Fantasy Wars is the game you pick last in a three-for-$10 budget deal and end up enjoying more than the game you picked second. Those silly orcs, elves, men, and goblins are at each others' throats again. What was the spark this time? We honestly can’t remember. The campaign cutscenes that sandwich the scraps in this tight little turn-based wargame are so monstrously generic the only plot-related facts we seem to have retained are the names of the two human heroes. Be afeared Horde scum, Dexter and Derek (sorry, Derrick) are on the warpath!
The art direction and the unit roster are as hackneyed as the storyline. Lantern-jawed orcs, hook-nosed goblins, scaly dragons, leathery blimps... Ino-Co are one of those studios who seem to think fantasy starts and ends with Warcraft. Someone needs to send them a copy of Dominions 3.
Staleness that would have skewered a bog-standard RTS only dents Fantasy Wars’ breastplate. Yes, we’ve used mounted knights and giant eagles dozens of times before, but this is the first time in a long while we’ve had the time to ponder, really ponder, how we use them. If we put our bowmen on that knoll they’ll get a combat bonus against those goblin cavalry. If we hide our rangers in that forest hex we’ll be able to bushwhack anything fording that stream. That spellweaver is in trouble: we’ll try to screen him with our spearmen. There’s no panic, no rush to feed the meatgrinder; this is tactics pure and simple.