Quinterra by Sidereal Studio
Quinterra is a hex-based strategy game built into a Roguelike format. Featuring several playable factions each with their own distinct theme and combining inspirations from various genres, including sources such as collectible card games like Magic The Gathering, Quinterra is a bold experiment that is sure to intrigue fans of turn-based tactics and Roguelikes in equal measure.
Quinterra opens with a short tutorial that introduces both its world and the systems at work in the game. Despite a step-by-step overview of the various phases of combat, I found that it was more helpful to simply play and learn as I went; there are several interlocking systems at work in Quinterra, and there isn’t really opportunity in the tutorial to fully absorb how they all interact with one another.
This can seem a tad daunting at first, but in time it becomes easy enough to navigate.
A Hex on All Your Houses
Each level is made up of hexes that each produce certain kinds of mana. These hexes can be harvested, temporarily destroying the hex, to obtain the mana, which can then be used to summon elites to battle. This mana comes in the form of various elements (which will be fairly familiar to Magic: The Gathering players), and the right elements must be collected to summon particular elites.
Troops come in two forms: the aforementioned elites and more basic minions. The latter are summoned in much the same way, only they require a standard replenishing resource rather than the more specialized mana.
All troops can be summoned in any empty hex and can then either move or attack. Most troops have some special abilities, either active or passive, which can be invoked as needed. In addition to all of this, troops can be upgraded with crystals or other items that improve their effectiveness.
Troops have attack, health and armor stats that work as you would imagine. When a minion or elite is instructed to attack another troop they will deal their attack stat as damage to the target’s health; the victim will then respond in kind. In effect, this all creates a hex-based variant of the classic CCG experience and, for the most part, it works well.
Complexity and and Randomness
Personally, I would have preferred more limitations on where summons can be placed, creating a sense of territory to be defended. As things are, it feels a little too chaotic and random. That said, the system works, and the objectives provided (usually fighting over a particular hex or destroying a certain number of elite hostiles) provide a solid structure around which the action can revolve.
Outside of combat, the game provides a randomly generated overworld map. This map has nodes that lead to combat scenarios, marketplaces to hire new troop types, and special encounters where items can be found. This overworld is spread across several environments keyed to the different factions present in the game.
Each faction boasts varied advantages and disadvantages, from the melee-focused but inflexible Lycans to the durable Crystalians and the more cunning Imps. Two of these factions are playable at the beginning, while the other two are locked until full playthroughs are completed. I think this is a shame, as it would be fun to have free choice from the outset.
Quinterra has some stylish design work and the different environments are attractive to explore. The character cards for the many different troops are often delightful, with some impressive artwork. Gentle music provides a backdrop to the action, and overall the game is aesthetically appealing.
I did notice some troublesome user interface errors, but hopefully this is merely a symptom of development and will be ironed out before it reaches full release.
Quinterra is a solid strategy game that manages to merge qualities from various sources successfully. From the random generation and Rogue-like progression to the Magic: The Gathering-inspired mana and summoning system, Quinterra uses disparate design ideas to create something unique and enjoyable that is certainly worth a look for fans of strategy and Rogue-like adventure.
Quinterra is available via Steam Early Access.
Check out the official Quinterra trailer below: