Games Worksop is is one of the most well known game studios of all time. In Junior High I spent hours carefully painting dozen of plastic miniatures like Orks and Wood-elves. With the recent gold-rush for Games Workshop licenses, there are now or will soon be several of their classic titles available on various platforms, such as Talisman and Space Hulk. Rodeo Games, the makers of the Hunters ($1.99) series have brought us Warhammer Quest ($2.99), a dungeon crawling romp through the Warhammer fantasy universe. This reworking of the classic board game harkens back to its roots while presenting an excellent video game experience.
The world of Warhammer Quest is a dark place. A few settlements dot the land but they are surrounded by wilds overrun with Orks, Goblins, Trolls, and other threats. Taking on the role of a party of four adventurers, you will journey the land seeking quests, fame, and fortune. Your basic team will consist of a human Barbarian, a Dwarf Iron-breaker, a Human Wizard, and a Elf Waywatcher. Each party member plays differently with their own fighting style and special abilities. Also available (via in-app purchase) are additional characters such as the Troll Hunter and the Warrior Priest.
The game is divided into several towns, each acting as a hub for quests. As you visit a new location you are treated to a cool cut-scene depicting the village literally emerging from a book. Within each you can visit the market (to buy and sell inventory items), train your warriors, and more. Each village has one or more main quests (that drive the game towards its conclusion) and will randomly generate a host of optional quests. As you travel around the land you will also encounter random events that can benefit or hurt your party. The main quests feature story segments and interesting situations. The random quests have different goals such as bounties, rare items, and other benefits. This system appears to allow for almost endless gameplay as you take on quest after quest.
Below the surface level is the main dungeon crawling gameplay. You guide your party through, turn by turn and room by room. As you enter a new room there is a chance that there will be monsters waiting for you. You will face off against spiders, rats, goblins, orcs, trolls and more as you explore. Combat is turn based with your warriors having various numbers of melee and ranged attacks. It is quick and dirty with many engagements taking only a few turns. The tile sets of each dungeon are diverse and randomized. In each room the level of detail is impressive. This same quality is found in the hero and monster models which animate as you move and attack, as well as die quite fantastically. The easy controls and the surprises at every corner will make you want to delve in over and over.
Sadly, there are a few flies in this ointment. One point of debate is the inclusion of some IAPs. Gold is an important resource in the game as it is needed for both new items and leveling. You will earn some through the game and can also pay for it if you prefer. The issue comes when certain random events can take large amounts of your gold. This seems like a conflict of interest to me. While other purchases make sense in terms of basic expansions, this one just seems off. It is a strange choice in an otherwise excellent game.