The tabletop game comes to Steam.
Warhammer Quest began its life as a tabletop game set in Games Workshop’s Warhammer universe and found players crowded around a table as they moved their little adventurers around randomly drawn tiles representing a dungeon filled with monsters. In 2013, Rodeo Games released a digital version of this tabletop game for iOS devices, and it was relatively well liked. The game offered bite-sized chunks of turn-based dungeon crawling which, despite the lack of multiplayer, proved to be a lot of fun. Now, Rodeo Games brings the digital tabletop game to Steam, offering PC gamers a chance to embark on their own quest in the Warhammer world.
The player takes control of four pre-designed heroes and guides them through randomly generated dungeons in search of fame and fortune, battling a variety of different beasties along the way. Purchasing the deluxe version of the game will also drop in another seven pre-designed heroes, along with five impressively powerful weapons and a selection of new enemies. This additional content is also available to those who buy the base game at an additional cost, along with the chance to purchase gold in exchange for real world cash. Whilst the inclusion of micro-transactions may leave a bad taste in the mouth of some PC gamers, they are completely optional and during my time with the game I found no pressure or need to part with any extra cash, and I still had a great time in Warhammer Quest.
The core of the game is the dungeon crawling. Whilst the reasons for heading down into the dark depths of a dungeon may vary, with reasons such as rescuing a noble or finding a map to a powerful artifact presented with well written if slightly repetitive quest cards, the gameplay in each dungeon remains the same.
Controlling a team of four adventurers, the player will be presented with the first grid covered tile. The player will then move each of their adventurers their allotted movement until one of the adventurers triggers the next tile in the dungeon. Some tiles may have junctions providing the chance to explore. Room tiles will more than likely lead to an encounter with monsters, and random encounters can also see the adventurers doing battle in the corridors.
The game is turn-based, so players will find themselves completing all of their movement and actions, and then waiting for the monsters to do their worst. Different heroes have different abilities, such as the wizard who can cast ranged spells both to do damage and heal fellow adventurers, and The Marauder who will quite happily go berserk and then attack one of the other adventurers. Obviously, melee combat involves getting a hero up close and personal with an enemy, whilst the ranged attacks, including spells, can pick off enemies from a distance.
When starting the game, there is a choice as to the difficulty. Casual will keep the combat easy, whilst Adventurer will see more difficult combat. Both of these options prevent your heroes from being permanently killed during their adventure. However, the frankly scary Hardcore mode includes permadeath and should only be considered by the bravest of heroes as losing a hero means losing all of their loot and experience, and training up a new hero could be a lengthy process.
Defeating monsters and completing a dungeon will give the players some gold, along with a variety of loot. Improved equipment can be found, along with consumables for use during the adventure and random junk which can be sold for yet more gold. The heroes also receive experience which will lead to them leveling up and improving their stats or learning new abilities, but not without further cost.
Outside of the dungeons, the player will take their team to various towns and be able to make use of various facilities. A vendor is always available to sell off junk or purchase yet more health potions or equipment, and a temple is available where the heroes can donate some gold in exchange for the chance of a blessing. A local tavern will give the player a chance to hire new adventurers for their team, and the training grounds is where they should head to level up. Upon gaining enough experience, the hero will then visit the training grounds and pay a fee to actually increase their heroes level, giving them increased stats and the possibility of a new ability. The gold cost of leveling up gets pretty high pretty quickly and before long players will find themselves grinding dungeons just for the gold to increase their heroes’ levels, which is a little frustrating, and essential as the main quests which unlock further towns have a suggested level.
Visually, the game looks very much like the tabletop game. The fact that this is a port from the iOS game means that things may not be a sharp as they could, but the heroes are easy to make out and enjoyable to watch as they go about their adventuring, and the monsters all look good. The environments, which are based on tiles, do repeat a lot, but that is to be expected.
In fact, along with the dungeon tiles, there is a lot of repetition in the game. There are not that many different monsters to fight, and one dungeon does feel very much like the last after a while. The brief nature of each dungeon does suggest that the game is more suited to the mobile platform where the player can whip it out for a quick dungeon romp.
What would make Warhammer Quest more inviting is a multiplayer option, which would simulate the fun of the original tabletop game perfectly. That being said, and despite the game being much more suited to a mobile platform, Warhammer Quest is surprisingly compelling, and I found myself drawn into that “one more quest” mentality much more than I expected. It feels like there is more needed for Warhammer Quest to truly appeal to the masses, but for turn-based dungeon crawling in small bursts, Warhammer Quest is worth checking out.
Warhammer Quest launches later today (January 7th) on Steam, priced at £10.99 for the standard edition and £19.99 for the deluxe edition.