More Warhammer Quest 2017 than Warhammer Quest 2, which is a pretty good thing, actually.
Warhammer Quest 2 is the follow-up to the excellent and appropriately named Warhammer Quest. The premise and setting will feel VERY familiar to fantasy role-playing gamers (classic fantasy races banding together in a quest to destroy another set of classically evil fantasy races intent on taking over the world [twirls mustache]). However, before you breathe a heavy sigh and roll your eyes, simply renaming every race would only add needless confusion because you would still likely end up with the same set of tried and true, carefully balanced strengths and weakness designed to force you to strategize and find synergy within a diverse party.
Gameplay is divided into two parts: The overland map where you move from place-to-place as well as interact with vendors and quest-givers, and the dungeons where tactical combat occurs. The initial purchase comes with a 10-part story with both main and side-quests in each part. There are in-app purchases available, some add persistent content and some consist of the in-game currency, which can be used for early unlocks and to make the game a bit easier. This is pretty standard practice these days, and it generally doesn't bother me as long as none of these purchases are mandatory to enjoy a game I have already bought outright. In the case of Warhammer Quest 2, I'm happy to report that there is enough content to justify the initial purchase, and that I encountered no paywall as I played. With the original Warhammer Quest, I incrementally spent close to $20 on in-game content, and I expect it will be the same with WHQ2. The meat and potatoes of the game occur in the dungeons. Once you enter, you begin moving your party members individually. Each character has a certain number of action points, which are represented by a semi-circle of dots. These points will be consumed as you move, attack, cast spells, etc. If you don't pay attention to them, you can find yourself overextended and vulnerable because you don't have enough points to attack after advancing. Successful players will use terrain to their advantage (cover, choke-points, etc), and effectively position their party members according to their abilities (melee up front, ranged in back). Enemies that are in range of attack will be highlighted in red. It's all very intuitive, and the highly tactical gameplay pulls you right into the game from the get-go (yes, it's fun right away!). In an aesthetic departure from the original, loot takes the form of trading cards rather than physical inventory items. This may be off-putting to some, but it doesn't change gameplay at all.
Visually, Warhammer Quest 2, looks spectacular on my iPhone X. Offering full support for the device's edge-to-edge display, gameplay never feels cramped, and the saturated color palette looks almost wet on its OLED display. The parallax scrolling as you pass over deep crevasses is a nice touch, and further adds to the immersion. Lastly, Perchang has done an excellent job of hiding the game's interface. You can certainly get to everything you need, but it's all very well hidden. The game's audio is mostly forgettable, however, being limited to various combat noises and a soundtrack.
If you recall, I previously alluded to the fact that WHQ2 felt like more of an update to the original than an entirely new game, and Perchang has taken a bit of heat in the App Store reviews for this. Complaints have also been leveled against it for the length of the campaign, as well as the recycling of dungeon tiles and features. What folks seem to have forgotten en masse is that Warhammer Quest is an adaptation of a tabletop game. Reinventing gameplay would certainly result in something new, but it would no longer be Warhammer Quest. Also, like a boardgame, it is intended to be replayed - a lot! Complaining about its length is like complaining that Scrabble games don't take longer. Lastly, the digital version mirrors the physical game where dungeons are created from a pile of randomly assembled cardboard tiles so the terrain and features are going to look pretty similar as you play. There have, however, been legitimate complaints of bugs and instability. Since its release on October 18, there have been four updates (so far) in an effort to address these issues. It's fair to say that they released their game a bit early, but it's also fair to acknowledge that they seem to be doing their best to address the game's issues. Although I don't doubt that these bugs exist(ed), I can honestly tell you that I have so far encountered none of them on my iPhone X. I would, however, like to see the pathfinding updated so my party members don't walk through flaming tiles.
Fans of tabletop games, role-playing games, and tactical turn-based games are going to be very happy with Warhammer Quest 2 (assuming the various bugs are ironed-out). There's an endless amount of replayable content here, and if you pony up for the extra campaign, you will have twice the endless fun.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4.5 - Fantastic for a procedurally generated tile-based game. Sound: - 3 Decent soundtrack and functional sound effects. Controls: - 5 - Extremely intuitive party management. Gameplay: - 5 - I love Warhammer Quest and am thrilled to have it updated for modern devices.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Plan your moves and don't overextend into uncharted territory. Utilize cover. Don't rush into combat - make them come to you. Use ranged units to take out ranged units and anything carrying a torch. Don't walk through flaming tiles!