Bladed Fury review: a sharp nod to Vanillaware

So…why wasn’t Muramasa: The Demon Blade brought to new game systems again? When Vanillaware initially released this stunningly beautiful game for the Wii several years ago, it became a massive underground hit. That prompted the studio to release another version…for the PS Vita. And yet, here we are without a version for current-gen consoles, where it would no doubt shine brightly in 4K.

But at least we have a pretty good fill-in with NExT Studio’s Bladed Fury. While it’s a bit on the short side and has a few slight issues with its gameplay and visuals, it has Muramasa’s spirit completely intact. Not only that, but the story delves deep into Chinese culture, creating a tale that’s as fascinating to watch as it is to play.

The story focuses on an unlikely heroine named Princess Ji, who finds herself on the run after she’s framed by the Tian for the murder of the Duke of the Qi region. But she’s not running away without a fight. She’s gathering weapons and spirits, readying for a showdown with the folks that wronged her.

Yep, it’s a story about revenge. But it sets the stage for Bladed Fury’s action, which is quite satisfying. Though Muramasa is still somewhat preferred, there’s some great combos to take advantage of here, between power and quick strikes. Not only that, but you can also knock enemies into the air; and utilize other special techniques. It’s not entirely original, but it is cool for those of you that missed out on what Vanillaware’s title had to offer.

That, combined with the Princess’ swiftness to get through platforming and challenge bosses, makes the game an overall blast to play. There are moments when you can slip a little bit, due to minor glitches, but the ebb and flow is there enough to satisfy. If you’re a fan of hack-and-slashers, this is worth adding to your list. You can also upgrade abilities, which will help you expand your skill set over the course of your journey.

Not only that, but Bladed Fury also features exquisite visuals that almost reach the level of Vanillaware classics of old. The hand-drawn animation is impressive; the backgrounds are colorful and bring this Chinese world to life; and some of the enemy designs really stand out. There are times that the action slows down a little bit, but not enough to throw off what you see exploding on-screen. I just wish it was longer, as it ends at a fraction of the time that Muramasa concludes in.

Also, the music isn’t quite as good. It has some great tunes here and there, but I miss Muramasa’s mighty soundtrack. Still, it fits the tone of what’s on-screen, so it’s not too shabby.

Overall, Bladed Fury can’t quite match the graciousness of what Muramasa’s team brought before. However, it’s truly inspired by it, feels excellent to play, and offers some fun visuals to watch on-screen, especially in 4K. It may not be the original warrior we asked for, but the Princess is more than ready to deliver on her own accord. Give her a shot.

RATING: 7.5/10

Black Legend: A Steam Review

Turn-based is one of my favorite genres in gaming because of how the gameplay ranges in such a broad spectrum. You can go hardcore into turn-based strategy and play legendary titles like Civilization and Age of Wonders, or even maybe dive into a more tactical setting like Fire Emblem. The genre even branches out into Turn-Based RPGs like Final Fantasy, and Persona, which are iconic franchises that have been around for over a decade. Black Legend, however, takes an interesting turn in mixing a free roam setting with tactical gameplay. I did not get to spend as much time as I had wanted in this title, but overall I found it to be very lackluster. While the gameplay feels very satisfying in a tactical sense, there are a lot of areas that can use a lot of improvement when it comes to the free roam standpoint as well as overall performance. This game can be purchased on all platforms for $29.99 and was developed and published by Warcave.

Black Legend takes place in the city Grant, which is cursed by a dense fog and infested with the fanatical Mephistian cult. You create your character and lead a band of mercenaries to aid the resistance and take back the city by uncovering the dark truth behind the cult’s activities. The concept for the story was greatly executed, and the atmosphere did well in drawing me into exploring the dark and deadly city. The game gave an overwhelming feeling of desperation and curiosity with cultists lurking around every corner. One of my biggest issues lies with the free roam part of the game. As I previously stated it did a good job in enticing players to explore, but with any free roam RPG a sense of direction is extremely important.

