When a midcore RPG turns up bearing the logo of one of the most important RPG franchises in history, you can bet we're going to sit up and pay attention. Why? Because Dungeons & Dragons is amazing, and we're a mobile gaming site. Which brings us to Warriors of Waterdeep.
Unlike the already-out-there Lords of Waterdeep, this one isn't a board game adaptation - it's a brand new experience set in one of the most popular fantasy settings ever created. But is it actually any good? Well, it has its moments, but there are black spots along the way that you should consider before you get too deep into the experience.
Warriors wahey?Anyone who's played a mobile RPG in the last couple of years is going to understand what's going on here. You've got a team of up to four adventurers, and you need to take out all the foes that the game throws at you. Levels are split up into single-screen chunks that play out on little grids.
So you might find yourself fighting a couple of skeletons, before moving on to hack up some goblins. And then when you've finished them off the third room will contain a giant boss. It's not the most original idea, but it's implemented well here, and the game adds little touches as nods to its inspiration.
There are some moves that have dice rolls attached to them - if they roll in your favour you'll get an extra boost to your attack. Different characters have different skills, as you'd expect, and there's a rock-paper-scissors-style attack wheel that means you'll do more damage to certain enemies - and they'll do more damage to you.
While the battles are all basically the same here, there are a couple of different modes to keep things interesting - your standard campaign, and then a challenge mode that offers tougher fights and bigger rewards. There's also a pretty decent multiplayer component.
When you're playing against other people, it's a straight fight to the death. You roll for initiative in another wink to D&D, then have a set amount of time to unleash your attacks. It's a clever idea that makes sure the turn-based battles don't descend into waiting games - a fight is usually over in a couple of minutes at most.
The game needs an internet connection to work, even in single player, which can be really annoying. I've been sat using WiFi and the game has taken an age to register a move, even when I haven't been playing against real people.
Warriors okayWarriors of Waterdeep does enough with its license that it has the feel, at the very least, of D&D. If you're expecting a full-fledged version of the tabletop game, then you're going to be very disappointed - this is a free to play, simple RPG that's dressed up in the trappings of its inspiration.
It's not a bad game, though, and it makes sense that this is an angle that Wizards of the Coast want to explore. But it's a little bit wobbly here and there, and there's a very good chance it's going to put a lot of people off with the mechanics it uses.
Warriors of Waterdeep is worth checking out - among this sort of game it's got some of the best ideas we've seen - but keep your expectations reasonably low. There's fun to be had here, but it's unlikely we're going to be talking about how much fun it is in 45 years time.