(PAX West 2017) Driftland: The Magic Revival

In the realm 4X strategy games, Driftland: The Magic Revival (Driftland from here on) tries to set itself apart by having you pull the game together yourself. Driftland starts you off as a very powerful mage. You have the ability to drag the floating pieces of your shattered world together and place them where you want to (all while in the confines of your castle). Presumably, you’ll put them where they are the most befitting of your kingdom, but then there’s me who just dragged them in and decided that snug was the best location. I’m sure there’s a deeper strategy element than I deployed, but I’ll save that for a proper play-through.

In Driftland, you’ll need to do the typical resource gathering. You’ll want to build up your food stores and materials as well so you can construct newer buildings and get more citizens to come and grow your kingdom. Upgrades and the like are a no-brainer. The one thing that you’ll have to keep an eye out for are your enemies. You can’t have a 4X game without someone else trying to come in and wreck or steal your stuff. You’ll be going on the offensive soon enough. One of the methods (I’m assuming there’s more) to head out is to use these creepy eye things to scout areas you can’t see and then build a magical gate to a new plot of land. Send your soldiers through and start breaking bridges. That is apparently what holds them into the enemies kingdom. Coincidentally, that probably means I’ll want to build my bridges out of something stronger than wood, maybe unobtainium.

One of the interesting features is how the friendly units work. In all that I did in the game, I don’t think I ever really controlled the units individually much that I can remember. If you discover treasure, you’d have some people automatically go out and pick it up. If it is guarded then your soldiers will go and fight. Might that get me into trouble later? It’s very possible knowing my sometimes reckless play style. You will control a lot of things in the game, as an example: where to build your buildings or whether to tame certain animals like gryphins (after you punched them in the face enough). Once my gryphin rider was up and flying, he was the first into battle. I had to learn to heal him quickly. Driftland: The Magic Revival is a fantastic spin on the 4X genre and I enjoyed my time playing once I stopped fumbling about with the controls. I look forward to not using diplomacy here sometime in the future.

Further Reading on Driftland: The Magic Revival: Facebook / Official Page / Twitter

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