The Great Whale Road developed by Sunburned Games blends RPG with turn-based combat in a way that makes the gameplay feel familiar despite being set in a unique world. The game is set in the Early Middle Ages during the times of the Vikings. After the Jarl of the town is attacked by a ruthless ambush, the player must take control of the town. The player must do whatever they can to find out what happened to the previous Jarl while also ensuring the survival of the town.
Currently there is only one faction in the game but the developer intends to release several others. It’s split into different “episodes” that are played across several years. At the start of each year, the player must assign townspeople to different areas. These areas affect how much food is collected and how many trade items are generated throughout the year.
Making these strategic management choices is a necessity for when the player visits other towns. Most of the gameplay comes from going on missions. These missions push the story forwards and typically involve visiting a different town. When going on a mission, the player is able to select which warriors to take with them. In addition to this, players can also fill the ships cargo with food, hounds and trade items.
When visiting another town the player has several options available to them. Each warrior can be assigned a different action such as hunting to get additional food for the expedition. There are also other things to do in town such as visit a doctor and sleep at an inn to recover health and energy. In addition to this, the player can also visit the marketplace to sell and trade different items. Each town sells and buys items at a different cost which adds a level of strategy to re-selling and purchasing items.
In addition to the strategic resource management, the player is also given the option to make meaningful choices during the game. These choices mainly come when the player is traveling to a new location. Players are able to select from multiple choices which result in a different outcome. While the player can make any choice they like, the characters in the game all provide their opinion.
Combat in the game is turn-based and takes place on a hexagon board where the player can direct each warrior. Each battle has a different objective which needs to be completed in order to win that fight. Battles in this game are highly strategic and uses a card-based system. The player is given 3 cards at the start but it’s also possible to discard cards from the hand without using them.
The warriors in the game are split into different classes which dictate how they deal with battles however, it’s possible to customize them with different weapon types. This provides the player with some control over what role each warrior plays in combat. Battles in The Great Whale Road are relatively short and the turn-based system is well-balanced. As a result, combat in the game is very engaging while also avoiding lots of repetition.
The Great Whale Road is a great RPG which has a familiar feeling. Despite this, the unique setting helps to ensure this game stands out. The developers are intending to add new factions to the game which will add more replay value but the current state is already very entertaining. The gameplay is engaging without the game becoming too repetitive or tedious. The multiple choices are also a nice addition to the game and help break up the gameplay.
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