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RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on January 3, 2012


RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Deeply strategic gameplay; limited 'commands' and unit merging force unique strategies.
  • Streamlined interface; complicated commands sheltered behind nested menus.

CONS

  • 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.

VERDICT

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.

Screenshots

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Comments

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andrew 2 years, 2 months ago

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