Fantasy Wars Review

The name “Fantasy Wars” doesn’t exactly evoke a groundbreaking title which breaks the mold of turn-based games before it. What seems at first a rather generic and uninspired name actually becomes rather clever once you realize that, for the most part, the game is nearly as average and cliché as the name it bears.

We first had a taste of Fantasy Wars at 1C’s event in San Francisco last year. Frank really enjoyed his limited time with the game, and as a complete newbie to the genre he found it exciting enough. In the beginning of playing this, I too shared his enthusiasm, but as time wore on the game wore me down.

Like most current turn-based strategy games, positioning plays a major role in Fantasy Wars. Terrain bonuses are aplenty, and once touching an enemy unit, your forces can no longer move. Position a ranged unit next to one being attacked, and they’ll offer support during the opponent’s phase. Characters boost the group, and you basically know the rest. If you’ve ever played a fantasy based strategy game before, you likely will understand almost all of Fantasy Wars from the get-go.

What sets it apart from other cliché titles is the level of skill and planning you can employ. Much like chess, the game is won and lost by planning ahead as you can’t move through or onto spaces with other units, making each turn an exercise in trying to picture where you’ll move what. This gets especially long when you get bonuses into play and have to try and remember which units are better in which situation/area.

There is a campaign element to the game, allowing you to level up your units as you progress through the story and purchase new ones as well. The missions are pretty varied, but unfortunately the story is almost as cliché and average as the rest of the game. Will you hate it? No. Will you remember it? No. It serves merely as the media for the game to continue on, so if you’re a stickler for deep stories and backgrounds in strategy games, look elsewhere.

If there is one area where Fantasy Wars goes above and beyond the typical, mediocre game itself, it’s in the visuals. Last year and now the visuals are just colorful and a pleasure to look at. Nothing looks remotely DX10 worthy, but it’s got great artwork and colors. If you want a bright, enjoyable game to play, you could do a lot worse. More importantly, Fantasy Wars runs great on both current Vista machines and older computers, a feat even some of the high budget PC games coming out now can’t claim.

In the end, Fantasy Wars really offers nothing new to the genre, but it doesn’t necessarily mess up in any way. It’s as typical as they come, so it’s a good game to introduce people to strategy gameplay on the PC. If you’re a regular PC gamer there are many better choices out there, but there are also many worse choices. Fantasy Wars is a game any tactics loving strategy gamer will at least enjoy momentarily, but you won’t be coming back to it once you’re done.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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