Warhammer Quest is based on Games Workshop board game released in 1995. Warhammer Quest was popular well beyond the 1990s but I hardly know anybody who still plays it these days. Back in the days, one would crawl through dungeons as part of a fellowship made up of Games Workshop most cherished figurines. As in the original board game, Warhammer Quest focuses on turn based tactics and on accumulating treasures for character advancement. The classic bestiary of the Warhammer world (orcs, trolls, skavens, spiders, bats, undead and foppish lordlings) provide rich proving grounds for the budding wizards, marauders, barbarians, archmages and ogres.
Playability: Turn based clicking
Warhammer Quest is an unfussy role playing game with a surprising amount of variety. There are plenty of side quests and fool’s errands to obtain divine chalices, flaming swords and other wondrous staffs for your heroes. The inventory is nicely laid out between common, uncommon and rare items, but it is a little hard to see which characters can use what equipment. At casual difficulty, characters can’t die and will resurrect with a hit point on the next turn (you do lose the game if all characters die in the same turn). In hardcore mode, characters get back to the drawing board if they die. This makes Warhammer Quest handy for a broad range of players, from careless office workers to reclusive weekend introverts.
Annoyance: You miss!
It takes an incredibly large number of tries to land a blow with melee steel or to hit a target with range weapons. As your characters level up, they’ll make short sword work of the common goblins and bats, but will hardly dent the skin of tubby trolls. The progression of the main storyline will require patience to complete and does not accommodate skipping side quests as your party would quickly face more brutish foes.
Beauty: Bare bones and skeleton graphics
There is something inherently so sloooow in Warhammer’s Quest. Is it a motion spell? More likely a rather awkward animation of the character sprites (or lack of). The option to fast forward battles makes everything look comically jerky. Despite the epic symphonic music, dungeons are eerily quiet aside from the occasional grunt or gurgling last breath. The story telling does save the quest, and the game makes a surprisingly apt dungeon master for those willing to read a little.
The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: An enjoyable yarn despite pocket audio visuals 6/10
Warhammer Quest does not live up to its illustrious boardgame ancestors, but somehow manages to capture the quintessential mechanics of an old school dungeon crawl, grimy and gritty with enough skills, loot and equipment to keep parties adventuring just a few extra turns of easy gameplay. The bare bone graphics and near soundless explorations are more adapted to tablets than to high definition screens, but accessible gameplay combined with just enough variety will keep fortune-hunters coming.