11 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 8.8 hrs on record
Posted: Sep 9, 2018 @ 4:10am
Updated: Sep 9, 2018 @ 4:10am
Product received for free

Early Access Review
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Warsim: The Realm of Aslona is a text-based strategy simulation game in text-format and using ASCII art. The game is still in Early Access but has a decent of content and a lot of replay value. Of course a game of this appearance and play-style is not for everyone. You only have to look at some screenshots and the very short game trailer to decide whether or not you might want to skip it altogether.

For those of you who wish to stick with this game after having a glimpse of it, you will want to know that it is more of a simulation and management game, instead of a plain adventure type of game. (The other style that immediately comes to mind is SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition, which also happens to be very good as well. The games are fundamentally different, so it is not really a good idea to compare the two.

The game starts as you are crowned as the new rule in the Kingdom of Aslona and you have to do everything in your power to pursue various relations with your neighboring lands as well constant and random threats to your rule. The game is entirely turn-based as well, you can take your time to perform your ruling duties, as well as learn what to do in general.

This game is hardly easy to learn, it is a bit tedious in my opinion. Fortunately there were a whole slew of difficulty options to choose from. You can also choose the length of your game from a set of pre-determined lengths of time (in game years) or you can play on with unlimited time lapse. Each turn, you levy taxes, hire/buy soldiers, train your army, and they will do your bidding. There are different units that offer different degrees of fighting prowess. While this is an essential part of your need to continue your game, it is hardly scratching the surface.

You will have options to explore the lands around you. You will face rebel factions, bandit groups, slave traders, goblin tribes, etc., all with whom you can deal with amicably or harshly, and you will have to face the consequences of your actions. You will run into the common and supernatural; as the ruler, you are expected to deal with all things that come your way.

When you hold court, you will find an endless line of individuals seeking your counsel and guidance. Sometimes they may ask for reason or judgement, other times they may want money. If you like what you see and hear, you can hire some individuals. If you don't like them, you can just toss them all into the dungeon.

Your laws are fluid, because you are the ruler, and as such, you get to decide what happens in your kingdom. You can also make money through various nefarious ways as well, such as betting on arena battles, or cheating your subjects, etc. Or you can try to conquer your way through the land and increase your territory size, and in turn, gain more from taxes as well as military recruitments.

You will start each game with a few other independent nations as well, as as you develop and progress, so they will as well. Depending on the level of your spymaster, you also get glimpses of intel to various degrees after you see the progress in your kingdom. If you do well, you may conquer them, or make them your loyal subjects. Or you can engage in trade and follow other diplomatic paths.

You can always call your advisers to help, and they will offer various advice about where to proceed and you can contemplate any potential consequences. After all, the decision to act is still yours.

You can also build up parts of your kingdom so that you can be better equipped to deal with specific situations. All of the options that you would normally think of are there, you just have to spend time and gold to put it together.

There are also enough ASCII art to keep you from feeling entirely inside a text-only game. There are randomly generated images and faces that keep you looking.

Controls
Simple, controlled with a keyboard only. Number based choice commands available. So numbpad only is also an option.

Graphics and Music
Graphics are mostly texts, with some RNG images that are fairly frequently seen. Sometimes it may be a little difficult to make heads and tails of what you are looking at, but at least the text is there to help. There are even some minor animations that must have taken quite some time to put together. There are music and sound-effects toggles, along with an options to turn on 8-bit music tracks instead of the standard, all for creating an atmosphere that you want to have while playing the game.

Saving
You can save at any time through the menu. The game also has an auto-save function, so that you can load that auto-save file if you need to. This had been important before when the game had some instabilities, but most of this seems to have been sorted out.

Conclusion
Warsim: The Realm of Aslona is a good old-school text-based simulation/management RPG with quite a bit of content and a lot of replay value. There are numerous difficulty levels to choose from, so you can really hone your skills, pray to lady luck, and dive in the deep end if you chose to do so. Of course it is not for everyone, because there are people who cannot look past the simple ASCII art and a lot of text to read. But it is really worth your time and your money. For the asking price of 4.99 USD currently in Early Access, it is totally worth it.

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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