Strategy & Tactics: Dark Ages – Review
Follow Genre: Medieval, Strategy, Board Game, Alternate History
Developer: Herocraft
Publisher: Herocraft
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Strategy & Tactics: Dark Ages – Review

Site Score
7.2
Good: Fun strategy game, Board Game-like
Bad: No multiplayer, Poor story
User Score
7.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

A tabletop strategy game is something you can pour hours into and have a good bit of fun with. Strategy & Tactics: Dark Ages feels somewhat similar with its risk-style level design and gameplay. From the simple but fast early turns to the slower and more thought through final turns.  It’s a neat digital homage to the huge amount of tabletop games out there.Strategy and Tactics_Dark Ages (6)Story

The events in Strategy & Tactics: Dark Ages as the title suggests take place in the Dark Ages (well not exactly since it feels bit more Pre-Dark Ages but let’s not focus on trivial details). Although not 100% historically correct the game does take influence from historical facts and events and gives it its own personal touch. The game is played solely through scenarios which sounds like it would offer a rich story-filled campaign. Sadly, that is not the case. Even though you’ll be playing as the same faction for almost every scenario the objective stays relatively the same. Conquer the provinces, defeat the enemies etc. None of these tie into a greater storyline which feels like a missed opportunity.

So, it seems like most of the game’s narrative can’t be found in the mission objectives. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not there at all. During your scenarios, you’ll be using your generals to fight against other factions for control over the province. These generals and faction are all have simple and short stories tied to them. This makes the game feel a bit more alive, now it feels as if you are actually conquering huge and established kingdoms.Strategy and Tactics_Dark Ages (2)Graphics

For a PC title Strategy & Tactics: Dark Ages feels a bit underwhelming. Although the map feels well-defined the rest of the assets could use some improvement. While playing you’re constantly looking at a 2D playing board with some towns, castles and fortresses spread around the map. It’ll look great and quite unique at first but then you’ll notice there are only 4-5 different houses and they are being used over and over again. They also offer nothing special besides their aesthetic function. Also, different factions (which also means different cultures) seem to be using the same architectural style, which might strike you as odd. Visually the game has a lot of potential as it masters its own style perfectly but it just lacks differentiation. Moreover, there aren’t too many changeable options in the options menu. All you can really do is change your window size and type. And you’ll only be able to choose between fullscreen and windowed.

Sound

The soundtrack of the game is surprisingly good and it suits the game perfectly, as it gives of this Dark Age vibe. So, a big plus for the overall soundtrack. The rest of the sounds aren’t that special. You’ll hear the same type of footsteps when moving generals and the same sword-clash sounds when battling. That’s about it.Strategy and Tactics_Dark Ages (6)Gameplay

Strategy & Tactics: Dark Ages is a turn based strategy game. So naturally gameplay will be the game’s core focus. The game only offers a singleplayer experience. You’ll be able to play through a limited number of scenarios that vary in difficulty. During the scenario you’ll be controlling generals, each of these generals have their own abilities and they will lead a number of troops into battle. When it comes to troops, all you have to worry about is the overall power of those troops. This power is determined by a few variables: strength, health and morale. The strength stat provides a boost to a unit’s offensive and defensive stats. Health is straightforward, low health results in a lower strength stat and no health results in death. Morale represents your troops’ fighting spirit, it will drop every turn and can only be increased by defeating enemies in battle. You can switch formations between a number of presets.

Another important element are the troop formations. Certain formations can only be used by certain generals at certain levels. A formation exists out of a left, center and right section. Depending on what type of formation you have chosen, there will be room in either the front or the back of that section. When you have ample strength and chosen a perfect formation it is time to start battling.Strategy and Tactics_Dark Ages (3)And this is where the game falls a bit short. During battle your units and the enemies’ units are represented by cards. They’ll take up their position they have been given in the formation and duke it out on the battlefield. When attacking an enemy general, you’ll get to see a combat report that tells you if you were victorious or defeaten. This is perfectly fine and provides you with enough information, but if you really want you can see the battle itself. What you’ll see is a scene of not so epic proportions, you’ll be staring a bunch of cards that either attack (swords symbol), defend (shield symbol) or surrender (flag symbol). It feels you are better off with a more detailed report so you can see how your troops performed. Or if they want to improve on the aesthetic of the game, just provide the player with a much more visualized battle.

Scenarios usually have one winning condition. Complete that condition and you’ll win the game. However, every scenario will offer you a set of optional challenge that you can complete. When completing you will be granted with ‘Glory Points’ that can be used after the scenario to permanently unlock stronger generals or increase troop strength.Strategy and Tactics_Dark Ages (5)Conclusion

Strategy & Tactics: Dark Ages is a fun and simplistic turn based strategy game, that might very well be worth your time and money. The game has a lot of potential but the developers have yet to take advantage of this. Right now, the game just feels a tad repetitive. Another feature that would really benefit this game is the addition of multiplayer, either that or a fleshed out single player campaign. In short, it’s jewel that needs a bit more work.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Strategy & Tactics: Dark Ages - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Kiyo
Kiyo


Student, gamer, entrepreneur and life contemplator.

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