It’s not often that you come across a game that puts together almost everything you’d want in a game, and do it pretty seamlessly; a beautiful world, great gameplay, a solid game idea and some intriguing battles. As rare as these games are, when they do come about, it’s easy to become glued to them. And that’s what happened with Wartile.

When the Pre-Alpha version of the game was announced, Michael Rud Jakobsen, Creative Director at developer Playwood Project said:

“We’ve been hard at work for the last two years, and now, we feel ready to reveal to the world Wartile!  We’re now looking towards Kickstarter to help secure the required funds we need to progress with the development of Wartile. We’ve released a tentative pre-alpha tease on Steam for you to play and familiarise yourself with our miniature universe and hope that you love it as much as we do.  We really look forward to hearing what you think in our campaign comments.  It’s only with your help that we can make Wartile a bigger and better game.”

Wartile Concept Art
Wartile Concept Art

After playing the Pre-Alpha version of the game, I can see why it’s taken two years in order to get Wartile to where it currently is; it’s as close to perfection as a Pre-Alpha version of a game can possibly get, and the fact that there’s a lot more content coming for the game is a welcome event. All the excitement I had while playing the game was only amplified when I re-read my recent interview with the developers. At the time, they said:

Wartile is still at an early stage and we expect a lot to change. First off people can expect a lot more content than we currently have in the Pre-Alpha Demo. We are currently only showing one real map in the Demo, but you can expect 10+ beautiful diorama battle boards, a number of smaller challenge boards as well as several multiplayer boards. In our creation process we iterate a lot and the final product will surely feel even better to play and look at even prettier. We will further more expand on the Viking figurines allowing you to set your War Band from a number of different Vikings as well as allowing players to play with the English soldiers from the Campaign in multiplayer.”

The game captures the tabletop feeling, while adding its own digital style, magic and humor. Tactics weigh heavily in the game, where a unique cooldown system adds the flavor of turn based games and gives you the time to outsmart, trap or even use Godly powers on your enemy. Despite being in Pre-Alpha, the game already has a pretty spectacular look, with the core gameplay mechanics and a Viking Class already in place.

Wartile Screenshot
Wartile Screenshot

Wartile was obviously heavily influenced by traditional tabletop games, and that influence really comes through in not only the art style, but also in the actual gameplay itself. Not only does the art style of each of the individual game boards really make it look like you’re playing on an actual game board in real life, but the core gameplay of Wartile makes it seems like the player isn’t actually playing a computer game, but it feels more like you’re sitting at a table with some friends and playing an actual board game.

In terms of scope, it’s fairly easy to see where developers Playwood Project are going with this Pre-Alpha version of the game; while the game currently has the bare bones of the game already there, Wartile can still be somewhat addictive. Once the remaining features of the game are introduced, I suspect that many players will lose countless hours in Wartile‘s world. Back when I spoke to Playwood Project, they were excited about introducing different cultures into the game, meaning that the lone Viking Class that the Pre-Alpha Wartile has will have a lot more company once they’re introduced. After playing through the current version of the game, I can now see why they’re excited.

If there’s anything wrong with Wartile as it is, it can be pretty much down to the fact that the game is currently still in development. For example, the biggest issue I had with the game, if you can even call it an issue, is the fact that there is only one class available to play as at the moment; once I had finished that campaign, I still didn’t want to put down the controller and wanted to play as another class. However, when I last spoke with Playwood Project, they mentioned that a number of different cultures will be available once the full game has been released, and each of these classes will have their own individual campaign.

Wartile Concept Art
Wartile Concept Art

At the time, they said:

“The Viking Campaign is the first playable campaign we introduce. After that we would like to follow up with an English single player campaign. And without revealing to much of the stretch goals from the Kickstarter we are launching let’s say it could be fun to make something with Templar Knights and Crusaders, or Spartan warriors during the Persian conquest or other fascinating historical eras and mythologies.”

Looking back on those words now, I can’t help but feel some form of excitement run through my body, and the only thing that’s going through my mind is: Can’t the full game be developed and released already? Obviously, going into a Pre-Alpha version of any game, you’re not expecting too much content, but after playing and re-playing the game for several hours over the past week, I keep asking myself ‘Is this all there is?’ And don’t get me wrong on that; I don’t mean any kind of negative feelings with that statement. Putting it simply, any time I put down the controller, the same thought kept going through my head: Can’t I have just a little bit more of this game to play through?

With the games release another while a way, it looks like I’ll have to scratch my itch by re-playing the Pre-Alpha version of the game until its full release. While the full version of the game will be damn entertaining, I’d highly recommend you skip the Pre-Alpha version of Wartile and wait until the full release; it’ll save you the frustration of not having the full game to keep you occupied. All in all, Playwood Project is heading in the right direction as far as creating an amazing game is concerned.