In March, a fun turn-based strategy game called Braveland found its way into the App Store and my heart. I recall enjoying the illustrated fighters and the simplistic game mechanics. In that world, your hero is a warrior, fighting for his people. Braveland is back, but with a new hero, a new landscape, and new enemies to destroy.
Braveland Wizard is the sequel. In it, players control a newly graduated wizard who is on a mission to find out who stole the book that is used to complete a wizard’s final test. While much of the mechanics are the same, this new title offers plenty of additional gameplay features. We’ve got a hands-on game review of Braveland Wizard for you today.
Just like its predecessor, this game features boxy animated illustrations of fighters, spell casters, and monsters. Battles take place on a hexagonal field with the good guys on the left side of the screen and the bad guys on the right. Each field includes a handful of randomly placed obstacles, like boulders or spikes. However, they only effect your movement as you are able to shoot right across them with no penalty.
Players control different units, like archers, blacksmiths, and monks. Each unit has a specific number of members, but the whole group is represented by one token on the field. The remaining number of fighters in a unit is displayed below it.
Units take turns performing one move and one action (in that order). When it is the blacksmith’s turn, he will be highlighted. Tap the space you wish to move him. If there are any enemies within range, the space will be highlighted in red. If you are using a melee fighter, tap the bad guy to move in and attack. If you are using a ranged fighter, tap the bad guy to shoot.
Each fighter has a special ability. Some learn them later than others. When a character is selected, his or her special ability is displayed in the bottom left corner along with a Hold Action button and an Improve Armor button.
The wizard you control learns spells as she gains experience. Those spells can be cast during any of your fighters’ turns. However, they cost mana, which you only have a limited supply of. Some spells can only be cast twice in an entire battle. The spell casting action is in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Outside of the playing field, players follow a story of intrigue and suspense. The wizard starts off just outside the Magic Academy and travels across the land, having one adventure after another. Even though you aren’t performing any actions on the map screen, you are learning all about the land around you and the events that have taken place recently.
Players control a newly graduated wizard on her way to complete her final test. The test takes place at a magicians’ library. However, along the way, she is attacked by bandits, ghouls, and all manner of evildoers. By the time she and her party get to the library, the book used in the wizards’ test has been stolen. So, the group heads out to find it and bring it back.
Along her journey, the wizard meets fellow townsfolk, some of whom wish to help her in the fight to save the kingdom. You’ll meet up with apprentices, archers, monks, and more. When they join your party, you’ll see them appear in battle. On the map, when you come across base camps, you can hire more of each type of unit to grow your army.
On the battlefield, you will face any number of enemies. Sometimes, it is just a few and you can overpower them quickly and with little loses. Other times, you will be surrounded by powerful foes and will have to work hard to defeat them. If your adventuring party is not strong enough to fight a particular battle, you will be warned ahead of time. You will be asked if you really want to join the fight. If you say no, you can avoid going into battle and move on to a different area.
Some of the big changes to the sequel are wonderful additions. For example, there are now dungeons that you can enter multiple times. Dungeons allow you to earn more funds to use to purchase fighters and armor. There is also a talent tree where players can spend points to focus on a particular branch of magic. There are four branches; one for strength, one for wisdom, one for magic, and one for knowledge. You can either put all of your points into one talent, or spread them around to become a more well-rounded wizard.
The sequel has everything the original had, plus a few things it didn’t. The one problem I had with the original Braveland was that it became very repetitive. This game offers a number of different game mechanics to make it more interesting. For example, the talent tree keeps you involved enough to want to earn more experience points. The dungeon gives you a chance to make a few extra coins, and even has random treasure chests for you to unlock and reap the benefits of.
The only thing left to complain about is the fact that you can’t replay a level after you’ve beaten it. However, with the addition of dungeons, the replay value has increased significantly.
Braveland Wizard costs $3.99, which is actually a dollar more than the original launched at. The good news is that you get more for your money and there actually is a reason to replay thanks to the random dungeon levels and the talent tree, which you can change every new game and it will affect the way your team fights.
Just like its predecessor, this game is perfect for beginners to turn-based strategy gaming. However, it also offers something fun for the advanced gamer as well. Think of it as a casual title for the tabletop board game player. Download it in the App Store today.
Give Braveland a try. You can download the bundle that includes both games for a dollar off at $5.99.
What do you think of Braveland Wizard? Did you play the first in the series? Let us know in the comments below.