Eador: Genesis is a turn-based fantasy strategy game in the vein of Dominions, Heroes of Might and Magic, and Master of Magic. Originally released back in 2009 as the brainchild of one man, Alexey Bokulev, it was only recently translated into English by publisher Snowbird Games. I’ve been playing the game since last week, and while its graphics and production values are… well, what one would expect from an indie strategy game, its gameplay is pure just-one-more-turnium.
The outline of Genesis will be familiar to genre fans. There is a campaign, which I have not tried; all my matches have been on randomly generated maps. Players start with one province and expand across the map, conquering independent provinces, levelling up heroes, and eventually butting heads with each other in tactical battles. The last one standing wins the game. However, Genesis has several distinctive features:
1. Flowing, micromanagement-light gameplay. I think this is half the secret of Genesis’ addictiveness. Most turn-based strategy games, fantasy or otherwise, require constant fiddling from the player – managing multiple cities’ build queues, pushing numerous armies across the map, etc. By contrast, while Genesis offers plenty of choice – look at all the buildings on that construction screen! – at least on small maps, I only have to deal with a handful of moving parts each turn. Build queues? In Genesis, most construction is done in the capital, a la Imperialism – provincial improvements are relatively bare-bones – and in any case, you can only build one building and one province improvement per turn. As for armies, I’ve never had more than two heroes in play. This means there’s relatively little busywork each turn, and few impediments before it’s time for the next battle.
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