A Druid’s Duel – What We Think
A Druid’s Duel by Thoughtshelter is a turn-based strategy game that requires more brainpower than fast reflexes. As the title says, you’re battling as a druid against other druids. Your aim is to control land, which in turns gives you mana. You require mana to attack, transform, build and destroy other druids or land however you see fit. Whatever mana you have accrued does not roll over into your next turn.
There are four type of druids you can control: Guardian, which transforms into a wolf, Wind Rider, which transforms into an eagle, Snarlclaw, which turns into a bear, and Waywalker, which can turn into a turtle.
Each druid has its own set of skills. Guardians, for example, can move one block of land at a time, but for the cost of 10 mana, you can transform them into wolf form and move up to four spaces. But beware: Guardians can’t attack in wolf form, though in normal form they can attack for a distance of one space, including diagonally. The duel is over once you have control of the entire map and occupy all spaces (or if your enemy does the same). Turning into a bear allows SnarlClaw to attack up to three enemies in one turn. The eagle, is able to snipe enemies almost anywhere on the board.
In other words, turning into their animal equivalent is a key factor in dominating the battlefield, but also expensive in terms of mana, hence the strategy part.
Multi-player is also turn-based, and you will be delighted to know that I am two nil up on IndieGameFreak! Multiplayer gives A Druid’s Duel a real personal edge and a new dimension compared to playing against the AI, much like a game of chess. Moves have to be carefully thought out in advance. A timed feature puts the pressure on! In matchmaking, you can decide whether you want to see friends only or play anyone available. If you create a match yourself, you can also choose to add timing to each turn, from 30 seconds and upwards at 15 second intervals.
Alternatively, you can play asynchronously, so you can leave the game for a few days and then come back to it and see what your opponent’s brilliant, painstakingly well thought-out move has been in the interim.
Druid’s Duel is purely controlled by a mouse, simple and easy. There are no confusing keys to remember; just point and click. Movement of your druids is easy; IndieGameFreak even pointed out during a multiplayer match that there is an “undo” button, though as a purist I don’t think this should be there. I believe you should always suffer/learn from your own mistakes.
Must be the magical effect of all the druids in this game, because it works a treat; no bugs, no crashes, no problems! The music can get a little repetitive and boring, but luckily there is a mute button. Character sounds match the druid you’re playing. The Wind Rider, for example, has a lovely ear-piercing eagle’s screech whenever you transform into that animal. Sounds match the actions, as well. As your druid walks across a space, you hear the crumpling of leaves underfoot.
With the multiplayer aspect of this game as well as four difficulty levels, A Druid’s Duel should be able to hold the attention span of most gamers for a long time. I know IndieGameFreak will want to get some practice and try to get a few games back on me.
Watch the trailer for A Druid’s Duel below: