Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion Review

Ravenmark is like the vast majority of turn-based strategy games: It follows the strict formula that’s been in place since the genre was created, and doesn’t manage to truly stand out from the pack. However, at least this ensures that the gameplay is solid.

Like nearly every TBS game on the market, Ravenmark consists of strategically commanding units around a grid-based map in order to complete an objective. These include moving all of the special units to a certain area, surviving X amount of waves, and clearing out all of the opposing force’s units.

Each campaign mission is staged so that you must strategically use the predetermined roster of units to fend off overwhelming forces. For example, some missions require you to link together characters so that they can move and attack together, using fewer command points in the process, or place archers at a higher elevation to fire on enemies.

Are you feeling strategic today?

The big difference in Ravenmark is that commands are played out in real-time, which means that you give your characters commands and then press the ‘start’ button to watch the battle play out. Enemy moves are mixed in with those of your own characters, so it’s important to anticipate them to avoid wasting a turn. You can only give out six commands total per turn, so you’ll need to decide which units to move and which to keep sedentary. Combat occurs automatically when two units are in attacking range of one another.

Ravenmark offers a good amount of depth with varying terrain levels, element type advantages, special abilities unique to different elements/special units, and the ability to link together up to three units of the same element so that they can move for a single command point. If at any time you need to get the finer details of a specific unit, there’s an easily accessible in-depth unit guide.

Paralyzed by indecision.

While the 15 campaign missions offer a great one-off experience with the promise of more to come, Ravenmark lacks the skirmish mode or multiplayer to keep you coming back for further battles. Many other TBS games on the App Store offer at least one of these features, and we hope Ravenmark’s developers decide to include them in future content updates.

As for the story, Ravenmark’s plot is a generic tale of warring fantasy factions buried under piles of pointless character dialogue and lore databases. The dialogue isn’t very memorable, and you can easily skip it.

These shortcomings aside, Ravenmark is a great purchase for strategic gamers. It’s not the best of its kind, but it’ll definitely hold you over until the next great TBS.

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