Warlock: Master of the Arcane
Paradox Interactive sent over this arcane
title before release, we opted to wait for final release to see how
things stood up. In Warlock: Master of the Arcane players take on the
role of a ruler who also happens to be a Mage. The main goal seems to
be; build your cities and your various troops, explore and defeat other
mages along the way to become the dominant Wizard of the realms.
looking at the game players that have been around the world with other
games of this style will recognize a lot of it, and feel right at home.
Warlock Master of the Arcane is sort of like if Civilization and the
Might and Magic series hooked up and had a babyÖ.with special needs. Let
me explain that a bit. Itís not that this game is awful, on the
contrary. It is a decent enough distraction that will entertain and
thatís what gaming is all about on the forefront. I use the term old
school when I have a warm fuzzy from the impression I get from a game.
It sort of reminds me of an electronic version of several of the table
top games I played over my many years in the industry. Only with a few
quarks, none of which are game breakers.
This turned based Hex grid game is set in the world of Ardania. Playerís
buildup their magical abilities by researching spells and enchantments.
Both offensive and passive type spells are present. Players can blast
enemy units or use a healing spell on their own units.
Battles are simplistic affairs with no real sense of power or full
battle like say the Total War series. When I get in a battle in that
series, it feels like a battle. The playerís magical abilities can tip
the scales if used wisely. Healing your unit and laying the beat down on
your enemies. Battles are otherwise simple point and click.
Fighting is not the only way, there is a bit of diplomacy, though I
myself never had much success with it.
units move across the map armies of other races are not the only
dangers. There are creatures and monsters to contend with. Further, a
unit may find a portal into another alternate realm. These portals are
usually filled with all manner of danger. There can also be treasures to
find and resources such as gold and other types of mines used for
As you work at expanding, you use a peasant settler unit to move forth
and found new cities. All of it can seem daunting at first, even when
the controls seem few in number.
When first starting, there is a rather wide choice of difficulty levels,
from the novice on up in degrees to a true mage warrior that can handle
whatever is thrown at them. As it stands the Normal difficulty level
seemed very easy so for most gamers, even ones not used to this style of
gaming will find the Normal setting to be a good start point.
Players fight their way to victory by defeating all the rival mages, or
by capturing all the holy grounds and various other ways. More times
than not, it is rather difficult to tell if you are even close to a win.
There are many instances when I wanted to build a new building, but I
did not have a high enough population for the game to let me build
anything. So I was stuck moving troops around instead and founding
another city with my settlers unit.
When you do place a building, it takes of a whole hex. So if you are
expanding and want to build more, there real limitation is the space
around where you started to build. Is there room?
Regarding your units, when they level up, they get a bonus. Most times
you will get to choose from three different bonuses that can help them
in battle either defensively or offensively.
There is no real tutorial to speak of; itís more of a rolling tutorial.
When the player presses something new, the advisor kicks in and tells
you about the controls and what they do.
Most of the map outside of the players influence is obscured by rolling
cloud cover. As units advance more of the word becomes visible. The
graphics and sound are pleasing enough and lend itself well to the
title. The narrator tone can for some reason grate on the nerves after a
while. Art is on the cartoonish side with a sinister under tone, which
is a rather interesting spin on things. It suits the game well.
bargain price point, Warlock: Master of the Arcane will be just enough
to keep those fantasy fans entertained without breaking the bank. Other
low price point titles should strive to deliver what this game offers.
Fun put down to the most basic denominator without getting too easy.
At the time of release the game does not have multiplayer, multiplayer
will be included later in a patch so this alone will expand this games
replay ability considerably.
Have fun, play games.