I have a love-hate relationship with ArtLogic Games' Epic War series. In the games in the series, the player gathers different units for his/her army, train them up and then go beat the really-OMG-difficult-epic battles that are unlocked after completing the game. I really enjoyed figuring out how to beat those tough battles and when I eventually did, the feeling was satisfying.
Unfortunately, the battles themselves were tediously long. I usually found myself sleepy while playing. It was not just that the big bad boss-guy-thingy in the battle has insane amounts of HP. It was also that the battles tend to run slowly on my computer. I am not sure if it was because of a large number of units I have in the battle or if certain large units consume more computing resource.
The Epic War series is not for everyone. If you do enjoy figuring out how to solve problems, if you have patience and time, then the Epic War series is for you. Otherwise, consider paying the kid next door a few bucks to fight the actual battles for you while you focus on the fun parts of unit upgrading and backseat playing.
The latest in the Epic War series is Epic War 5: Hell's Gate. Note that the screenshots are from version 1.03. Updates may still upload later after this article is written.
Players will spend a lot of time on this interface unless the kid next door is hired.
Epic War 5 is similar to the other games in the series. The player has his/her hero and an army of units coming from the left. And the opposition has its army waiting to the right. The player's units are automatically trained and deployed over time but the player may order them forward or back (retreat!).
The difference this time is that the player has to protect his/her hero and beat up the target unit (usually it is the big boss) on the other side of the map. No need to protect the 'castle' this time. Instead, up to four buildings may be summoned (there are spells for that) to help. The opposition's buildings are already on the battlefield.
In addition to that, spells this time round are attached to the hero and the units. The player has access to whatever spells that the hero and/or the unit provides. Spells may be used to blast the battlefield or buff units. I noticed that only one buff may be active at one time. Casting a new buff cancels the old one.
After the battle.
Winning the battle awards Experience to the hero and each unit that participated, along with an Accessory. In addition to that, completing a level for the first time will usually unlock a new unit.
Selecting the Pokemon units for the next battle.
In between fights, the player may set up his/her army. The units to be deployed may be equipped with any Accessory won from previous battles. In addition to that, each unit may be improved with Experience, which is used to buy skills that add new spells or improve the unit's stats.
This is the core fun of the game: choosing the best setup to beat insanely tedious difficult battles.
The hero and each unit have a simple skill tree of three branches with three skills in each branch. The screenshot above pretty much explains how it works.
There are three heroes to choose from, each with different skills available and different stories. However, the fun part of the game is the epic battles unlocked after completing the story.
It also helps me sleep at night.
Help for the new player.
The game does provide decent help for players new to the series in the form of text hints. So the game is not too difficult to learn or play. It only starts to get difficult after the game is completed.
As stated earlier, not everyone may enjoy this game. It is fun developing each unit to see what they are capable of. And it is satisfying to beat a difficult level. The main drawback is the tediously long battles.
Play this game now Epic War 5