In this game your out after the gold, and the power it brings. You start out with a handful of men, and gain opportunities to take on dangerous jobs that pays well. Along with the money you receive, are the spoils of war, which adds nicely to your stockpile. Your money is then used to purchase upgrades, or hire soldiers, ships, and monks.
PLAYABILITY: An enjoyable and eventful game with lots to do, and many places to explore. At the beginning I had to run often as I had not yet the resources to hire soldiers, and since my initial units had self heal, why loose them. As I picked up resources and soldiers, I was able to stand up to my attackers, thus winning battles and receiving more money. I did not receive a victory signal when I accomplished my last objective, so I explored the map carefully until I found more enemies, and when destroyed, I then got the victory. A few more instructions would have benefited the playability.
BALANCE: The games balance was pretty good, and at times required a bit of survival strategy. The only problem I found with balance was the amount of gold I was receiving. Each quest I succeeded in paid 1000 gold or more, which allowed me to raise a formidable army toward the end of the game. Perhaps the author could have reduced the purse for each quest by ½, and given the game an even balance throughout .
CREATIVITY: The author did a fine job in the creativity end of the game. There is some interesting trigger work that opens up new areas to explore, along with a few unexpected surprises. I found the author may have left out some instruction on purpose, as he may want the player to explore the strategy aspect of the game, i.e. at one point I was asked if I wanted to rent a boat, when there didn’t seem enough map left to support much water, nice touch.
MAP DESIGN: The map was well made, and well played. There were not much darkened out areas on the map by the time I finished the game, which shows the amount of work that went into the landscape. There are a few fields with just grass, but are in areas that would support it, like the entranc of a castle. I did find one town to be a bit tight, and even caused a bottleneck effect when I tried to pass through with my men.
STORY / INSTRUCTION: The instructions were added into the game as I played along, and completed objectives. Besides some spelling and grammar errors, it was well put together, and added to the playability. A little more direction would have helped the overall game a bit more, (perhaps in the hints). There is a short explanation to the game that could be considered a story, but is sketchy. Suggestion: a storyline could have been added in to the dialogue, that would have given the game direction ,ie. after i defeated an enemy and am being paid, the person could say "you guys are good, King so and so would pay handsomely for your services." So off you go to see the king.
A nice game of good length, enjoy.