The game tells you where to go via cutscene and quests, but there is no direction on where the objective will be. The game fails to provide players a map or compass, leaving players to memorize street signs or wander until they land upon the objective. RPGs with free roam need these features if they are going to have location-based quests. I do like that you can engage any NPC in the game and that they will give you random side quests or bits of information to aid your investigation of the cult. This aids in drawing players more into the environment and helps to take away the navigational frustration in a way. I do wish that they would organize the menu more as far as class and quest information goes. I also wish the shops were more customized and showed the player items that are already in inventory.

The gameplay was a huge redeemer for this title because it gave you endless options for character placement and development. The combat system was very well designed and adds a sense of difficulty even in normal. You get the freedom of having a small area to preemptively place your characters before the real combat begins. Then you get gameplay that mirrors Fire Emblem or XCOM on a smaller scale, taking turns with each character and enemy. You can pick from 15 different character classes to assign your mercenaries such as sharpshooters and alchemists, and stack different humors, or actions, in one turn to strategically take out your enemies or move your characters. The possibilities for combat are abundant, and if that isn’t enough for players you can change to a high difficulty which includes permadeath.

However as previously mentioned the menu layout is not well designed by any means with the lack of information for important areas such as weapon assignment per class. A lot of the unique abilities for the different classes felt useless in combat as well. I often found myself turning to guides because of the lack of information and viable classes in general as well as ability set-ups. The combat can also take ridiculously long regardless of difficulty right off the bat, leaving players bored until more abilities and combos surface. 

One other issue I take with the game is the optimization and performance. The game runs well on PC, but on consoles and Steamlink the optimization suffers tremendously. The button mapping is more geared for keyboard and mouse as opposed to a controller which is leaving many players frustrated. Frame rate issues and glitches are rampant on consoles as opposed to PC depending on build. There is also a game-breaking bug that forces the player to restart the game completely. Crashes are a plague on consoles both with new generation and old generation. The only issues recorded with PC regardless of build tend to be installation issues, which are generally fixed by reinstalling the game.

It’s not that I would not recommend the game, but I encourage players to look into it before purchasing. I would urge console players to refrain from playing it until these performance issues are addressed period. The game has good qualities and a lot of potential, but it suffered from poor execution. The combat is great as well as the story, but all the issues overshadow what the game has to offer. I hope the developers can take this as a learning experience if there is to be another entry for the title.

DVS Score: 5/10

What the Dub?! Review: yes, talk during the movie

Party games are enjoying a neat little resurgence these days, especially online ones in the face of COVID-19. That’s exactly where Wide Right Interactive’s What the Dub?! thrives, providing a great place for creativity while having fun with others. Oh, and it helps if you’re a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, of course.

The general purpose of the game is to come up with a clever quip to go along with one of the many flip clips within the game. First, there’s the set-up, in which you see the clip and then the space where you need to provide the dialogue. From there, you’ve got a little time to enter what you think would be the funniest or most clever (or dare we say…both?) comment to say.

From there, a voting period begins, and players decide which is the best particular quip for that clip, in which the top choice gets rewarded.

The game supports up to twelve players. Six jump in as the contestants making the comments, while six more serve as audience members who can partake in the voting. That keeps the pacing for What the Dub?! just about right, so rounds don’t stretch out long enough for the game to become boring. If you want, you can extend entry time for input, just in case you’ve got some players that are a bit on the slow side – or trying to manage a mobile keyboard. Oy.

Connecting is easy. Like the Jackbox games, Wide Right uses a system where players can log into a website for the game, and then enter a unique four-letter code to take part in whatever match-up is happening. This makes What the Dub?! ideal not only for get-togethers with friends, but also for streamers that want to build and connect better with their audience.

Now, considering this is an indie game and some older material would probably take forever to attain the rights to, What the Dub?!’s clips mainly stem from infomercials and public service announcements, as well as some really bad movies that no one wants to take ownership of. While that does take away a little bit from general variety in a game like this, there’s still more than enough content to provide commentary to.

