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So a dwarf, an elf, a wizard, and a berserker walk into a bar [cue cheesy sitcom laugh track]. Admittedly, there's nothing particularly revolutionary about the way Warhammer Quest's quartet of generic protagonists gallivant away on catacomb-clearing, monster-carving adventures across the brooding fantasy landscape. But this turn-based dungeon crawler based on the mid-'90s RPG tabletop board game doesn't disappoint with its flashy presentation, excellent storytelling, and satisfying creature-pummeling combat.
Much like playing Dungeons & Dragon and other classic tabletop RPGs, diving into Warhammer Quest feels immediately familiar. Navigating your party through each top-down dungeon grid is a turn-based affair full of surprise encounters and gripping battles. With a set number of spaces you can move and attacks you can deliver with each character in a given round, hurling spells, swinging swords, and clobbering foes in a successful manner requires strategic planning. The turn-based movement extends beyond battle too, making the well-designed experience feel all the more like the tabletop game it emulates. The only thing that's missing is the clacking of rolled dice.
It doesn't take very long before clearing out dungeon after dungeon hits a repetitive cycle, but the ebb and flow of combat keeps encounters exciting. New monsters, uniquely detailed underground environments, and more challenging boss encounters do help shake things up. The spoils of combat provide another level of incentive to push deeper into each dank locale, since experience, gold, and other loot can be hauled to nearby towns to boost your party's strength.
Warhammer Quest's clever storytelling and sporadic random encounters add a perfect touch of old-school pen-and-paper charm to the adventure, even if reading the small text is a strain on the eyes. That aside, zooming in and out of the action reveals a surprising level of depth in the visual design. Character and enemy animations are lively, and the dungeons themselves look well-lived-in and appropriately dismal.
The bottom line. Streamlined but still quite enjoyable, Warhammer Quest's turn-based dungeon battles deliver a hefty nod to the olden days of tabletop RPGs, offering enticing strategic combat counters wrapped in old-school fantasy flair.
iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone running iOS 6.0 or later
Excellent recreation of classic tabletop RPG vibe. Fun, strategic combat. Great presentation.
Focus on combat can make dungeon exploration feel repetitive over time.