I make no apology, I am a full on raging geek. I play Magic the Gathering, Pokemon and I collect Warhammer models. Happily we now live in times where the geek have inherited the Earth. There are board gaming clubs and shops dedicated to all things nerd, operating in the open instead of in a loft, or the classic basement dungeons and dragons scenario. It is with this joy of being a geek that I get to review Warhammer Quest. I recall playing it with friends (Andy and Neil if you read this, I know you love a sweaty berserker), on a winter’s eve sat on the living room floor.
The premise of the game is to guide your intrepid gang of pre-built characters through a dungeon that evolves as you play. What I mean by this is due to the tiled nature of the game, every room and encounter is subject to a dice roll. This meaning all sorts of shenanigans can ensue, ambush attacks, traps, treasure etc. The game is quite possibly the most faithful recreation of a board game since Monopoly went digital. Everything works exactly as if there were a dungeon master, laying each tile out themselves. The camera angles are from a top-down perspective, and can seem restrictive until your party start exploring. The game starts in the Warhammer Fantasy Universe, where a lot of character names and place names seem familiar and yet different. The setting feels like a cross-over of Van Helsing and Terry Pratchett’s interpretation of Germany in the Discworld novels. You select your party and are given the choice of uncovering a large map by looting dungeons, or attempting harder missions for shady types, and greater reward, but within the same region. This allows you the opportunity to gear up your party and get used to the mechanisms of the game itself.
In line with the board game it plays as turn based using movement, then an action, followed by an attack, with spells and ranged attacks as additional actions. Once you are in attack, you cannot move again meaning, you need to plan out your attacks and movement accordingly. The AI will target your softer characters if they are closer, so they need holding and coddling like an overly powerful Furby.
The meat of the game is what you would expect from a iOS port – Dungeons, levelling up and collecting rare loot. The game feels as if it was designed to be dipped in and out of – and the graphics look similar, until you mess with the options. There are a few things that kind of niggle when playing. Your wizards don’t get very much experience when accompanying the party unless they actually smash face… which is great except, they are like Jack Wilshere’s ankles – made of Weetabix. Also due to the fact that it is faithful to the original, the Winds of Magic that power your spells are also randomised – meaning that potentially your magic users can be utterly useless all the way through the dungeon. In addition to this, the camera resets itself when it is the enemies’ turn. Meaning you have to wait until they finish to see the whole board clearly, limiting you tactically. You can speed up the enemies turn as well as they seem to want to examine every tactical possibility, slowing the game down significantly. The other major bugbear is progression, the limit for a character is 7 by normal means. There have been several mixed opinions regarding the scarcity of loot that can be traded for gold, which you need to progress to the next level, in exponential amounts. The levels extend further than 7, but the amount of gold required becomes close to Destiny levels of grinding required – The devs decided that to prevent that they would allow real money transactions for gold. For me this is a bit of a turn off, as the gold is available to buy immediately – and with a random loot table for the towns shops, this can lead to a potentially easy ride through the game. It feels like a bit of the mobile game was leftover when they ported it, and for a lot of gamers this will leave a sour taste in the mouth.
Overall I was impressed by the game, for those seeking the ultimate challenge, setting the game to hard and enabling perma-death for your party, meaning your team can and will dwindle if you don’t pay attention. Certainly if you don’t have the ultimate edition of the game, you will be missing some of the cooler characters – Witch Hunter baby – making progression impossible.
I will be giving this game a 6.5 out of ten, with the chance to jump to a 7 if the annoying bits are changed or removed. This is simply because this game was not made to keep you glued to the keyboard, the graphics are great, but the annoyances are enough to detract from the overall product.
Score:6.5 out of 10