Ultimately, Warhammer Quest is an enjoyable experience, a fun little time waster that delivers slices of dungeon action at an easily digestible pace. But it does so at a price point for content it just doesn't justify. It feels like a game that was meant to be played a few minutes at a time on a tablet while sitting on the throne of your own household, and that's what it is, an iOS port to the PC. If you want to try the game, get it for the iPad and have a fun time. There is just no reason to buy this for PC unless it is on a massive Steam sale discount.
Top notch presentation and a compelling main character really set Blackguards 2 up to deliver a solid tactical strategy RPG. Everything about the game, the weapons, abilities, characters, and options are varied enough to keep things interesting but simple enough not to get lost in the tedium of micromanaging a party. It is not without its flaws and the battles can sometimes bog down, but it is a good experience to play and uses a wide cast of allies and enemies well. If you're interested in experiencing a story that isn't just the standard fantasy lore, then Blackguards 2 is worth a try.
Shadow run is a campy romp that doesn't take itself too seriously. Its fun to play through, but only mimics (and doesn't quite stack up to) the exceedingly excellent XCOM. There is better weapon class variety, character customization, and a few other points where it might exceed its muse, but it measures up just a shade below on most other occasions.
For the uninitiated, Total War: Attila does a good enough job introducing a very detailed world and mechanics. What it does best is allow a player to get right into the meat of combat and enjoy orchestrating campaigns across gorgeous battlefields. While micromanaging the war effort and empire can be detracting, there are enough game modes and variety in the campaign to ween someone into the thick of it. At the end of the day, the battles are satisfying and the AI is good enough. It is not without it's problems, but it's as good a strategy game as you'll likely to find.
This is the type of game that needs two scores. One for the diehards of the genre and one for the newbies. The development team catered to their core group, and I feel they made the game that they wanted to play. But ultimately I also feel I have to hold them responsible for making a game that feels inaccessible in so many ways. Once you get over the learning cliff, there is a better game out there than this score represents. Pillars of Eternity is like a speakeasy. If you know the dirty, dark alley you need to go down and have the password for the doorman, there is a wonderful, vibrant, and robust world on the other side filled with dancing girls, jazz music, booze, and cigarettes.
Lost Orbit features an endearing story that is wrapped in a wonderful package with great attention to detail. However, even at 40 levels, the game is over too soon and the wonky controls can be problematic for a genre that requires lighting fast timing. It's a good game that tells a narrative that will stick in my heart long after I've forgotten about the gameplay.
In the end, while the gameplay and repetition required can be frustrating, The Masterplan is very well put together from an aesthetic standpoint. It's a unique gaming experience at a price point that's low enough to forgive some of it's faults. I like the idea behind the game, I like the character interactions with stickups and traversing the world via various paths. I just don't like having no idea what's around the next corner until you actually peek, and if it's bad news it likely puts your game in a state where you're better off starting the mission all over again. The Masterplan is a good game held back by a necessity for trial and error. Give me the intel on who has the key, let me catch him on his break and leave him out cold in the bathroom stall, while I sneak in though the backdoor and use the security cams to my advantage to direct my partner past the patrolling guards. Now you've created a game deserving of the title The Masterplan. Instead I'm fumbling through the dark, my only illumination coming from past mistakes.
Ronin is fun to play and its strengths more than overcome its weaknesses. It lacks much by way of plot but sets a mood that creates the atmosphere it needs. It offers enough strategy and variety in its combat to overcome a somewhat short length, and invites players to playthrough again with its unscripted encounters. It has a fantastic little twist to the gameplay mechanic at the end that leads to a satisfying payoff in the final battle.
Based on a classic, but bringing new features and perspectives to the table, Mordheim: City of the Damned provides a challenge, with some interesting party and game management thrown in. I am not a fan of the wonky overhead map, and sometimes feel cheated in battle, but the over-the-shoulder camera is a pleasure. The end game of trying to keep in your benefactor's good graces, regardless of the outcome of each battle, and the variety among the factions, make for a good game that invites you to have another go—even after it leaves you bloodied in some nameless alley in the City of the Damned.
The Flame in the Flood is a good game, and offers a bit of fun getting the hang of the crafting, the environment, and figuring out what really is important to keep and what else you'll need to consume or discard to make room for the former. It's not without it's bugs and frustrations, but in the thick of it, it really does drive you to push for one more camp, to explore one more section of river before putting it down. But once you've had your fill and finally do put it down, I'm not convinced you'll go running back to it. There is a bit too much repetition in the experience. It's a good game, but lacks staying power.