Exclusive Hands-On With ‘The Battle for Wesnoth’

We had the privilege to play the upcoming strategy game ‘The Battle for Wesnoth’ after months went by from the announcement date.  The developers were more than happy to provide us a preview build, and my oh my, you do not know what you’re missing.

The Battle for Wesnoth was originally a Mac and PC online strategy game, and indie developer Kyle Poole decided to bring this highly acclaimed strategy game to the iPhone.  Both iPhone and computer versions are more or less the same with a skirmish mode, online multiplayer, and a very extensive campaign mode.

The build I played was more of a beta build that still needed some work, but the overall experience was a blast.  In this game, you have many units including “hero units” that can deal more damage than the regular ones.  You also have the ability to recall your units from the previous battle and continue your campaign without having to buy more troops.

The strategy in this game is quite deep, and while the storyline was a bit iffy, the game itself plays out very well.  The Battle for Wesnoth has a “day and night system” in which your enemies are stronger at night while your troops are weaker and vice versa: your troops are stronger during the day and your enemies are weaker during the day.  You also have the ability to cross water, but in doing so you’re enemies have more of a chance to inflict damage upon you.

There is also a main leader for each campaign level, and you must have him on the castle or fortress to recruit troops.  He is also important because if he dies, the level will be over and it will tell you that you have been defeated.  This main leader is important since you have to protect him at all costs, and while he inflicts almost five times more damage than the normal soldier, it’s best to keep him back surrounded by protection.

The skirmish mode is also an inclusion in this game, a mode that most strategy game fans crave for.  Personally, I thought the skirmish mode was adequate enough and nothing was really missing.  For strategy fans out there, The Battle for Wesnoth is packed with content and leaves almost nothing behind.

Online multiplayer is another feature that will be included in the initial release version.  While I didn’t quite get a chance to play online, it seems as if it will be real-time.  The online multiplayer will also be cross-platform, meaning that you will be playing with other people that are playing on their Macs, PCs, Linux, etc.  It’s definitely a huge jump for online multiplayer, and it’s a lot more sophisticated than most games.  Another worthy feature of online multiplayer is that it will include up to 8-person battles, a huge jump from the normal 4-people multiplayer modes.

Another worthy feature of The Battle for Wesnoth is autosave, and while it doesn’t save every second of the game, it does save after every turn.  You also have the ability to save the game manually, and there seems to be unlimited save slots.  That means you’ll be able to play the different campaign levels in different save slots, making it easy for you to share your device with other people.

The Battle for Wesnoth has already been submitted to Apple, so you shouldn’t have to wait much longer.  The cost will be $4.99, definitely a reasonable price for such a content-extensive game.  The developer(s) are already at work for the version 1.1 update to the iPhone version, which will include a whole new campaign mode and 200 new units.  The initial 1.0 iPhone version will include 200 different types of units along with 14 different campaigns, totalling to potentially hundreds and hundreds of hours of gameplay.

The Battle for Wesnoth seems to be a very ambitious title, linking the iPhone to the computer once again along with providing tons and tons of content for such a small fee. For more information, check out their website here.

About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

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