After exhausting every last drop of delicious content in Talisman Prologue last month, we were doubtful we'd see another great boardgame make a quality transition to touchscreens this year. More fool us, because this week's seen the release of another modern take on a classic tabletop title, and while Warhammer Quest is a very different sort of experience, it's every bit as good.
Games Workshop has handed over development duties to Rodeo Games, a studio that's made a name for itself on the App Store with the Hunters series. This time around, instead of taking an intergalactic gang of mercenaries in a trawl across the universe, you're in charge of a party of fantasy fighters on a quest for fame and fortune - melee warriors, ranged archers, meddling mages and all the other character archetypes you'd expect in this sort of game.
Warhammer Quest's gameplay is a mixture of trade-hubs and dungeoneering adventures, and the spoils gained in the latter can be used to upgrade your party in the former. Loot is everywhere you look, and even duplicate or inferior items have their own use in the marketplace, where they can be sold for far more useful spending cash.
Of course, to get your hands on this equipment you're going to have to do battle against some thoroughly unpleasant enemies, found in the dungeon quests meted out to you as you make your way through the game's story. Each adventure offers up a different sort of challenge, and you'll need a keen eye for party positioning if you're to keep your team alive, as well as vanquish the opponents at hand.
Combat in the game is turn-based as you explore these dank dungeons. First you have to move each team member into position, although each character has movement limitations during any single turn. Get your melee opponents into range and you can then instruct them to give the enemy a good thumping, while your ranged attackers do their worst from a distance. Then it's the opponent's turn to make their own assault, and this counterplay continues until one side emerges the victor.
There's more to the combat than just rock-paper-scissors thrashing around, of course. There's enough variety in player and enemy behavior, spells, and attack strategies to make each successful encounter feel like a triumph. Precious scrolls and potions can be used to inflict damage or restore any ailing party members, and even on the easiest difficulty setting the newcomer can expect a tricky challenge. When you really think you've mastered the game, you can even play it on a Hardcore difficulty mode, where character death is permanent - good luck with that...
You might raise a quizzical eye at the additional heroes available to hire via the in-app purchase store, not to mention a separate expansion that costs as much as the core game, but fantasy gamers who know what they like have nothing to worry about. Any dungeon-crawling fantasy fan will get more than enough from their $4.99 to justify picking up Warhammer Quest, and they'll likely find themselves happy to invest more to extend that experience.
What's Hot:Loads of loot, satisfying combat, and enough content to justify the comparatively high asking price.
What's Not:Text size and interface is poorly optimized for the iPad.