Compelling turn-based RPG with a dated combat system
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 05 Apr 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Beautiful visuals, intriguing story
Unimaginative combat mechanics
Etherlords for Android is a turn-based RPG that requires you to recruit allies to help you restore balance to a world that was destroyed long before anyone alive even remembers. Much like other RPGs in the genre, you can upgrade these allies and fuse them together to create stronger versions.
Mechanically, the gameplay doesn’t differ too much from similar games. Maybe one of the most distinct differences is how special abilities are handled. You have a timer that counts down, when the timer ends the “turn” is over and you can choose from one of three of your allies’ special abilities to use. I felt like this mechanic gave a false sense of depth and strategy to the gameplay.
Sure, it makes you think more about the next skill you’re going to use, but it doesn’t do it in an innovative way. Rather than giving the player more options to use, it limits the player to just one.
Perhaps the strongest point of the game is the visuals and the story line. The story leaves you with a lot of intrigue and wonder as you go through it wondering just what happened to the world. The graphics and animation are also smooth and detailed. Attacks use different camera angles that gives you a sense that more is going on.
Etherlords gives you great visuals, an interesting storyline, but leaves you in the cold when it comes to gameplay. It’s certainly no worse than other games, but I wish it would have innovated in the battle system a bit more. Instead of limiting the player to one skill, why not let each ally have multiple abilities, and let them choose one for each ally?