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An army simulator and adventure game set in Slavic folklore, January 17, 2021
I really went back and forth on this game. The overall storyline is compelling to me: you are a new chieftain of a nomadic tribe in the steppes which is rapidly being overcome by an evil warlord who uses dark magic. The gods tell you of a safe haven in the far north, the Valley of the North Wind.
Gameplay generally consists of choices that affect your whole tribe and choices that affect only yourself, sort of like Choice of Rebels or Stronghold: A Hero's Fate.
This game is often morally ambiguous. There are outlaws that you can ally with to destroy towns or fight against, with little immediate impact. Frequently you yourself will be alone or in a small group and come across strangers who you don't know if you can trust or not.
It makes for an interesting game. It's also a hard game. There are several options that are literally 'go left' vs 'go right' with absolutely no strategy possible, just dumb luck. And there are definitely wrong choices in other parts of the game. I used a lot of my money early on and soon found myself with 0. It locked off major portions of the game, including one agonizing scene in a large city where you are there for three days, but every single option requires money, so I had to just pick 'do nothing' for three days in a row.
Overall, I'd say the game is a mixed bag. I definitely enjoyed it, though, and would rate it above average. Since I went back and forth on the score, I'll use my standardized scale:
+Polish: The game is very polished.
+Interactivity: Despite the randomness, I felt the game was responsive to my choices.
+Descriptiveness: The writing was pretty great, I felt.
+Emotional impact: I was invested in the story.
+Would I play again?: Yes, there were several mysteries unsolved, like the nature of the 'Eight'.
- John Ayliff (Vancouver, BC), October 12, 2017
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