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Developer:
Shrapnel
Publisher: Shrapnel
Platform: PC
Release Date: 9999

by Nick May





Setting

Land of Legends is a turn based fantasy-lite strategy game. A mysterious entity called “Evil” is following the path of his name and it’s up to you to thwart him, utilising the forces of elves, humans, dwarves, orcs and the other typical fantasy races.

There are two modes of gameplay; a single player campaign and a straight two side battle, which can be played multiplayer, either hotseat or online.


Graphically Challenged

The graphics in Land of Legends are basic. Sprites, squares and two frame animations. They’re done rather elegantly (and have an anime touch) but this game will not satisfy those who like a little eye-candy.


The Campaign

Unusually, rather than prompting you to pick a race, the campaign starts you off with elves and takes you through all of the races in turn. The mission design is generally imaginative. The missions themselves are varied and quite fun.

Unfortunately, Land of Legends is held back by a few serious shortcomings.

Firstly, the maps are tiny by modern standard. There’s very little room for manoeuvre and the strategy is stunted as a result.

Secondly, the only depth comes from the range of units in play and how they relate to the missions. The entire list of features in a game consists of 4 unit types per side, cities, a few artificially located terrain types and the occasional goldmine or healing fountain. There are only ever two sides in a conflict and there just aren’t enough subtleties to keep it entertaining. This means that the standalone maps have very little to offer except as player versus player maps. Which is important because…

Thirdly, the campaign isn’t that long. I played through two thirds of it in about 5 hours, and if the remaining third took longer than that then it would have been because there was an annoyingly tricky mission which I couldn’t beat. Since your strategic options are so limited the only way to win is to follow a precise sequence of moves that will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. This might get your pulse racing but in my case, with a plot entirely devoid of resonance, it just made me want to do something more fun.


Multiplayer Mode

Multiplayer might be Land of Legends saving grace as a game, and it seems fairly obvious that it was made specifically for multiplayer, with the single player campaign almost more like an advanced tutorial. It has some advantages – it’s simple, two players can dive into it and get a game over and done quickly, and the small scale and lack of random effects encourages (and rewards) exact planning of moves. But, again, the lack of depth suggests that even multiplayer games will rapidly lose their shine to the majority of players.


Overall

Land of Legends is a nice concept with accessible an accessible and well rounded core game. But the lack of depth dramatically undermines this games entertainment value.

Although technically a strategy game, the only reason to pick this up as a single player game is if you like puzzles. In which case, you will demolish Land of Legends in short order and wonder if there weren’t more worthwhile purchases that you could have made.

On the other hand, if you’re a really dedicated chess player and thought that perhaps someone couldn’t tweak the rules a bit to make it more interesting, Land of Legends could conceivably provide you with many hours of happy multiplayer gameplay.

If you don’t fall into one of those two categories, Land of Legends is sadly a two hour novelty.


Final Grade: 45%


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