Braveland is an amazing little strategy game from iOS in which you control your army of peasants, knights and archers in a quest to defeat an evil king. You also have a hero with stats and equipment. I really enjoyed that game and I wish there was more of it. Actually, it ends quite abruptly by saying “END OF BOOK ONE” and then you can’t continue to a theoretical book two, what’s up with that?
You wander around on a map, getting in fights and recruiting new members to your army. You also go to shops, get new spells and stat boosts from relics scattered here and there. The map is pretty linear, but you have quasi-sidequests at almost each step of the way, which I liked. I also liked the way they surface the strength of your enemies - an icon above their head. So you know more or less which foes to tackle first. The only problem I had with the map was that if you wanted to go back and recruit more troops, or buy things from a shop you skipped, you have to wait for your character to walk all the way there. Warping wouldn’t have been a bad idea.
You have a few stats (attack, defense, magic defense and fury) and you can place points into them as you level up. You can also buy gear to increase some stats and give you other passive bonuses. I never lacked the gold to buy the things I wanted - or I fought a battle or two for it - and the stats have some impact on the way your army fight, however, I wish I could’ve compared my gear right there, in the shopping interface, without having to go back to my character sheet, look at my stuff, compare it mentally, and then decide.
The way your army works is much like Heroes of Might and Magic, you’ll have 40 peasants or so stacked as one unit, a bunch of knights on the same square, and so forth. As you attack enemies, they lose in numbers, which reduces their own damaging strength. The units you lose, however, are not lost forever. After the battle is won, the cost of resurrecting your units is taken right then and you don’t have to walk all over the map to hire healers to replace the ones that you’ve lost, and I really like that.
As for the battle system itself, you move your units following a set initiative order, attacking enemies and using special skills. You can also defend and wait, but I’ve rarely used these commands. A thing I dislike is the lack of information on the battlefield, you can hold to show temporarily the initiative order and the health bars of units, but I wish I could see all the numbers all the time. See how much damage I would deal before attacking, etc. You also get ‘fury’ power as your units take damage, allowing you to cast spells acquired along the way. Another thing more to the fault of the platform was the lack of responsiveness on some taps sometimes. Moving units at the wrong place or not using a skill when I had clearly pressed the button.
Even if all the spells weren’t used during my run of the game (I used fire arrow and then rain of fire) they allow for some interesting strategies. In any case, I really enjoyed my time with Braveland, finishing it as fast as I could, fighting my way through bandits and evil blacksmiths with my team of smiling murderous peasants.