This map appears to be a first effort, or something that was quickly thrown together.
Playability = 2
It runs. I didn't come across any bugs. Can't say much more for it than that.
Balance = 1
There is only one computer opponent who is (1) fixed on Squire level, (2) trapped on an island, (3) does absolutely nothing the whole game except wait for you to come for him. The computer presents [i]absolutely[/i] no challenge. There is no challenge at all in this map. You just travel up and down boring and bland tunnels until you get attacked out of the darkness by independents.
Creativity = 1
The story premise is borrowed. Which is fine (some very good maps have borrowed premises, like some Tolkien and D&D), if you do something with it. This map doesn't. The terrain, both layout and doodads, lacks any creativity. There are hardly any text bubbles (4, I believe, and they aren't very enlightening or exciting).
Map Design = 1
If I could give this area a "0" I would. This map had no pretty visuals, and the layout was very poor. It took me about 150 turns to beat the map, about 120 of which were simply navigating my units up and down bland, winding tunnels (the very annoying kind that double back on themselves to maximize the distance you have to travel).
Story/Instructions = 1
The story is basically that Arthur needs to find Excalibur and slay Merlin (why? never explained). Actually, by turn 30 Arthur could have his Air Galleys slay Merlin and his whole bleeding stack (who very foolishly have extrememly poor defense against air attack), but to be a chum (grumble, grumble), I played the whole thing through looking for Excalibur. And finally found it when my king was level 25 with stats maxed out and of course Excalibur adds 10 to just about every stat. Thanks.
Poor map. Don't get it unless you've already watched the paint dry on your computer room.
Posted on 08/12/01 @ 12:00 AM
The tunnel areas could do with more varied encounters. I had expected that they would be filled with lethal entities as I went down to the caves to search for Excalibur. Backtracking through the tunnels is actually rather dull and would have been better if there was a teleport at the dead ends to make for quick return to the starting point. I believe that this is the one thing that is going to make people hesitate to play on.
It does seem that the Lizards are very active on this map. You're likely to see more action provided you don't make peace with them when they offer it.
Stories are not always determined by text bubbles nor is it necessary to have very long introductions. Story is determined by the number of interesting encounters on the map, interactions/battles with other players AI or Human, and how the map design reflects the scenes and the affected landscape. In this map, there doesn't seem to be very many interesting encounters. There were a couple of hard ones with L3 and L4 units, but they are neither varied nor effectively placed.
Balance is not a true factor in this game because this is a single player only map. What is important that it is playable, winnable and the opponent is formidable and challanging. But this map is not really challanging as the hero becomes very powerful by the time he gets to leaders with or without Excalibur. And he can literally walk over mountains and on water if he chooses to (through advancement of levels).