Braveland is a turn-based strategy game created by fledgling software developer Tortuga Team. The iOS version is presently available to buy off the Apps Store for around two pounds and I believe that a PC edition can be downloaded from Steam for a similar price. Braveland is possibly named after the motion picture Braveheart, given that the game’s protagonist resembles Mel Gibson portraying William Wallace. Instead of disliking those of the Jewish faith, Braveland’s hero instead harbours an intense dislike for bandits, which is understandable given that looters have previously raided his village. Players are tasked with guiding the haggis-loving hero on his quest to bring the murderous criminals, who attacked his home, to justice.
When the game begins players are presented with a view of the world map, which can be traversed by tapping on your desired destination. Most of the time you’ll be traveling down a linear path, battling any enemies blocking the road, but occasionally it is possible to take a short detour. The diversions normally lead to settlements, where you can purchase equipment and hire troops, or statues that will confer the hero with stat boosts. Who knew that marvelling at sculptures could be so beneficial? Based on all the pigeons I see defecating on statue heads, I always presumed that stone representations of man were nothing more than glorified avian toilets.
The combat system reminds me of the King’s Bounty series, which is by no means a bad thing given that those particular games are lots of fun. Conflicts start with both forces positioned on opposite sides of a battlefield that has been broken up into hexagonal grids. The player and AI commander take it in turns to move their units until one of the factions has been decimated. The troops at your disposal include spell casters, peasants brandishing pitchforks, armoured knights and archers who look like they have just emerged from a Robin Hood fancy dress party. Whenever one of your soldiers suffers harm your fury meter builds up, which is used to power special abilities that can turn the tide of battle.
My rating for Braveland is three and a half stars. It’s an ideal purchase for anyone seeking a fun and relaxing strategy game. Hardcore generals need not apply though, as it is clear that Tortuga Team designed Braveland with casual players in mind. The difficulty is seldom challenging, battles can be completed in a few minutes, the script is peppered with comical lines and the visuals are cartoony in nature. Overall I had a good time playing through the campaign for the five hours it lasted me. That might not sound like a lot of gameplay for your buck, but I wouldn’t penalise the title for its duration given that it only costs two quid. That’s roughly the price of a haggis, which I am sure a seasoned Scottish warrior could consume in well under three hundred minutes.