Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest
Top Critic Average
Developer: Ctrl Alt Ninja Ltd.
Genres: Adventure, RPG, Strategy
Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest is a labor of love from the co-creators of the critically acclaimed Legend of Grimrock series. Druidstone is a tactical, single-player, turn-based roleplaying game, which combines the best qualities of modern RPGs with the elegance of tactical boardgames. Every action, every turn counts as you control your party of heroes through handcrafted, challenging missions with varying, and often surprising, objectives.
Set in a unique fantasy world, Druidstone is filled with ancient lush forests, standing stones, snow-topped mountains, deadly creatures and puzzle-ridden ruins. And somewhere in the middle of all of this, caught in the flow of events, are Aava, the archdruid's daughter, who must now shoulder his responsibilities, Leonhard, a warden with a mysterious past and a lethal destiny, and Oiko, the failed Red Priest who is living proof that one may be very smart without being particularly wise. Along the way, they meet companions and villains, whose unique personalities and abilities make every encounter memorable.
A tactical turn-based and tile-based battle system where every action and every turn counts.
Upgrade the abilities of your heroes – your upgrade choices have a dramatic impact on the characters' capabilities!
Obtain upgrade gems by completing missions and discovering hidden treasures.
35 challenging, hand-crafted missions with playtimes ranging from 15 minutes to 45 minutes.
Solve devious non-combat puzzle levels to gain extra upgrade resources.
Find lost shipments to gain access to the best gear in Steelface's Emporium of Curios.
A gripping, fantastic story of love, death and responsibility centered around the main characters of Aava, Leonhard and Oiko.
A unique fantasy setting that combines the best elements from western RPGs, JRPGs and tactical boardgames in unexpected ways.
Play custom missions created by others, or make your own campaigns with the Druidstone Level Editor (available as a post-release update).
Total playtime ranging from 15 to 20 hours.
Druidstone: 15 Minutes of Gameplay
Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest - Pre-order Trailer
Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest - Trailer
After finishing with Druidstone, I found it interesting to think how much less of a game it might have been if its developers had gone through with early plans to make levels procedurally generated. While a more random, improvisational version of Druidstone might have appealed to my appetite for turn-based tactical games, and might – in fairness – have been more replayable, I suspect I would have enjoyed it less, and gotten bored before the end.
Druidstone is pretty great but not without flaws. Fortunately, the unforgiving strategic combat, charming art style and light puzzles sprinkled in between the fights, far exceed the balancing issues. You just need to keep playing it beyond the first 5-6 missions, you'll find that Druidstone is a hidden gem.