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Forged Fantasy – Crafted From An All Too Familiar Mold

A sequel, spiritual successor or otherwise, should offer something fresh.

Just weeks ago, we named Hothead Games’ Hero Hunters as one of the best games of 2018. It’s a spectacular near-future blend of deck building, hero shooter mechanics, and on-rails action. Today, we’re talking about Hothead Games’ Forged Fantasy, a steampunk fantasy blend of deck building, hero shooter mechanics, and on-rails action. If that sounds at all familiar, you’re not wrong. The design, pacing, controls, levels, progression system, multiplayer – even the campaign structure, down to the point that in both games you unlock a green crossbow archer as the first new addition to your team.

What happened here? I can understand iterating on a familiar formula, but the additions, if you can call them that, to the Hero Hunters framework seem to actually take away more than they add. Your starting characters even have the same abilities, though the cover-based shooting aspect seems to have been made easier. So much easier, in fact, that there there’s now a handy auto-play option for if you want to just not play the game at all.

This difficulty shift at least feels apt, given that can also be said for the new melee hero class that you can’t really control beyond just tapping to slash orcs with your sword, which isn’t that all engaging. Certainly there’s a new art aesthetic and soundtrack. There’s still no consistent voice acting for the story campaign, which is something I’d have thought might have been given more of a budget if everything else was so much the same, but no such luck.

It’s a struggle to figure why this is its own standalone game, rather than an expansion pack to Hero Hunters. Fans who have been away grinding in the original are basically setting themselves up for the exact same mountain to climb, with no real surprises in store and arguably less content, at least for the moment. It’s not that Forged Fantasy is a bad game, but by offering nothing substantively new, it basically bets its entire existence on a reskin and some token changes that don’t really evolve anything. The fact you can actually engage less with the core systems and easily clear through whole levels is concerning in of itself. An easy difficulty setting would be one thing, but all of this is built into the game and actively encouraged.

The fact you can actually engage less with the core systems and easily clear through whole levels is concerning in of itself.

A sequel, spiritual successor or otherwise, should offer something fresh. Even Angry Birds shook things up with new modifiers and sub-systems for its army of spin-off games. Forged Fantasy only has the ability to make your game easier and less interactive. It’s basically the same game from before, with all the PvE and PvP elements one would expect. I can’t say you shouldn’t be playing Forged Fantasy, but I also struggle to find a reason to advise it over its more engaging sibling. It’s not even been a full year since Hero Hunters released, I can’t believe fans are already bored.

What happened here?

Forged Fantasy may be perfectly serviceable, but that’s about all that can be said. It’s a good template, and if you prefer a fantasy skin to cartoonish futuristic warfare, maybe you’ll find your fun here. Everyone who tuned in last time though, has already seen this song and dance number.

Our Rating

Pros Cons
It’s still the fun game you know from before. It’s still the same game you know from before
Rating
7/10

Forged Fantasy (Free+, App Store) →


Forged Fantasy (Free+, Google Play) →

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