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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.
Iif you feel like switching your brain off for a bit and doing some serviceable mulching then….maybe? I feel like Eko Software had a chance to bring back some of that dread and foreboding to the Diablo formula that Diablo 3 did away with. Warhammer is baroque and silly but it’s also rich with detail and tragic heroes, and Chaosbane plays the whole thing a bit straight, storywise.
SteamWorld Quest isn’t going to be the next Slay the Spire, and to be honest, die hard Spire-ites will probably find its one-and-done story a bit, well, restricting. But for card novices (which I count myself one of), it’s still a real charmer, no matter how sluggish it might get in those early hours.
It’s a pity that the game fails to take advantage of these analogies and delve into their immense potential. Instead, it’s too fixated on traditional jump scares to embrace the twisted, palpitating gut of its story about a flawed protagonist and his struggles with inner demons.
It feels a bit eager at times, a UI that is maybe too minimal and trusting. If your scrolling comes to rest on one of these days for even a short while, it’ll launch right into that day. There’s no clicking to confirm. But you eventually get used to this, discerning the day by the drum beats that accompany each drag of the mouse wheel.
The parts I like far outweigh the parts I don’t. I’ve got my weirdo NPCs, my Ark hunting, my Whoopinkoffs and Dimbledicks. I’ve found every Ark, now, but I still plan on gambolling between side activities. I still want to explore, even though I wish I was exploring a world that had been less generically destroyed.
With that in mind (among other crimes) it would be easy to see him as the charlatan he is said to be by his enemies. But there are also moments that reveal a more complicated and conflicted man. In a short game full of haughty songs and jokes about willies, that’s an impressive achievement.