Beginner Builder series 75% done! will probably never be finished. :(

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Battle for Wesnoth: Win the battle, seize the awesomeness.

The Battle for Wesnoth -also called just Wesnoth- is a turn by turn strategy game. It's set in the times of knights and ogres and orks and wizards and all that other good stuff. I'd have to say that this game is one of the top freeware games out there, because it is so large scale.

There are tons of different units and teams, like humans, elves, undead, and others, each with strengths and weaknesses. Different classes move differently on different types of ground, there are ranged attacks and close combat attacks, different classes can upgrade levels, and the time of day shifts the advantage between "lawful" and "chaotic" races. All that is just a taste of the hard work that went into this game. It is crossplatform beyond the normal three; it can run on over 10 OSes. All of the music is beautifully orchestrated (check it out), the sprites are done flawlessly, and it's all frikkin amazing. There are at least 7 stories packaged with the game varying from easy to hard, some of them 6 scenarios (a scenario is one round) to 40 (which took me like 2 weeks to beat, but it felt so good.)

In addition to the built in units, factions, maps, and campaigns, you can also download "addons," which can range anything from a modified version of the human race, to an entirely new specifies created from scratch. They have everything out there from "Mech wars", to things set in the future with spaceships and assault rifles, to demons, to fairy tales, to a Sim City-like approach at building an empire. And that's just multiplayer. You can also download campaigns, which further extends the longevity that the game offers.

The one thing I don't like about the addons is that when you browse them in-game, all it offers is the title. You can find them online at the Wesnoth website here, but you can't install them (easily) out of the game. So you have to hop in between the website and the game to read what the addons are even about, and then to download them.

The thing I perhaps like most about this game is the actual strategy it takes. You want to buy the right classes, take the right strategic offense (meaning taking villages or waiting until day/night), and be very careful about units that are close to leveling up. On the last level of the main campaign, I believe it's you against 5 or 6 enemy leaders. THAT took strategy.

Another thing I like is the extreme difference between "easy" and "hard." Easy campains are a good way to start, and hard campaigns are probably out of my league (not that I'm an amazing strategist.)

One thing I would note would be it's a little strange, the movement is in hex. So that means you have six different spaces touching yours. It takes a little while to get used to, but it's still really good.

The only -literally ONLY- bad thing I see about this is the install size. The installer itself is 137.2mb for Windows, so that oughta tip you off. The graphics might be a little heavy on an older machine, and it says on the site that the makers suggest 512mb of RAM, so I'd just say it's not a "lite" game. Still good, if you have the space.

PORTABLE?!?!? According to Portable Freeware, it is indeed portable. Download the installer, then use Universal Extractor, or download my torrent, no editing required.

Visit Wesnoth website for download

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