Braveland is a conventional turn-based strategy game with RPG features, light comic-book aesthetics, and a straightforward, well-implemented gameplay style. The campaign mode is entertaining for a few hours, but once completed, there isn’t much to return to.
The plot is straightforward: the main character’s town is invaded and looted by bandits working for a greater, malevolent entity that threatens the entire continent. Our mission is to assemble an army and defeat the enemy before it’s too late. The narrative however is unimpressive; the dialogue between the characters is uninteresting, and the comic inserts seldom elicit more than a small smile. The world map is built around a network of control points from which we battle, recruit units, and receive side tasks. As the adventure unfolds, we find new locations on a regular basis, progressing from mild countries populated by simple farmers to realms of ice and fire, filled with greater foes and more difficult tasks. The map also features recruiting spots where we may expand our army and unique areas with riches and perks for our hero. Each of these locations is normally defended by a single, non-threatening group of opponents. However, some areas are defended by extremely powerful adversaries, and defeating them typically necessitates gaining many character levels and purchasing a few units.
Even at the maximum difficulty level, the artificial intelligence in Braveland is hardly demanding. The machine seeks to inflict as much damage as possible, but it operates haphazardly, hitting different troops every time. The complexity of conflicts is determined mostly by the number and power of the opposing army, rather than by the enemy’s ingenuity. The level of the hero who gains experience from vanquished opponents defines the size of the army we may command. In addition to the command ability, which is reminiscent of the mechanism employed in the King’s Bounty series, the hero learns one of four talents that boost unit attack and defense as well as his magical strength with each level. We may also boost our strength by employing magical goods and equipment accessible from blacksmiths and shopkeepers dispersed around the world; artifacts often cost several or a dozen units. During combat, the hero can provide assistance to his followers by employing magic, the charges for which must be acquired progressively throughout each encounter.
The quantity of spells available is astounding – the game only provides five, enabling you to boost units or weaken the adversary. We only have access to the basic offensive spell at the start of the game, but we get access to the others as the game develops. Each unit has a particular talent that may be utilized once every few rounds or a limited number of times during each fight, in addition to the standard assault. We may easily influence the course of combat and remove the most deadly adversaries by employing healing powers, stun or “charged” assaults that do massive damage one turn after activating them. Interestingly, we do not have access to the computer’s units throughout the game, and there is never a unit of the same men on both sides of the battlefield. The problem of casualties sustained during skirmishes was cleverly resolved. After each combat, defeated troops are resurrected in return for a portion of the gold gained from the conflict, ensuring that the forces under our command never diminish. If it greatly speeds up gaming and allows you to move from fight to fight without wasting time. The audiovisual environment is light, pleasant, and unobtrusive. The character models, backdrops, and interface are all accurate, but the omnipresent simplicity indicates that they were developed with mobile devices in mind.
Despite its many benefits, Braveland is only a game for one nice afternoon – it lacks severe flaws but also the diversity that larger productions often provide. It’s average at a reasonable price and easy to overlook.