Spellforce: Conquest of Eoby Mischief Maker 02/04/2023, 6:42pm PST
I am loving every minute of this game.
It's like an amalgamation of every good idea from every fantasy 4X/RPG hybrid. The story quests from Thea, the crafting from Sorcerer King, the beautiful hand-crafted map with semi-random enemy placement and pickup distribution of King's Bounty, all on top of a solid Age of Wonders 3 clone engine with beautiful music and solid visuals.
The main thing this game seems to strive for is to keep the fun exploration-heavy earlygame of 4Xs from start to finish. You don't build colonies, instead you have a mobile tower that spreads domain wherever it lands to harvest from nearby mines. When resources run out or when the story demands, you pull up stakes and float your tower to a new spot. This avoids the micromanagement hell from the late game of, say, Master of Magic once the entire map has been painted with colonies.
Advertisements indicate that there are only 3 classes of wizard, but that's misleading. There are 3 classes, which determine your crafting method (alchemists turn ingredients into spell-like consumables, necromancers turn captured souls and ingredients into undead minions, artificers create magic equipment and permanent unit upgrades), but you also choose 1-2 seperate magic schools to research in addition to your class spells.
I tend to play fantasy 4Xs like Age of Wonders "wrong," but my wrong style of play is perfect for this game. At $24 it's a steal!