Powargrid PC Review With Live Stream
Gameplay very well tested
The tide of battle can be felt
Lack of animation
Peculiar Performance Puzzler
Strategy games as a whole are sort of a niche area, and while there are some that break the mold, they never really seem to have the mass appeal that less complicated games have. But being the chess lover that I am, I was delighted to see a return to this style in Powargrid.
Watch my stream of Powargrid here:
While strategy and absurdist humor usually don’t go hand in hand, it seems to have found a home here. The campaign mode is actually quite funny as you play as one colored blob trying to take out the evil regime of other brightly colored blobs. What seems so stupid on paper, actually belies an incredibly well thought out battle system with clear thought put into the game mechanics. Each turn seems so easy at first, and since there are only a few types of buildings to make it can come off as simple but nothing could be further from the truth.
In every good strategy game, there are phases to the entire battle, and it’s a slow building up of intensity that leads to a knock down drag out war of intellect in the end. In this game I can feel the change in tone of the battle from beginning to midway to the end game very clearly and while it’s not exactly a thriller from moment to moment, a real feeling of dread or victory does come with it. Having to gain ground, where to build supplies, or how best to attack as many enemies as possible has you feeling like a real enemy commander out for blood. All of this, from some brightly colored blobs trying to kill each other.
While the battle system is very well tested, the major downside is the looks. The backgrounds and small models they use look like they are form the mid-90s strategy games I played as a kid, and I’m certainly not a kid anymore and its just unacceptable. I’m not saying that it has to be a 4K perfectly rendered piece of art, and there are plenty of great games with little to no graphics, but the half haphazard attempt at this somehow makes the whole product worse and takes away from the great gameplay.
Powargrid is an homage to games long past, and a decent attempt to bring them back into the fold. It’s fairly priced (currently $10) and gives a lot of bang for the buck as it has online play and the AI is incredibly difficult when it wants to be. If you love to your mind to outwit your opponents, then this is the game for you. Just don’t stare at it too closely.