This game was entirely off my radar until the developer reached out for me to review it, and honestly, I was not too enthused at first, turn-based games are hit, and miss and the hex-based variety seem to miss more than hit!
Now I have to give a disclaimer , this review will be positive and not because I have been reached out to by the devs, in fact, if you look back at my reviews its one of the few games where the devs contacted me with a key where I even gave a passing grade, let alone a positive one.
Then Why is it Positive?!
This review will be positive because I actually like the game, its a setting that has always held interest for me, and one that is typically seen only through action/shooter genre and not a strategy.
While I would have much preferred an RTS game set in this era, I will not spit in the face of a turn-based game if it is good, and this game is good, the production values are reminiscent of civilisation series, with attention to detail shown in map, unit and sound design.
The semi open-ended manner in which you tackle missions is also delightful, with missions having multiple optional objectives which will affect your chances of survival for better or worse.
While some sub-objectives look good on paper, can you spare half of your defence fleet on a mission that is 2-3 turns away movement wise?
Choices like these make this game a sure-fire winner in my books, It will be a game that I tackle in the winter for sure, nothing like a hot cup of tea, some Fox’s Jam and Cream biscuits and an excellent turn-based strategy game, and yes when all is said and done this is a solid game.
A bowl of soup is only as good as its chef.
I see the developer has another title already on steam (Panzer Strategy),
I am hoping they expand their catalogue at a rate in which they can maintain the quality of these first two entries as honestly the quality shown here is higher than most turn-based strategy/hex-based strategy games offer.
It would be a shame to see Starni Games become another Hexwar whose track record is scattered with far too many mediocre games despite having some excellent titles of their own.
If I could improve anything, it would be to give voices to the primary mission NPCs, and to the tutorial, other than that its a solid title which retails at a fair price (£11.39) for what it offers.
Know your market.
I feel more developers should set their pricing in accordance with the genre, very few turn-based games (Civilisation and Age of Wonders excluded) I would ever pay £20+ for as the genre isn’t all that engrossing, and too many people have been burned by the genre before due to multiple indie publishers having massive catalogues of hex-based games which all share the same mechanics with only minor cosmetic differences.