*When I first encountered the Great Whale Road it was back in 2016. The game was still on early access. I didn’t pay much attention to it. Just another strategy game, turn-based with nothing new to offer. However, when I actually took the time to play the game, when it was finally out of early access, I realised what I had been missing so long.
(review written by Catherine Pouspourika)
Yes, we are talking about another turn-based strategy game. However, there are certain differences that make this particular game different than every other of its category. And the most important part is always the story. Sure, we have all played Romans and Byzantines and ancient Greeks before but there hasn’t been a turn-based strategy game that focuses on one of the strongest civilisations of the world. The Vikings.
While playing the Great Whale Road you will find yourselves being the leader of a really strong Viking village, facing a crisis. This is basically how you start the game. The current leader of the village dies and you have to choose between two other characters, a woman named Bera and a man named Floki to become the next leader.
As a new leader your ultimate goal is to make sure that your people is not going to starve during the winter and that you will be able to deal with any kind of attack that may come your way. But how exactly are you going to do that? Well, unlike most turn-based strategy games where you can actually click your units and send them to fight, everything you do here you will do it by text.
Basically, depending on each situation, you will be given the support and advises of some of your people. Right under that, you will be given to or even three different choices about what you should do. Based on what your people told you, you will try to make the right decision for the village. However, it is not as simply as it sounds.
Each of your advisers/villagers/heroes actually has a particular character page that you are supposed to consult every now and then. Apart from the various information on that page like for example strength, stamina and many more, you are actually given a loyalty meter. As you can understand, the advises that come from that one character that is not very loyal to you might actually not be the best advice. But will you just ignore them?
Based on those decisions, you will be able to harvest your crops during summer, assign positions to your villages, strengthen up the defences of your settlement and in general, make sure that your people will stay alive. But what happens when you are visiting other settlements? Vikings, after all, were not exactly known for their good nature and peaceful spirit. Well, this is where the main combat part comes in. Once you visit a new village or a new city, you will also be given a variety of choices. One of those choices could be for you to fight against the people of the other settlement. Basically, you’re going to attack. Very Viking like, don’t you think?
Although you cannot actually, physically move the characters around, you do have the ability to interact with the map. You can use the building cards in the game to either put your warriors to sleep, heal them or let them have a few ales after a long day of sword fighting. And of course, trading could not be missing from this game. You can use the trader building to send and receive products from other villages and really establish good or really bad relations!
Now, the battlefield is where the game gets really, really interesting. Basically, you are going to see some sort of a chessboard. On the bottom left corner you will see your fighters and on the top right corner you will see the fighters of the opponent. The way you will be able to play the game is simple. You will have to place your fighters on the battlefield, position them whatever you want and choose their actions. Will they fight, will they use a passive ability that will strengthen them up, or will they simply just move around? The target is of course, to slaughter the enemy captain, before they kill yours!!
This is the basic gameplay that you are going to be dealing with while you were playing the Great Whale Road. However, a game and especially, a strategy game is not just about the gameplay. So many things play a very important role to bind a beautiful game together and be able to provide you with the ultimate experience. And this is where the graphics coming.
The graphics of this game are pretty new. Quite satisfying to the eye with beautiful colours and really smart drawings and caricatures. Definitely a game that is not going to make you feel tired while you are playing it. Of course, that could also be because, you are not actually dealing with an interactive map. The main portion of the map always stays still. You will basically deal with the choices cards, character cards, building cards and of course the end turn button.
The music of the game is pretty standard and quite pleasing. It definitely gives you the sense of being a Viking around the sixth century and fighting for your village. However, it could use some improvement so, fingers crossed.
If you start playing the game, you will notice that, although you only have access to the Vikings at the moment, there are more races to come. The game only got out of early access on March 30. There are still many things that will be improved and we can hope to some pretty amazing updates.
The Great Whale Road is definitely a pleasant game for every gamer out there wants to try everything. It is also very good choice for someone who hasn’t really been into strategy games. It is a lot simpler than some of the most popular strategy games but it will definitely keep you in front of your computer for hours. This is most certainly a game that I recommend for some fun time with your computer. It can introduce you to a beautiful world of turn-based, text strategy games that can become a lot more interesting than a great number of other, more interactive, strategy games of the past!