What the Dub?! has a good presentation. It may not be over-the-top like the Jackbox games, but it sets out what it needs to accomplish. The virtual movie theater where you see these atrocious clips is a nice setting; and, again, there’s some fun little variety here in the clips provided. The GLADoS-esque readings of dialogue are kind of cool, too, though a bit weird with some footage. Still, it fits the theme.

Even though it does come across as a one-trick pony – there’s just the dubbing and that’s really about it here – What the Dub?! still scores very well. It’s a terrific party game that (mostly) brings out the creativity in would-be comics or those who cherish the mighty church of Crow T. Robot. What’s more, the price is more than suitable, going for under $10 and providing solid service for online connectivity. It’s definitely the best way to enjoy bad movie clips, compared to, say, trying to watch something seriously and grumbling under your breath.

RATING: 8/10

SturmFront is bringing back that classic Smash TV feeling

So it used to be that if you wanted to lay waste to all sorts of enemies, you could do it with a game from Midway Games, like Robotron 2084, Smash TV or Total Carnage. However it’s been a good while since we’ve seen a game like that in this day and age. Fortunately, Red Art Games has a solution to all that.

The company recently released a new game called SturmFront – The Mutant War: Ubel Edition, which is available now for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 for the low price of $9.99. And it comes with all sorts of “shooty” goodness in that style of Smash and Total.

In the game, players take control of Siegfried von Hammerstein, who serves as a “unique semi-organic battle unit” that fights through a crazy world, filled with all sorts of devastating mutants. In order to clean house, he’ll need to do what he does best – kill ‘em all.

Featuring “more content, enhanced gameplay, improved graphics and more blood” over the previous release, SturmFront also has a rockin’ soundtrack that’ll have you shredding on an imaginary guitar as you shred your enemies. Check out the trailer below for a dose of this goodness.

And if you prefer a physical copy of the game, you can get it here on the Red Art Games store for $19.99. It’s limited to 999 copies, so you might want to get yours quickly!

Check out the game now. If you need to see it in action, the trailer is below. Rock on!

RetroMania Wrestling Xbox One review: Wrestlefest

The state of wrestling games is in flux at the moment, between the horrid mess that was WWE 2K20 and the somewhat mixed response to the arcade-style WWE Battlegrounds. In fact, the only solace that gamers had for some time was the old-school Fire Pro Wrestling World – and without availability on all platforms, its audience was more limited than expected.

However, now we have RetroMania Wrestling, a game from Retrosoft Studios that takes the formula of the 1991 classic WWF Wrestlefest and runs with it in its own special way. Perfect it is not, as it doesn’t really have all the features needed to be a winner. However, there’s more than enough retro goodness to keep you putting fools in a headlock.

The gameplay works similarly to Wrestlefest when it comes to the attacks you can use. You have weak, medium and strong, but it’s all based around a system of timing. So aside from some grappling moments, it’s all about when you can hit the buttons the right way. Do so and you can gain leverage in a match. Don’t, and, well, we hope you like getting body slammed. Not everything is clearly explained, but RetroMania has an excellent “pick-up-and-play” mentality that works fundamentally well. In fact, after a few matches, you may be tempted to throw friends around locally (in-game, mind you).

That brings up an interesting flaw with the game’s lack of online multiplayer. Locally, it works really well, and makes for some good match-ups. Except without an online component, it’s a little more limited than 2K’s WWE fare. Perhaps a future update can fix that.

Fortunately, there’s more than enough variations of matches to keep you busy; and there’s a decent story mode that walks you through what this revamped wrestling world is all about. It’s not overwhelming, but not half-bad either. The game also has a superb roster for an indie game, including everyone from The Blue Meanie to Tommy Dreamer to Matt Cardona to a variation of John Morrison, in the form of Johnny Retro. It’s not hustling and bustling like WWE’s games, mind you, but it’s still pretty cool. And there’s more to come via DLC, as well. That said, it would’ve been awesome to have some sort of customization tool, so you could bolster the roster along the same lines as, say, Fire Pro. As it stands, though, not bad at all.

On top of that, RetroMania has a terrific style going for it. You can tell that the devs are big fans of old-school wrestling games, as this chews it up at every turn. The animations are sharp and the characters and in-ring details are very clear to see, even on a portable Nintendo Switch game screen. It runs very fluidly too, even with the default 2D camera set-up. Wrestlers barely overlap and you can see all the action clearly. The themes are a lot of fun, too, and the “attitude” is just about right when it comes to classic wrestling action.

Overall, RetroMania Wrestling is a nice blast from the past, especially considering we never got a console port of THQ’s Wrestlefest reboot from years ago. This feels like a title that flashes back to the good ol’ days of wrestling games, when it wasn’t really about the fantastic engine or the features, but the easy-to-adapt-to action and fun roster. It’s a bit light on certain features, and has no online wrestling community (at least, not yet), but as it stands, it’s a blast from the past that’s worth adding to your collection. And it sure beats taking a steel chair to the sternum, tell ya what.

RATING: 3.5/5

HOTS IS NOT FOR TOTS!

Heroes of the storm?

DISCLAIMER: To those that choose to play this great, such spice and juice flowing game. I come to you with a heavy heart that this is not for new players yearning for a new MOBA to suffice their ever-growing bloodlust. This once great nay! Magnificent and brilliant game used to be a ballet of team fights and objective taking with fights betwixt the lanes has now been reduced to a game of backing out of fights and worrying about self-preservation. TRY BEFORE YOU BUY! (yes I know the game is free) is all I can say.

history time.

6 years of game time is how long I have logged into this game, I was one of the few to still play and have the same account since Alpha, and boy it’s annoying that it has an effect on my overall standings due to this game doing a 2.0 swap back in 2017 ( the original game was getting too big and we needed more)…. we had all the promise in world E-sports deals, a way to break into the majors by being a nobody HGC!! Make a team, get good, compete, climb, and make it to glory!! then nothing all gone puff but yet the community persevered and carries on with small events and trying to get the competitive scene going back to the golden days.

a great game.

Thank you for getting past my little rant…it’s just been a rough time, getting used to new players changing and playing a way that cuts into the game that they oversee and should always have in mind.

This game is beautiful bar none for MOBAS, I think it does that is, the number of settings will allow most players to use all the ragdoll effects and see the maps and heroes with a crisp feel.

Loads almost a boatload, I would say of all the toons to choose from all the different Blizz games. The Nexus will break you and can make you a champion. The A.I. mode is a great way to try new heroes that are new to your roster and or you want to perfect your aim. TRY IT!

Another reason to play is for the mere fact that you get to be all the most amazeballs heroes known to all Blizzkind. Also so many skins and fun mounts to match all your silly outfits!

Lanes and The Map.

Watch the lanes and your mini-map and look for the little heads if they’re gone…it might be a gank and you need to ping and call out to your teammate before they get the ax…. this is going to be all too common a situation for you when navigating around.

The mini-map is your best friend and should always be reading it. The map will tell you when enemies are not visible thus prompting caution or action depending on your teammates’ location and time of travel to get to said location.

Laning is essential until you get a high enough in team Lvl to just go and raffle stomp the other team. be mindful of what the team is doing and adjust to what’s happening, try not to stay to a lane when the team is just getting slain. You might be thinking why? well, it’s a team game, and as a team, magic happens.

HOTS has 15 maps that are going to be a blast to get to know, two or three-lane maps are what we’re working with all with a different objective that ranges from capping a dragon or unleashing the Horde. They all rotate around so you’re never playing the same maps.

Best hidden mechanic.

Now we have come to the best and single truly a most satisfying thing, about this game is NEVER EVER I MEAN NEVER GIVE UP!!! Sorry for that, HOTS is the only game where you can be just getting turned into last week’s tuna surprise but fret not mon amis. We saved the best for last ready for the secret???? One fight can turn the whole game around… how you ask?? well after 20 the game no longer has talents so everything you have done to this point is it your quest and or damage…. it all just scales and scales. So pick up your heads and never stop fighting in the Nexus!

All and all this game will make you rage but it’s so great to play with a good team and just have fun. Take it game by game. I will see you soon in the Nexus.

8/10 for me only due to my personal play style.

New Final Fantasy Franchise Game Announced!

Many of you are familiar with the success of the Final Fantasy Franchise especially its most recent success with the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Due to this success Square Enix has announced they will continue with the remake series and add new games from the franchise to be remade similarly with new mechanics as given by feedback from the gaming community. 

To pick the next game coming out Square Enix looked to its fans by posting a poll around the web and told every person that could to vote. The gaming community did not disappoint coming out in droves to answer this mini poll. The games up for the poll were the games listed as the most loved by sales. I mean, of course, they are a business after all. The games listed in the poll were:

  • Final Fantasy 1
  • Final Fantasy: Crisis Core
  • Final Fantasy 8
  • Final Fantasy 12
  • Final Fantasy 10
  • Final Fantasy 10-2
  • Final Fantasy 6
  • Final Fantasy 9

Now with this lineup, it was extremely easy to see who the winner would be. Of course, to keep the suspense they are keeping it a secret to allow gamers to guess which one it would be. Months have passed with no information. Some people are wondering which one it could be. Some information leaks led people to believe it might be Final Fantasy 12 and they just threw out the poll but Square Enix wouldn’t do that to our heartstrings. Ignore all the other times they did I promise they didn’t this time. 

However, I have used my connections to get the real answer. You’re welcome. I take gifts in the form of snacks. Back to the content! Through a source within the company that asked not to be named has announced the winner and that they are taking great pains to finish this project promptly so that there is none of the tension on the team like when they were making Final Fantasy 7 Remake. This poll had a great turn out so they couldn’t let down the masses. A whole 1.6 million answers received to name our winner. 

Final Fantasy 10-2

That’s right fans! You heard it here first. The favorite of all the Final Fantasy Franchise Fans by a whopping 77% (Source: https://rb.gy/o2krdf) has chosen Final Fantasy 10-2 to be the next remake made by Square Enix for the enjoyment of the gaming community. I know what you must be thinking. OMG YES!! THIS IS WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED!! We here at DVS are happy to bring you this news first. They are hoping to have the game out by the holiday season of 2022 so we have a bit of time to enjoy the second episode of Final Fantasy 7 Remake due to come out this holiday season. Please tune in as we bring you more gaming news here at DVS. Stay Deviant!

Gyromite 70 announced for Nintendo Switch

We know a lot of you are hurting with the ending of Super Mario Bros. 35 on Nintendo Switch. But fret not, as another beloved classic has returned with a multiplayer twist!

Nintendo has announced that Gyromite 70 will soon make its way to Nintendo Switch, bringing with it all the fun and excitement of the original NES game. In this fun adventure, players will compete with their own separate Professor Hectors, making their way through laboratories as quickly as they can while avoiding getting crushed by pistons. They’ll also need to defeat as many Smicks as possible in order to stay alive and become the top Gyromite player in a field of 70.

“It’s exciting to see Gyromite make a return after all these years!” said Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo of America. “Players will be able to compete against one another in this fast-paced game to see whose Professor Hector will come out on top. And we’ve got an assortment of R.O.B. stickers for players to unlock and share with their friends. Move over, Mario!”

On top of that, Gyromite 70 will introduce the R.O.B. Switch gameplay mode. For the first time ever, players can mimic the classic NES robot, using their hands to move around like a robot to randomly open and close pipes on rival players.

“It’s a game that’s all about competition!” said the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto. “And you don’t want to smash Professor Hector anytime soon. Also, please don’t misinterpret that as Professor Hector coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I’m already in trouble for confirming Waluigi coming to the game. I’ve said too much!”

Gyromite 70 will be available for a limited time on the Nintendo Switch Online service, for subscribers to enjoy at no charge. The original NES Gyromite game is coming as well, for those that need a little bit of practice.

