“Mystery Isle” is a story based on a Frankish King finding a inhabited island and sending men to explore this new land and conquer it in his name, this is where you come in.
Playability: The playability was not so high some of its creative features detracted from the playability because you knew what you were up against before you got there (by clicking you are pavilions all over the map) There were different routes but your main goal was to defeat a Mysterious enemies castle and keep. This was strange as in the description it tells you, you are to explore, and so gives away all the fun of exploring.
Balance: The balance was far too easy, I rarely had to fight. When I did fight my unit mix was very strong so the enemy never really had a chance. Try to make more fights in the scenario but more important make them more interesting, just walking in to enemy units is not really much fun at all. “King Phillip I” resigned as soon as the game starts so when you come across his troops and monastery you can kill them without them fighting you back. All in all a very easy campaign, unfortunately.
Creativity: This is where the campaign was best. It featured many interesting things from templates and had creative ideas. For example, ghosts, wolfs, previously flooded areas, ice (remember this is original Age of Kings) missiles left before on the ground from a previous battle and small areas of what looked like a spilt substance frozen over. However I can not award a 5 because it had its problems as well. An important problem was that you owned the pavilions from the start, which could help tell you what you were up against in advance. It also took the fun out of Mystery Isle.
Map Design: The map design, features a small coastline at the borders of the map to show a island and the author did start mixing the different water types, although a deep water at the very shoreline is not too convincing. The map was mainly filled in with Oak Forest and looked a lot like a “black forest” random map. The author has gained more confidence since my last review of his work and has started to experiment more with the different terrain types, desert, dirt it was all there in some form. The map design could do with more time spent on it but experimentation is good also.
Story/Instructions: The story was a weaker part of the campaign. It did not really become a part of the campaign and you never knew whom it was you were actually fighting! Although having said that there were a lot of gunpowder units but this was never mentioned. I gained 2 monks not understanding why they joined my cause in the first place. The instructions were still not much improved, as there was not many although I was told my overall objective. The instructions in the game seem to have taken a turn for the worse as I was left squinting at the messages sent by “Send Chat” effects. Try using “Display Instructions” instead it makes reading much easier. The scenario was full of spelling mistakes such as “theere” and “incounter” and instead of there and encounter respectively.
Overall: This was better than some of saracens maid previous releases but it still needs a lot more effort to make it a worthwhile scenario to play. Try mixing the tree types more and add different elevation changes.