RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion Review
- Deeply strategic gameplay; limited 'commands' and unit merging force unique strategies.
- Streamlined interface; complicated commands sheltered behind nested menus.
- Strangely lacking any form of multiplayer, online, local or hot-seat.
- Wording of abilities/commands not always clear (ie. wheeling uses cardinal directions when rotational words such as '(counter)clockwise' or 'flip' would suffice).
- No explanation of special abilities in the field; need to read the help menu instead.
Ultimately RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion is a good turn-based strategy title, albeit one not quite as polished as the games it takes inspiration from; a decent pick up for veteran genre fans.
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At the risk of sounding like a cliched reviewer, Ravenmark by Witching Hour Studios is best explained as a combination of titles we've seen before. Taking a dash of Fire Emblem, a smidgen of Advance Wars and a whole smattering of touches from other turn-based strategy titles, its style of gameplay is at once familiar, but still quite unique.
Set in a fantasy world, each level of the comprehensive campaign pits you against AI in typical situations (defend a location; destroy enemies; escort a unit) with the twist being that you only have a limited amount of orders that can be made in a single turn. This presents problems early on as your orders may not match the number of units you control, forcing you to either be prudent with your actions or consider 'merging' units in the larger groups, gaining bonuses in the process. This isn't without risks though and can make it harder to navigate the level, but if it means you can't be flanked then it's a risk worth taking.
Another unique touch is the 'simultaneous' execution of orders - both sides make their choices and units play out these actions according to their speed. This can make it harder to predict and account for the actions of the enemy, but experienced players should be able to outplay (instead of brute-forcing) their way to success more times than not.
Its difficulty is, however, firmly in the region of that suited to genre veterans - a boon to those after something harder than the average turn-based game, but unlikely to be as forgiving to newer players even despite its streamlined interface.
Ravenmark falls short of true greatness, but at its heart beats a game based on solid tactics mixed with a dash of randomness to separate the Brigadiers from the Generals.
DescriptionWHERE EPIC FANTASY AND TURN-BASED STRATEGY COLLIDE! Awarded the Charles S. Roberts Award for Best Science-Fiction or Fantasy Computer Wargame! **** Featuring iPhone 5 and Game Center support! ****
NOTE: All current and future campaigns will be playable without requiring any further purchase of IAP.
★★ CRITICS' CHOICE ★★
"...We’re especially big fans of games like Nintendo’s Advance Wars. RAVENMARK is striving to be a spiritual successor to that venerable franchise, and there are sublime moments where it comes pretty damn close." - Gizmodo UK
"The art is lovely, the strategy surprisingly deep and well-rounded." - Kotaku
"Witching Hour's maiden project Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion is almost everything this iPhone-touting strategy game aficionado could ask for... A complete and utter joy." - TouchArcade, 4.5 out of 5 stars
"A classy debut that hits all the right notes and puts other turn-based strategies in the shade." - Tap! Magazine UK, 5 out of 5 stars
"Players looking for a truly epic strategy experience on the iOS platform should grab this game immediately." - 148Apps, 4.5 out of 5 stars
Witching Hour Studios presents RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion, a refreshing take on turn-based strategy set in the completely original world of Eclisse.
Driven by an epic tale of conquest and redemption, the single-player battles and cutscenes of RAVENMARK are gorgeously rendered in lovingly hand-painted 2D. Feel the sound and fury of war as you dig into the most satisfying strategy experience iOS has to offer!
THE SCOURGE OF ESTELLION
In a land known as Eclisse, where a great sun and three moons rule the azure skies, the ruling Empire of Estellion is beset by a great scourge from their past – the sun-eating mystics from the forgotten nation of Kaysan. Follow the mark of the raven and the heroes who march under its dark wings, as they struggle to survive under the weight of ruthless ambition and political intrigue!
DYNAMIC TURN-BASED COMBAT
In RAVENMARK, nothing matters more than strategic troop placement! Command an army to fight in campaign battles, where a round of combat begins with the Command Phase to issue instructions, but no action is taken until the Battle Phase, where friend and foe can act and attack simultaneously… Plan your moves carefully to emerge victorious against the challenging A.I. in each mission.
DOMINATE BATTLES THROUGH THE TOUCH INTERFACE
Explore a myriad of tactics at your fingertips with intuitive touch controls and unique management systems, like the Formation system: Group up to three units of a kind into a single formation, which enables special abilities and buffs to crush enemies quicker. The Standing Order system offers A.I. assisted commands that address the headaches of micro-managing the entire army every round. Use these tools to develop your own novel strategies and overcome the odds!
THE SYMPHONY OF WAR
A rousing cinematic soundtrack underscores the tension and drama that unfolds in the battlefields of RAVENMARK. Composed by Josh Whelchel, lauded for his work with Castle Story and Wind-up Knight, the music will immerse you ever deeper into the world of Eclisse!
A VAST LORE TO EXPLORE
Venture into the Codex, an in-game encyclopedia which documents the richly storied history and cultures of Eclisse. Unlock new entries as you progress through the campaigns and encounter new nations, characters, locales and more!
As the ravaged lands of Estellion lie burning, a new power arises to take back what the Empire must in RAVEN'S RISE! Coming end 2012.
EXPLORE the world of RAVENMARK: http://www.ravenmark-saga.com
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Follow the development of RAVENMARK on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RavenmarkSaga