A questing we will go. Into this cursed rain.
Many, many years ago, I got for my birthday this huge box with a barbarian on the cover. There was talk of quests and campaigns, and my young brain basically screamed “YES!” and I couldn’t wait to get into it. This game was called HeroQuest.
Like many games with my family, most of my siblings were too young to really play it ‘properly’, and my folks were too busy. But I could do something with HeroQuest that I couldn’t really do with my other games – I could play it by myself. Well, better then my other games at least 🙂
HeroQuest was my first example of so many types of games. It was my first dungeon crawl, one vs many, and RPG tabletop game – all in one. I was way too young to understand what an impact this was to have on me at the time though. All I knew was if I was Evil Wizard, I could crush my younger brothers. But I wanted to make my own maps and monsters, and there were plenty of tools available in the box to do this.
A few years later, I had managed to grab a few expansions, and I started playing this with some guys from school. We flew through the included base adventures, and then I pulled out my quests.
It was here I discovered the most about being a Games Master/Dungeon Master/Storyteller. The first couple of adventures did not offer the 3 adventurers any real challenge, but the fourth. Oh, the fourth adventure. I managed to stop them in their tracks with rules that I knew well designing and playing my own adventure.
The rule I hadn’t learned was balancing the game for the players. There were no clues for the players to work out how to disable the magic traps. I knew they had to search the left table in the room, but this wasn’t a standard game mechanic, and I hadn’t told them. And I didn’t realise for about 3 times through I hadn’t told them there were new rules. It wasn’t out of malice – they knew they could search for treasure and traps, but I just didn’t put two and two together that they weren’t searching specifically an item on the board for traps, the rule I had come up with for switches and lore.
Fast forward a couple more years, and Games Workshop announced a new board game – Warhammer Quest. This was a game I could solo, and creating maps was possible as instead of a board, you were given a series of tiles that could be pieced together in different ways.
You could also play this game solo out of the box. This was great, as while I had learned a lot on campaign building and keeping a game challenging but fun for players, I could play anytime I wanted with a ‘real’ experience.
I didn’t go all in with Warhammer Quest. I didn’t have too. There are years worth of expansions, rule additions, character additions – you name it, Games Workshop came out with it. Until they didn’t. That’s just Games Workshop.
But Warhammer Quest is the experience I hold all of these style of games up to. I have found many games that are fun and great to play, but few that live up to the experience that Warhammer Quest offered.
A couple of years ago though, I picked up an iOS game on a whim. That game was Warhammer Quest – it had been ported to digital, and mobile at that!
After a seconds confusion, this actually made a whole lot of sense to me. As a turn-based game, being able to pick the game up and put it down leant itself to mobile gaming brilliantly. Being an adventure game that already encouraged solo play, the rules could basically be transferred intact, so it should be close gameplay wise to what I remembered.
And on the whole, it was. There were differences to be sure, some positive and some not, but Warhammer Quest was a fun game. It was cheap enough, and you get a fun experience. You can spend more money, but these were mostly for expansion scenarios like the board game, so even the in-app purchases were fine for me.
One of the greatest things to me about the game though was the UX. And it was such a simple thing! When playing the game in landscape mode, if you wanted to access your inventory, you would just put the phone into portrait mode. That’s it. No weird placement of buttons, no screen layout compromises, just turn your phone. This is a control mechanism I think a lot of mobile software should look at adopting.
OK so after that walk down memory lane, what am I actually trying to say? Well, Warhammer Quest 2 came out for iOS about 6 months ago – just long enough to make me not buy it, as I was looking at changing to Android. I wanted to play it, but I didn’t want to buy it twice.
I couldn’t just jump straight into it with the new phone though, as Warhammer Quest 2 wasn’t available on Android. It was definitely coming, just not yet.
This wait is over. Come April 11th, Warhammer Quest 2: The End of Times will officially be available on the Google Play store. Well, in the US. Might be closer to Thursday for us.
Enjoy some fun mobile board gaming done well 🙂