When games like Heroes of Might & Magic, Civilization and Crusader Kings 2 are mentioned as inspirations, I’m all ears. That’s precisely the case of Legends of Callasia – a turn-based conquest strategy game with a unique card game twist that just popped up on Kickstarter.
Initially, the project was named Legends of Fire & Steel and was on Kickstarter earlier this year, falling short of funding and being cancelled on July 16 with only $3,401 accumulated out of $50,000. Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the required sum now appears to be halved, with this pretty much being the only big difference between the two campaigns apart from the obvious conceptual progress that’s been made.
A short post-mortem was also written by developers Boomzap Entertainment after the project’s failure, stating that a closed beta would be rolled out to backers (both existing and new ones that pledge at least $1) at some point in time during August. However, it seems that the plan changed into its current form – free access for everyone, no matter if you’ve pledged anything – and I believe this to be for the best. We even wrote about it.
So what we now have is a much better looking game with an open multiplayer beta and a far better name. I mean come on, “Callasia” beats “Fire & Steel” any day!
Anyhow, I played the provided build for a while. It was pretty damn fun actually. After going through a (not so) short tutorial, you get to delve into 2, 3, 4, or 5 player maps where turns are taken simultaneously and the overarching goal is to conquer every city/gain the most victory points. As such, each force owns a main city which can spawn up to 4 heroes, with those being the only controllable units and mainly used for capturing land, building structures and fighting enemy heroes. Sadly, battles are always automated, but it seems that the strategic element falls on gauging your opponent’s forces and whether you can take them on.
Then there’s also the element of cards which can be casted on battlefields, granting various buffs/debuffs and generally being a very refreshing mechanic to be seen. In overview, gameplay that’s presented is surprisingly fast and twitchy. Because heroes only have one action available per turn, the general pace also ends up being very rapid and each session can get resolved in a manner of a few minutes. Of course, there isn’t a whole lot of content as of now, but the building blocks seem to be very solid.
At the same time though, it must be noted that Boomzap Entertainment mainly develops mobile games, and with Legends of Callasia being made both for PC and Tablet there is that well-known, distinct short-coming of buttons appearing bigger than they should be. Perhaps this won’t appeal that much to hardcore fans of conquest-styled games, as the inspirations mentioned earlier do have much more to offer. But as a more casual experience there’s a lot of potential, especially when played on a tablet.
Legends of Callasia is currently on Steam Greenlight, so go on and give it an upvote if you fancy what you’ve seen. As for the Kickstarter campaign, it’s already accumulated over $3,000 out of the required $25,000.
Track the progress of the Legends of Callasia Kickstarter in our Campaign Calendar.