Steam Game Festival: Gladiator Guild Manager

I tried out one game on the first day of the current Steam Game Festival and then almost forgot about it again. Thankfully, Magi’s post was a good reminder. And he writes about a few games that currently offer demos. So head over there if you’re curious what he tried out. The Game Festival runs until October 13, so there’s still plenty of time to browse through the available demos!

I, on the other hand, got the feeling that I have already seen and played all the games that seemed interesting for me. Except for one: Gladiator Guild Manager. They launched a free prologue in August, so you can probably try it out even after the Game Festival ends. It is basically a rock – paper – scissors kind of game, but with more than just these three variations. In the beginning, I could buy a couple of fighters and there were only three or four kinds to choose from: an archer, a melee, a tank and later – after building the appropriate tower – a priest. There will be a lot more, though. Otherwise, it would be boring pretty quickly, I assume. In order to get special units, like the priest, you need to have the appropriate building that they require, but you also have limited building space. In other words, you need to specialize. In the end, I chose to also add a frost tower for a frost mage, but didn’t have space for a Hunter Cabin. So I had an archer, but no gun-wielding hunter. I figured having something with magic abilities would be a smarter way to go about it instead of having two classes with ranged physical abilities.

You can also buy items for your gladiators and increase their stats, health, defenses etc. Fighting and winning in the arena will give you more resources to construct more buildings, to get more gladiators and to buy more items. There is also a map that gradually opens up with more arenas to fight in. So far, it seems to be a fairly casual game. And I don’t mean that in a negative way! I installed the game and started playing. No having to go through a huge and long tutorial or immediately searching the internet for help in order to play the game. The features are easy to understand and so are the fighting mechanics. I don’t think it will be a game that I will play for hours every evening like I have been playing Crusader Kings III, but it is a fun game when you just want to play something quickly and get some entertainment out of it. I should probably also mention that I turned off permadeath for my gladiators. If they die during an arena, they are available again afterwards. It does still hinder my chances to win all the fights in that arena, though. But even if I lose a fight, I still get to take the rewards with me that I won during the previous ones. You can also choose the difficulty for each of the fights which changes the rewards that you can get. It helps, however, when you don’t have the ideal setup to defeat the opponents in the higher difficulty settings.

The game is currently in Beta for those who backed it on Kickstarter. I put it on my wishlist because I like what I am seeing at the moment and with more kinds of fighters later on (I only played it through the prologue, after all, and the game is still in development), it will probably be a lot more complex. I just like that the beginning is so easy to settle into the game and it seems to be a gradual comfortable learning curve. I also like the graphics a lot and the orcs playing “guitar” with their axes after they have won a fight!

Edit: Just after publishing this post, I found the Developers’ development plan which goes into detail about the game and which features are going to be in the game, which features are going to change etc. It is long and very detailed, but it does give you a really good idea on what to expect.

I am going to be taking another look at the strategy and simulation sections of the Game Festival. There will surely be at least one more game that I want to try! I would be surprised if there wasn’t with the amount of games that are offered. Maybe it would be better if there were more ways to filter or search for tags instead of Steam, for example, showing me games that belong to the category that are on my wishlist. If they are on my wishlist, I already know about them, after all.

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