Friday 9 January 2015

Warhammer Quest Review (PC)

Many of you will remember Hero Quest – one of the most loved board games around and one denied a re-release by a cross ownership issue. What many of you may not be aware of is that many years later a re-imagining of the game along the same lines was produced called Warhammer Quest which moved it closer to the Dungeons and Dragons style of play. 

Warhammer Quest added a number of random elements such as tiles only being placed when characters moved through and exit and enemies being generated rather than already placed. There was also an attempt at single player building on the system tried out in Advanced Hero Quest.

The digital version of the game started life on iOS devices but has now made its way to PC where it sits alongside other Games Workshop properties that stick close to their board game routes such as Space Hulk, Talisman and Blood Bowl. Though the game may have humble beginnings its turn based, board game style is certainly a good fit for the PC so don’t let that put you off.

Players take control of a team of four heroes and enter dungeons on set quests. The dungeons generate randomly with monsters appearing as you move from one tile to the next. Explore enough and you’ll find you’re what you went searching for and normally have to kill a bigger, meaner beastie to win the day. In between missions you can travel to towns and buy new equipment, level up and generally do things that adventurers do via a menu system. As you move locations other random events and chance meetings with characters can also occur.

Combat is carried out by selecting an action and then clicking on the enemy. The chance to hit and damage done is then generated by the hidden dice roll. Enemies need to be approached with care as they normally outnumber you and will go for weak members of the party. It’s challenging enough to keep you on your toes but not unfairly difficult. Any party member that dies will also resurrect once the mission is over but they do lose any experience from kills they may have racked up.

Action is viewed from a top down perspective which gives you a clear view of the environment but can make it a little tricky to see what monsters are armed with. The information can be found by hovering over and enemy and even more detail can be gathered through a simple right click of the mouse though. We did get caught out a few times when the  Goblin next to us turned out to be a boss but on the whole you only have yourself to blame when things go wrong.

It all works remarkably well and proves to be compelling as you venture ever onwards in your hunt for loot. It certainly does get a little repetitive if playing for long periods but it’s only a minor issue. A far bigger issue is the amount of content locked away behind micro-transactions. Aside from the four main characters there are a whole host of adventures available to buy and we can’t help but feel a little short changed in that respect. They aren’t cheap either with them setting you back over a pound each. Campaign wise there is certainly enough here to keep you occupied without feeling the need to purchase add-ons so at least you shouldn’t feel cheated by the length of your adventure. The fact the game is single player only as well is a real oversight.

Overall, Warhammer Quest is a solid transition of the board game to a digital format. The mechanics work well and the feel of the game remains true to its source material. There’s some fun adventuring to be done as well. It’s just a bit of a shame players are so restricted in their choice of characters unless they commit to the micro-transactions. This could have been a rather lovely complete package for fans but it still remains an absorbing and competent dungeon crawler to keep you occupied for bite sized amounts of time.

Overall 7/10

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