Developer: Xaviant Games
Released: 26th August 2014
Score: 5/9 Hammers
Lichdom: Battlemage (from here on called Battlemage, because why the hell wasn’t it?) launches entirely on its premise to “make the mage feel like a badass” which, frankly, doesn’t seem like it should need any help. Being the avatar of the obviously nerdy fantasy of “guy reads a lot of books, becomes god” might make him the focus of whispered gags between the fighter and the rogue, but it’s not like they’re going to muster the balls to say them out loud. Not if they value remaining invertebrates, that is.
Battlemage as a game is entirely focused on its combat, and thus on its crafting. You craft spells to throw them at your enemies, to make your enemies softer so they splat harder when you throw spells at them, or to keep them still so they’re easier to throw spells at. It’s a good system, in that it’s exactly as deep as it needs to be to provide a useful change of pace without requiring years of intensive study to get right. There’s a lot of math involved, meaning calling fire from the sky or transforming your enemies into hosts for swarms of locusts plays frighteningly similarly to filling a tax return, but it’s not hard to avoid all that once you know how it works. You’ll likely only end up crafting six or seven spells a level when you get access to the higher level gear and your old stuff stops disintegrating zombies like it did. Continue reading