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Game Review: Highborn - PC Edition
When this game came onto Steam I read “turn-based” strategy and was sold. Quickly, though, I found out that this game isn't a new random $10 title you see come up for sale every now and again but is in fact a port of an IOS/android game. Normally, such ports are never worth the price but I decided to give it a try anyways and I was surprisingly not let down.
As you might guess, this game is very simplistic. It is a traditional turn based strategy where you take a turn to move, attack and/or claim buildings with however many of your units you wish then end your turn. There are also spells you gain from activating certain landmarks which you can integrate with your attacks but each spell as a cool down. Hero units will also each have two unique abilities which range from simple attacks to map wide buffs. That is pretty much it when it comes to game play, what I really appreciated was the lack of a tutorial because the game knows it is simple to learn and chooses not to waste your time.
The story doesn't take itself seriously and is really just a fantasy parody in most places. All the main characters are cocky and will spew insult after insult at their enemy or just talk about random nonsense. The humor is pretty weak as well but for a game like this, story isn't really needed. There is also plenty of unit variety but it is scripted in to what units you will get and don't have a choice in the matter. Still the variety makes for some strategic decisions on how you'll want to approach a situation and adds a layer of depth to the game.
Lack of Content
I enjoyed this simple game play a lot and I'd highly recommend this game to any turn-based strategy fan but there is a catch. The game lacks content. There is only a campaign mode and that consists of seven levels. All spoken, it took me 3.5 hours to complete the game and I wouldn't exactly say the campaign was great enough to replay it. However, when you beat the campaign a screen pops up that says “Chapter 2 Coming Soon” but it is unclear if this will come free for the PC edition or if it will be a paid dlc as it is a second purchase for the IOS/android version.
The game also isn't all that challenging. With a bit of strategy and a little patience, you'll never really come across any trouble. The only stage I found to be a bit challenging was the final one, I actually lost on my first attempt because I just ran blindly inside as the game wasn't that hard previously. However, this game does not punish you that much for making mistakes and, for the most part, you'd have to go out of your way to fail most missions.
As for the port itself, it is one of the highest quality I have personally experienced when it comes to cell phone games. The game is almost perfectly mouse driven with a few glitchy aspects here and there. The game also went 3D compared to the older style pictured below. The only real issue you will run into is that casting and selecting spells will make you unable to interact with the game for a couple seconds. It is a minor complaint but did get a bit annoying after awhile.
So the verdict on this game? I'd say buy it when it goes on sale. $10 is a lot to ask for a 3-4 hour experience but if they add in Chapter 2 for free down the line then I'd say it is worth it.