s small packaging.

Little Kingdom is not really a war game, but is about conquering your enemies. In Little Kingdom it is all about your ability to influence other areas. You do this with forts, no they don’t fire at enemy soldiers or anything like that. Little Kingdom is a peaceful game with simple play to keep this game accessible to players of most ages. You have 4 building types to and two land types that you can construct. That is all that is needed. Once you learn how to do this best it’s pretty simple to build your strategies.

You can build a fort to spread your influence. Building a Lumberyard next to trees will gain you wood. Windmills gain you food. The last building is mines near a mine and that gets you bricks. You can build land on a water hex, or water on a land hex. That is all you ever build in this simple game. You upgrade your forts by turning the clay fort into a wood fort using the lumber you collect and then can upgrade it to a brick fort with the rocks you mine. Doing this to your fort increases its range and power of influence.

The game plays in real time so it isn’t turned based and everything happens on the fly. It supports 4 local players 6 teams can be on a map. You can choose the difficulty of the AI’s as well as whether the match is every man for themselves or team play where you set the teams anyway you want. offering quite a bit of flexibility. With a tutorial stage, a randomized stage and 8 prebuilt maps or scenarios the game offers quite a bit of replayability. Especially with the random map generator.  It would be cool if we could build our own maps for play, but you can’t have everything.

To boot this is not a long game matches last maybe 30 minutes usually a lot less. In my case this kept me from getting burned out and gives you a match where you don’t have to worry about saving the game. Since this isn’t a game with levels to go through it doesn’t have a save feature, which might bother some. To me it didn’t really feel like that was bad since the matches play out so quickly. The AI difficulties and the skills of the other players really determine how much of a challenge you will be facing.

All of this occurs on one screen, no split screen action. All the maps fit within the screen which I thought was a very nice feature. Other players cursors can get in your way at time, since when you click on a space it bring up a little menu on the map. An option to remove the popup menu and just associate certain buildings to specific buttons would be a welcome addition. The music isn’t really that great and the graphics are pretty simplistic as well. So if that is your thing, you will be disappointed, but if your looking for a good fast fun strategy game for cheap this game will fulfill that role.

Selling for 80msp this game is a steal. An easy 4 out of 5 if you ask me. I would have been more than willing to pay more for this gem.

Pioneerz Review

Pioneerz by Andreil Game is the successor to their other XBLIG Pioneer. This real time strategy role-playing game has a lot to offer any gamer. I found myself losing track of time while playing the game and for the most part this was a good thing. With Jump in jump out local gameplay supported it makes for an interesting and ever changing experience.

So what is Pioneerz about well your you local towns hero and you have to help your colony survive and thrive. What you will have to face to do this is; herbivores tearing up your resources, carnivores attacking you and your towns people, underground creatures attacking you and anything in their way, Legendary monsters that can wipe your town out and with all that going on you also have to worry about rival towns. As the hero your stats will level up from fights an so will your level itself. Your towns people can also gain levels in their attempts to protect the town.

Now if your wondering how do you help them survive well first you have to get them going by harvesting berries and lumber. While keeping away any threats from your weak townsfolk. Once your town gets going they won’t need your help as much and you can go about attacking other towns, closing passages to the underground to prevent those monsters from attacking your city. You can start taking over a vacant city by bring it supplies or go out there and hunt the legendary monsters.

The game play is very simple, four buttons and your directional is all you really need. Gather/Plant, Swing sword, Shoot bow, and Heal a person in front of you is as much as you ever have to remember control wise. You can pause the game and up to 4 players locally can join your match or choose to leave it if they have to go. This flexibility I thought was great especially since the game can be time consuming depending on the settings you choose.

You can play this game with 3 map sizes, Tiny, Normal and Huge as well as three difficulties Easy, Normal, and Hard. The game plays great on both tiny and normal maps, but I found on the huge map towards the end since all the cities were taken and pretty leveled up the game started to skip and lag. This didn’t happen until most of the cities were at their max size though and by that point I had already met at least one victory condition. Once you do beat a match, you can choose to keep playing it to beat it via the other methods or quit to start a new match.

Now this game is fun, and the art is a nice 16 bit feel to it. I wished it had a save feature because a game can take some time and that would be nice to have the ability to play one game with a friend save it and start another by yourself. Sadly that isn’t an option. You do get medals for certain accomplishments in the game that you can look at between matches. There was one other glitch I experienced in the game and that was I had accidentally changed teams for a second and so I changed my team back to what I had been playing initially, after doing this the team I had switched to had one city left and nobody left to kill to make the city become vacant. This glitch prevented me from defeating every team on the map. Although it is a nice option to give you the ability to change your team as well as it lets your friends choose whether to be on your team or some other team of their choice.

Now had this game not suffered from the two glitches, both of which happened after a long play session attempting to get the badges I would have gave it a 4, but I just can’t at least not until those issues are addressed.

So my official stance on the game is 3 out of 5. If you like RTSs and RPGs you should love this, if you like one of those types of games you may dig this. So go get the trial and see if it’s worth your 400 msp.