If you’ve read my previous pieces or listened (with rapture) to the Popzara Podcast, you know that I’d never personally advocate giving to a crowdfunding campaign. It’s just too risky for consumers and there’s far too little accountability. That doesn’t mean I can’t play preview builds for crowdfunded games and let you know how it goes, though! With that in mind, I checked out Wartile, a strangely-named new strategy title that’s currently ringing the donation bell on Kickstarter.
Wartile is, well, technically a hybrid between the real-time and turn-based strategy genres. Rather than going the traditional real-time or turn-based strategy routes, Wartile uses a sort of combination of the two with card game elements besides. You control several units, portrayed as tabletop-game-style miniatures, as you work to complete objectives given to you by objective cards scattered about the game board. You can move your miniatures by simply clicking and dragging them, but there’s a slight cooldown after every move; using that cooldown wisely by grabbing other miniatures and moving them as well is key to victory. Along with the strict movement style necessitated by the grid-based boards, Wartile ends up feeling very unlike your average RTS.
When a unit ends up next to an enemy unit, combat immediately begins, but you’re still able to bring in reinforcements or such should your warrior need them. You can lend an additional hand by playing cards using the Battle Points you obtain through victory in battle and exploring the map. The overall experience is a bit reminiscent of the classic Dungeon Keeper; rather than just a general, you’re a sort of omnipotent force able to interfere directly in affairs. It’s pretty empowering, to say the least.
Aside from the unique gameplay style, the other interesting aspect of Wartile is the game’s graphical style. As mentioned, your units are miniatures, and gameplay takes place on a Battle Board, which is what amounts to a giant, beautiful hex-based diorama. It cannot be overstated how cool this looks; each map is essentially “built” on top of a base in an incredibly detailed fashion. Wartile ends up looking unlike pretty much any game out there. Unit animations are still a little crude at the moment, but one could see this game being truly impressive once those kinks are worked out.
The preview build I was able to mess around with was fairly limited, but the gameplay was inspiring enough. More complexity, units and cards would do a lot to help Wartile become a memorable strategy experience. Either way, at the moment the game remains on Kickstarter with a little over a week left in its campaign and less than half of its funding completed, so whether or not it’ll make the cut and get the bucks is still up in the air.