At first glance, Planar Conquest seems to be little more than another 4X game set in a fantasy world. As if we don’t have enough of those already, the 4X genre is almost flooded with these sorts of games but who can really blame them? The genre and the setting work and Planar Conquest is proof of that!
So what is Planar conquest? Well, simply put it is another 4X fantasy game, with the same style of races; that being the vicious melee favouring orcs, the enslaving dark elves, the undead and of course the humans. Nothing too impressive here, each race has its own pros and cons: the orcs having powerful melee units but limited magic and the humans having a good amount of skill in everything but a slight lack in offensive spell casters. The world is randomly generated but that is what we have come to expect from these sorts of games nowadays. Mini-quests set at various locations and buildable armies that we can move around and establish new settlements with. The graphics are not as impressive as that of other 4x games admittedly such as Endless Legends and Stellaris, however, it doesn’t take away from the game too much, but it still leaves plenty to be desired.
So is there anything that sets this game apart from the rest?
Yes, a lot more than expected; but not in the way I expected but more on that later. Firstly you don’t just fight over a single world, you fight over multiple. When you generate the world you find that there are multiple options, including “Prime”, “Fire” and “water”, each of these worlds is described to be its own plane of existence, I suspect you spawn on a random plane however I have always found myself spawning on a prime plane if it is included in the generation. Each of these planes has its own bonuses and most of them have an abundance of a set rare resource upon them giving you a desire and reason to attempt to settle upon them. You can encounter nodes and gateways which allow you to travel between the planes and controlling these becomes very important late game as far as I can tell.
There is an abundance of small encounters around the worlds you spawn in, each plane also consists of its own unique locations, along with its own monsters that guard and protect the valuable treasure contained within them. Each of these locations contain a set diversity of treasures, for instance bandit camps contain either treasure or occasionally a prisoner's resource and of course they are guarded by human units or bandit units.
There are of course boss creatures that are found throughout the planes known as titans, however I myself have yet to encounter one. Something I find oddly confusing, despite having explored multiple world generations and planes. Perhaps I am just missing something?
So the bad? It is an improved iOS port, something that I first picked up on with a little internet digging. I believe this may be cause for the seemingly distinct and disturbing lack of animations that can be frequently spotted on some of the models, after all, I don’t think many humans can simply slide along the ground whilst remaining motionless and upright.
However the original iOS game screams warnings at me, the sheer amount of in app purchases available on the app-store give cause for concern about a possible DLC farm, It is entirely possible however that they haven’t learnt from their mistake given that the iOS version, when purchased and coupled with all DLC or the complete pack is more expensive than the PC version? That raises concern and worry. However, I will not review a game on might be, only what is and will be.
I can only recommend this to game to anyone that is obsessed with 4X games and is willing to put up with the flaws and bugs, the sorcerer customisation and leveling up is extremely satisfying as you can truly build your character in the way you want. But, there is a crushing limit on the amount of portraits, barely a handful infact.
But stay back for now! With the game itself playing like a beta with character animation bugs and a lack of features that they have stated in the game, for example, the “D20 OGL” combat which I have not seen or, if I have, it is no different to standard 4X combat. Poor graphics make the game seem like it has been directly pulled from IOS devices as well.
Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.
Could be a lot better, could be a lot worse! But it is still another iOS port, so don't get your hopes up, especially when the full iOS version is worth more than the PC version.