Marvelous at first, shameful by the end.
There is a turbulence of emotion when transitioning from the main menu of this exemplary title to the surreal gameplay. Appearances can be deceiving. What once arose as a merit, purposing the interpretation of a well-established developer, suffocates beneath the normal board game type of map and the shortfall of choice-making, that mirror the endeavor of a small indie studio. Condemn the thought of cross platform availability. A product meant to be enjoyed on an Ipad, which has no keyboard or mouse, has great strain when attempting to settle itself on a platform allowing for new ways to interact with the game. The final verdict has been vastly influenced by the choice of platform. If this had been your quick play session during lunch break or in any situation that derives a person from time, Legends of Callasia is top notch.
When it comes to a serious long term commitment to dive within the exciting game world, a person will not leave satisfied. It has been preached many time before, yet here we are again with the same statement- what works appropriately on one platform most likely won’t on another. Laborious decisions fell on the shoulders of Boomzap, they had to carve out important gameplay elements so that a touchscreen could take advantage of the game. Realistic battle situation, ordering your squad around, true exploration have been ripped out of the final product. At first a player goes to great lengths to appoint distinct heroes with a variety of units and then throws out all of those choices because battles are pre-decided. This is described as an auto-resolve battle mode.
So contemplating about the entire situation, Legends of Callasia wants to start off as a sophisticated experience and then end up a dreadful waste of time. Would it have been so hard to give us a battle setting in the way of Heroes of Might and Magic? To have the option of moving units in specific key locations, cast powerful spells in the direst plight especially when the game itself builds up to exactly that understanding.
The heroes presented are seriously enticing. They are all unique, bring interesting units to the battlefield with them and make it hard to choose which ones should bring along with you to the fight. This is the most important choice one has to make in the entire game, how you start usually predicts the outcome of the entire game. You can choose a warrior, rogue, wizard or merchant class based hero that will allow using battle cards from that specific deck. Here things get a little deeper. If for example you choose a warrior, it isn't necessary that an attack bonus will apply to him. He could be a defender and receive bonus defense which is a nice addition to the simplified strategy. Merchants could turn out to be both builders with less production costs for territory and castle improvements or chancellors that yield more gold when on occupied land.
Very little words are needed to describe what your main goal in the game is. After choosing four heroes at the beginning of the game, then leading in with one or several of them (depending on the starting gold), the conquest commences. Conquer territories to produce gold or establish a barrack, fight off the invading enemy units and slain them all to win unless the game mode that is chosen happens to be with Victory Points included. Victory Points are a game mechanic that limits the amount of playtime. You set a number of Victory Points needed to win the game and whoever reaches that number first, wins.
A hero can do one of three things when exploring the game map: conquer a territory, defend it or build upon it once it becomes a part of his kingdom. As the game is early in development, the building you can construct are only four and I found only two of them useful. Those happen to be the towns and barracks, one gives you extra population so you can build more units and add them to your army, the other offers the ability to purchase those same units.If the land you are on currently doesn't have barracks, then you are left with your current number of units, unable to produce more.
Since a hero can be one of four different classes, he is accompanied by a deck of cards responding to his class and a few normal cards which can be used by every class. The list of cards available is short as of this moment, most of them happen to be warrior based that deal damage and the one you will receive most often is the "Cease Fire" card that allows you to stop an active battle for one turn.Battles aren't in 3D.Your units as cards take on the enemy units(cards also) and depending on whether the unit is a ranged or melee one, he either shoots arrows or throws hammers/swords at the foe. That sums it up. There is no real control over the battle, you aren't allowed to move units in higher locations so they can take advantage of the battlefield or anything like that. If you are a fan of Heroes of Might and Magic, this game won't give you the same strategy based combat. Even the background that is placed during a fight can be quite plain.
I feel the difficulty is out of balance in the game too. As someone who isn’t a hardcore strategist and trying to squeeze through the easiest possible predicament, I found that the artificial intelligence was doing a prodigious job at keeping me at bay. Just as soon as I finished slaying one enemy, another was already at my doorstep wanting a piece of my glorious kingdom. The bots were acting too human, always trying to bring back into battle their fallen heroes, so the map was never truly empty from enemies. Conquering distant lands and at the same time spreading out valuable units to protect your kingdom was almost impossible to do. I also felt that even enemies with less land were making an incredible amount of gold so they can easily produce up to 50 units on a single hero and take me on. At the end of it all, the strategy boils down to whoever was quickest and had more luck when capturing lands and building vast armies which is sorrowful.
The board game style map isn't the worst.
Visually appealing are the small little details when switching seasons while playing a turn. For instance when winter came, little snowflakes started dancing around on the map. The season gauge got a little frozen at the bottom which was pleasant. During autumn, leaves started falling down the screen in different colors, with some of them being all muddy hue just like a person would see when autumn arrives. There are also little dragons flying around to give the illusion that the game’s map isn’t completely static.
Clouds also make an appearance and they look almost hand drawn. I did find fault here too because all of these elements had a pattern. They weren’t that dynamic because they showed up from the same places. The music is of good taste. At this time, it is only a single track playing over and over again. That doesn’t mean that it gets boring to listen to it, actually it is one of a kind. It’s almost like a rally cry. It gives you the courage to go into battle no matter what, at least that is how I felt. Even though I lost more than once, I couldn’t help but feel good after a long and strenuous clash with the enemy.
Encountered bugs and the abominable price tag.
Just trying to create a new account so I can play the game, caused it to crash to the desktop. To be frank, crashing is the game’s biggest problem. There isn’t much else to break the fun that one might have with the title. One more gripe I have at this point is the decided price. Developers of Legends of Callasia plan on asking for 19.99 USD for the complete experience and from what I read that price is going to be the same on all devices. I cannot take it seriously because the full ported version of Bioshock cost 14 USD at the start and then quickly moved down to 9 USD. Legends of Callasia won’t be anywhere near as amazing as the first Bioshock to ask for more money. On a positive note, when one buys the game for one platform by creating an account, he will receive the unlocked version for all of the other platforms without spending another penny. The framerate is consistent at 60, I am not sure if it matter for this title in particular because it isn't fast moving like a shooter.