Turn based dungeon crawling, loot gathering excellence at the tip of your fingers.
Being from one of the first generations that enjoyed Games Workshop products as they found their feet and at the same time thriving on the home computer explosion along with turn based strategy. I was somewhat excited to discover Rodeo Games had combined the two things into a dungeon crawling loot hunting iOS time-sink.
Open up Warhammer Quest iOS and there’s no mistaking the style of the game, visually it reeks of Games Workshop and the Warhammer universe. There is a lot of love poured into this game, the cutscenes, the animated towns that pop up and the glorious hi-def visuals in the dungeons themselves are quite beautiful.
The game starts off with a training level reminiscent of Demon Souls, from then on it opens up a little and starts to build up your familiarity with the very easy controls. Outside the dungeons there is a world map where you control the travel of your party, deciding which quest or town to venture to next. At the towns, you can sell off your loot, buy items that will likely be made redundant within a quest or two, pray for some divine intervention or level up your character. Levelling is interesting, because it costs gold, fair enough if your adventures can provide enough gold to keep you busy, not so much if you give in to the gods of microtransactions and add to your pile.
Speaking of microtransactions, they’re not particularly micro, but there are extra characters to add to your roster, gold and new campaign sections that can be bought for real monies. It is optional and the game can be fully enjoyed trundling along without assistance, however, if like me you are holding onto a superb weapon of destruction fit only for the Battle Monk that has to be purchased it can be a late night debate.
The standard party comes with two warriors, a Berserker and a Dwarf, followed up by a Wizard and a Ranger, handy with bow and steel. Strategy in the dungeon depends on how you move the individuals and keep the team options open. Once encounters start getting random encounters slapped on top, it can be a little hairy to be suddenly surrounded. Each character gets to move and attack in a turn, if they are next to an enemy they are pinned and cannot move, although they can attack, cast and use items. For people that were brought back to turn based games by the mighty X-Com this form of combat should be familiar especially when it comes to picking off the right enemy in the right order. Also time to mention being wary of not keeping frontline characters supported, on the higher levels a character that is killed, is perma-killed, on the lower levels they come back after the dungeon without any of the experience they may have gained. Once out of combat its time to check on your loot and equip those shiny new boots, just flip your tablet to portrait and presto, there’s the inventory screen. Genius for lack of on screen buttons, can get in the way if you like to play lying down.
Overall a great iOS game, it does everything I want from a dungeon crawler and then some. If I had to pick one concern it would be the tiny text boxes that drive encounters and the general narrative, sometimes it is just too hard to read and I’ll skip it in favour of just following the objectives. Warhammer Quest might be slow to start, and some may find it repetitive, but I can safely say it’ll be on my iPad for the foreseeable future.