“Hey, it’s me, Reggie,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, former president of Nintendo of America. “See if you can beat my Gyromite 70 score. I dare you.” You can download Gyromite 70 for Nintendo Switch starting today, April 1st.

Maquette: PS5 Review

Playing Maquette was an incredibly interesting adventure to take part in with fantastic music, a beautiful art style, and cleverly designed puzzles used to unlock parts of the story. While this genre is known for huge titles like Portal 2The Talos Principle, and CatherineMaquette still blew the minds of players for the current generation in the gaming industry. While this game did not tap into the full potential for its puzzles, the overall concept was perfectly executed and the environment evolved seamlessly with the story. This title was one of the best-designed first-person puzzle adventures I have ever played, for it is rare to see a story blend so perfectly with its environment. Developed by Graceful Decay, and published by Annapurna Interactive, Maquette is available on Playstation and PC for $19.99. It is currently still free for PSN users until the end of the month. 

Image

The story is based on modern couples and follows the memories of Michael and his former lover Kenzie. As you navigate through what seems to be a dome or various locations, you see various stages of the couple’s relationship and the various emotions that Michael experiences throughout different stages of their partnership. The Maquette shines ever so brightly as the memories of their first encounters come to life, such as the café where they first meet and their first date at the fair. You can feel the heightened emotions between Michael and Kenzie for what seems like true first love. Over time through the different chapters, you notice as the locations change and what seems like a decay set in which is used to signify the problems between the two. The puzzles start to get a bit more in-depth, and the distance for travel feels longer and creates a feeling of being powerless. Buildings start to crumble, leaving behind what used to be a warm and loving environment. The dome expresses the emotions so well throughout the story, you almost feel as you are the one experiencing happiness and heartache. I also commend the game for its dialogue, for that is one of the few aspects in most video games that tends to fail. The voice acting feels very genuine and authentic compared to most story-based games. The story itself felt a bit generic but depicts an accurate representation of failing relationships and closure. The game portrayed is so well that despite the lack of uniqueness to the story, the game represented it so well that it felt empowering.

I do not have too many complaints, for the game overall was very well executed. There were a few bugs here and there with the puzzles that resulted in a chapter restart or reloading a previous save, which did cause quite a bit of frustration. The puzzles were fairly well designed and very unique, for you play in a dome with locations that can be described as dioramas. There is also a mini dome that replicates the one you stand in, and a larger one outside that you navigate later in the game. The minidome is mostly used for resizing and placing larger versions of an object, such as a bridge to cross buildings or a key to gain access to locked-off locations. Some objects are used for multiple purposes in varying ways that force the player to think “outside the box”. For example, a key can turn into multiple uses of transportation outside of unlocking doors. Later on in the game adds a new level of cleverness in problem-solving, for it adds access to the outside layer where your base dome becomes increased in size. A switch might be only accessible in the mini-dome to give you access to a locked-off area in your central dome. A bridge might have to be placed down in your mini-dome to become supersized for the outside dome, and stairs might be placed in ways you’d never think of to reach the unreachable. You end up having to figure out where the next part of the puzzle takes place, and where to complete certain actions. I would have liked to see the puzzles get a little more in-depth, for the majority of them were not too hard to solve, but this was mostly a minor complaint. This game was one of the few instances where the atmosphere actually made the game. My other complaint is for trophy hunters, as a hunter myself I was originally seeking to platinum this game. Unfortunately, some of the trophies don’t unlock when they should causing you to repeat actions. For example, though I completed two of the levels in the respective time for some of the trophies, they failed to unlock. Some quick fixes are reinstalling the game from what I have researched, but overall it just killed my want for the platinum. Additionally, for speedrunners cutscenes do count towards your time meaning you have to skip annoyingly enough.

