Hours of entertainment with this strategy game

Like many strategy games, the limiting resource in Legends Of Callasia is gold.
Like many strategy games, the limiting resource in Legends Of Callasia is gold.PHOTO: BOOMZAP ENTERTAINMENT

Legends Of Callasia seems to draw inspiration from a host of strategy games.

This turn-based strategy game of conquest takes place on beautifully drawn maps that divide the world into multiple states.

Cards can be played to turn the tide of a battle. It is a bit like Risk, but with fantasy elements.

At the same time, the cartoony art style and the single-player campaign - each of the three factions (four, if you include the Stoneborne expansion) has its own storyline - reminds me of Warcraft.

You control up to four heroes, who are used to conquer territory, build improvements, recruit armies and do battle with heroes of other factions.

Each hero has unique abilities, such as bonuses to attack or defence. If they are killed in battle, they can be resummoned back at your capital city after four turns.

  • 7/10

    RATING

    PRICE: $15 (PC, version reviewed), US$14.99 (S$21.39, iOS)

    GENRE: Strategy

Like many strategy games, the limiting resource is gold, which is used to improve your territories, recruit soldiers and play cards. A population limit also keeps the size of your armies in check, unless you have built towns to increase this limit.

However, gold seems easy to acquire. As a result, the game feels like a race to take land and build towns to increase the population limit.

Battles are automatically fought by the computer, based on the makeup of your army. Each faction has its own type of units, but their differences feel cosmetic because they often have identical stats. I assume this approach makes it easier to balance the factions, but it also means that battles are boring.

There is a multiplayer option to compete online against other human players. But the one time I managed to connect to the server, there were no other online players.

Overall, I found the game entertaining, though it can feel grindy near the end of each map, especially when hunting down the last enemy hero. The game AI is also not too clever and the game mechanics lacks depth.

But with almost 40 hours of gameplay for the single-player campaign, this $15 game provides good value. You can easily spend 10 hours alone trying the free demo that lets you play the first map for all the factions, as well as the tutorial and even multiplayer skirmishes.

Vincent Chang

•Verdict: A slick, fantasy-based strategy game, Legends of Callasia is easy to pick up for casual players, but its simple game mechanics will not satisfy more demanding gamers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2016, with the headline 'Hours of entertainment with this strategy game'. Print Edition | Subscribe