Braveland Trilogy Review
Release Date: March 7th, 2019 (Switch)
Publisher/Developer: Ellada Games/Tortuga Team
Platform: Switch (Reviewed), Steam
This is a tale of two reviews, for it was the best of games, it was the most average of games. The frigid winter wind howled, and we hunched about the TV with the Switch attached warming our hands over the controllers. Would this bring some relief to the constant boredom? Would Braveland save us from a frozen eternity playing Mario Karts and Donkey Kong? Continue on, dear reader, to see if this title saved our sanity from the snows of a freezing February.
“We're leaving!” my wife shouted as she bundled our small children in whatever scraps of clothing she could find. “Go on without me, be strong!” I gasped as I lay on the floor just inside the front door. I had given my all cutting a path through the great drifts of windblown snow covered the yard, their pure white desolation broken only by the driveway which I had just spent most of the afternoon clearing. The wind howled through the trees, and I knew that if they had to wait for me, they would never make it to Costco before it closed, and so they left me. Once they were gone, I got up, divested myself of my winter garments and headed for the living room. I had a new game to review, and a friendly game involving magic, stabbing, and more stabbing sounded great. I had thought I would wrap this review up in a day, and I was done when they returned from town a couple of hours later. I had already decided that Braveland Trilogy was a well-executed but only moderately interesting title. But then the kids came home. This was fortunate as the only thing left to review was the two-player mode, and we haven’t stopped playing it since.
Okay, down to brass tacks. Braveland Trilogy is a bundle of the not so cleverly-named Braveland, Braveland Wizard, and Braveland Pirate, with each title making up a book of the trilogy released for the PC and Nintendo Switch. A turn-based tactical combat game that follows the story of a hero chasing robbers who ransacked his village. Battles are fought on an old-school, hexagon grid system and with plenty of battles and a survival mode as a bonus.
The battle system and the stats system is simple compared to other similar games, for example, Battle for Wesnoth. The two sides face each other until one side eliminates the other. Troops are labeled with a number, showing how many troops are in that unit. For example, a unit of archers might have six troops attached to it once it reaches zero the unit dies. This health system can be somewhat annoying since the fewer troops you have, the less damage the unit does which is a big problem for the tougher battles. On top of the reasonably short story mode, there is also an endless survival mode.
Visually the game is pleasant but not groundbreaking, and the music is a pleasant faux medieval score.
And that is where I thought I would leave this review. It’s a decent game at a fair price but nothing unusual.
But here it begins to stand out a bit, the battles gain considerable depth in two-player mode. The battles are the same as the main quest, but the addition of a real human on the other side adds considerable depth. Before too long the whole family was involved and enjoying the relatively short and straightforward battles that ensued. Grand Strategy? Certainly not, it's average in every way. It feels more like a tablet game than one intended for a console, but I’m glad I played it.