Image

Originally after beating this game I did not feel too impressed until really looking back on it and remembering the obstacles I went through to complete it. This game left feelings that stuck with me, and ultimately lead me to write about it. This title was truly unique and is the definition of one of a kind. While some aspects can be improved, I genuinely enjoyed the atmosphere and gameplay for this game. It’s a riveting and truly unique experience that challenges players not only in critical thinking but also emotionally as you navigate the feelings of an uncompromising and unforgiving tale. While this game might not be for everyone, I recommend it for the majority.

DVS Score: 6.5/10

DwarfHeim: A Steam Review

I always love a good Strategy game to kill some time, whether it be the classics like Warcraft 3 (not Warcraft 3 Reforged) and StarCraft, or even Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition and StarCraft 2. Setting up your base, upgrading your abilities and technology, and even going for domination by setting up your elite army are always addicting and empowering. I love spending hours even in Civilization not just trying to win, but setting up my cultural peaceful existence unlocking world wonders. I was excited to be able to try something new out like DwarfHeim, and the results were extremely pleasant despite the rough start. DwarfHeim is a co-op RTS that is class-based and filled with dwarven shenanigans. It was developed by Pineleaf AS and published by Pineleaf AS and Merge Games. You can only experience this dwarven-filled adventure on PC though for $24.99.

Starting in Dwarfheim was a bit rough and there were quite a few bugs and crashes that left me restarting the game. First and foremost the game is extremely unique compared to other turn-based strategy and real-time strategy games. This is because the game is primarily a cooperative game, whereas other RTS games are heavily equally geared towards the single-player and multiplayer experience. There is no story campaign for Dwarfheim, and none coming out as far as we know in the future. The only options for single players are sandbox mode and 1 vs AI to practice, which is very unique as far as any real-time strategy games go. This brings up one other issue, for if you want to play multiplayer I highly recommend finding friends. I went to queue for multiplayer and ended up waiting over 20 minutes every time and eventually gave up. You also get a choice of units to play per each mode that you can attempt to lock in, which are Miner, Builder, and Warrior.

The gameplay itself is insanely fun and a bit dumbed down compared to other real-time strategies for the most part, yet some parts can become very intricate. For instance, the upgrades for abilities are limited, as well as building options like your standard lumbermill and barracks. However, on the flip side, the game shows its dwarven roots when it comes to setting up your mining in the underworld. To get certain resources such as steel ingots, you have to strategically set up your forge to make them with the transmuter. Only certain ore and coal can enter this to create certain ingots, but to separate them you need a splitter to avoid sending incorrect ore or ingots that specific way, otherwise you need to clear it out. You get different structures such as a rock crusher, ore sorter, forge, and warehouse. They all must be specifically set up to get all the resources you need to create other buildings, units, and upgrades. The possibilities for setups can be endless, which makes playing heavily miner-based so exciting!

Some more practical issues I have with the game are issues that I never expected to have in my gaming career, and that is the lack of tutorial. Usually, I am great at figuring things out with any game, but I love tutorials for any strategy game, especially when it comes to PC due to the endless key bindings and structure uses. The reason I had a rough start, as well as other people with Dwarfheim, is the overall lack of explanation. The tutorial shows you how to move your units, attack, some building, and how to navigate the underworld. However, outside of that, there was little to no explanation. I found myself looking into the key bindings often to figure out the simplest things, even down to rotating objects to set up my base. Most of the setups such as the forge and structure setups I had to figure out myself or look up guides that people made on YouTube or Steam to help others due to the lack of instruction. The other reason this is a problem is that I spent a good amount of time trying to find a slow-paced option to learn the game, which leads me to warn people to avoid 1 vs AI until they know the game and stick with single-player sandbox mode. 

All in all I do enjoy this game, and like any RTS I found myself hooked once I got through digging up key bindings and guides to learn everything. I do hope the developers will add a better tutorial in the future, but all in all, it is a solid strategy game. I do hope the player base keeps growing so the queue times drop for those who have no one to enjoy this specific genre with, and that the developers also look into a possible campaign mode. I loved the overall art style and music, and this game feels like it would be a great candidate for a strong story. There are some kinks and bugs to work out but overall this game is solid and worth syncing a lot of time into.

DVS Score- 6/10