All well and good, but you need an income stream in order to place flags with. The clever part here is that your little kingdom can build a market and a magic bazaar and a blacksmith and other economic buildings. The heroes stop off at these places to buy stuff like magic swords and better armor. When they do, you levy a tax on the transaction. This tax goes into your treasury, which can then be used to pay for flags. You end up with a tiny little virtuous circle: heroes get bounties for flags which they spend in your shops and the resulting tax pays for more flags.
There are a few new buildings, some new heroes and equipment, but they slide easily into the existing framework. Nothing much is really all that new. That is not so bad, however. The original framework had its strong points and this expansion knows enough not to break anything. If you liked the original system you will like this expansion.
On the flip side, this game is no more accessible than the original. If you didn't like the original (and it had its weak points as well as strong) this is not the expansion that will make you change your mind. If anything the difficulty starts high and gets higher. This is an interesting choice for a game that already had problems with its difficulty curve. The forum is already starting to see posts asking for help with specific missions.
Some of the most irritating features have been kept. The rat-spewing sewers, in particular, are back. They continue to sabotage your city while your heroes are out killing monsters. This is a particularly effective way to remove player attention from the interesting part in order to do some busywork. It must have been easier to leave them in instead of balancing the missions.
Also, there are still no walls. The game has a relentless need to not let the player catch a breath. It is exhilarating if you like that sort of thing, exasperating if not.
Even with its faults it is hard to stay mad at a game with such a good sense of humor. Your land is colorful and happy-looking and so are your peasants. The heroes have their hearts in the right place (generally). It is a hoot to listen to your minions provide their take on the situation, especially when the situation is grim (“A little help here!”, “ I can't do this all by myself!”). The overall mood as conveyed through the interface is “Let's have fun with a fantasy RTS!”.
So what can a reviewer say about an expansion pack that is basically a bunch of new missions and some new stuff, but is otherwise very similar to the original game? If you like the original, this would be a good expansion to pick up. If not, this won't change your mind.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
This expansion provides a few new missions, units and weapons. For 15 bucks this is a good buy for fans of the original.
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