Friday, March 2, 2012

'Call of Cthulu' Review

Call of Cthulu is a H.P. Lovecraft inspired turn-based strategy game which thrusts you into the untold story of World War I. Not to spoil the story too much, you play on the side of the Allies, alongside such characters as Professor Brightmeer, Sid Brown, and several others, to take out the cultists leading the German army. The gameplay is based on Call of Cthulu RPG, and while the game is heavily story-based, it feels much more like a normal Turn Based Strategy game than an RPG.

iPhone Screenshot 1

Controls/Interface: 3.5/5

For a Turn Based Strategy game to work, it has to have quality controls and a workable interface. In 'Call of Cthulu', the controls work solidly, though they feel somewhat unintuitive at times. To move your character, you tap on them and then tap the place you want to go. Attacking requires you to select your character then tap and hold on the enemy you want to shoot at. These mechanics work fairly well, though will occasionally not do exactly what you to (i.e. it will infrequently take several tries for a tap to be recognized). One minor annoyance with the mechanics is that you can't move around or select anything else while your character is in motion; you have to wait for the character to get all the way there and stop to select another character. This is only really annoying when you have to move your characters over a longer distance. The only glaring problem with the controls, however, is that when you accidentally make a mistake or realize you went too far, there's no undo button available. Any minor control pains and nuances could be heavily alleviated and eased with this addition. Especially with the importance of action points, even the smallest mistake can feel brutal. Other than that fact, the controls usually work very well and feel solid enough. There are also several options like rotating the field of play that can make the game feel more intuitive. The interface feels fairly good as well, albeit a little bit scary to inexperienced players. Especially on the character screen, the sheer number of skills and numbers can leave the player confused and uncertain of what to do. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing, as most of the skills are easy to understand, albeit a bit difficult to interpret their usage in-game. Though they work decently for the game, the controls and interface still have some room for improvement.
iPhone Screenshot 2

Graphics/Music: 4/5

The graphics in the game look fairly nice. However at times, the graphics do appear a little on the blurry side; even on retina-enabled devices they don't look perfect. However, they do get the job accomplished and feel particularly fitting for the game. Some graphical effects like smoke and twitching makes the game feel more vivid and real, even at times when the game is stalled. The music and sound effects fit the game very nicely as well. The music feels very ghostly and somewhat sinister, with thunder and thumps in the background. Sound effects are as they'd be expected to be, with nothing really out of the ordinary. The music to the game leaves little to be desired, but the graphics do have a small margin for improvement.

iPhone Screenshot 3

Gameplay/Story/Extras: 4.5/5

In short, the game is fairly fun and enjoyable. It's very satisfying when you hit an enemy, and the idea of accuracy and missing makes the game feel a good deal more fresh and different. It also makes the game much more exciting and thrilling, keeping you on your toes throughout the game. Another nifty trick is the speed-up button, which allows you to quickly speed through movements and enemy turns. The storyline also feels exciting and interesting. To those that hate RPGs, its not overbearing, but to those that do it provides an alternate approach to the First World War. This whole idea is carried out very nicely throughout the course of the game. While the game plays much like other turn-based-strategy games, it brings enough new to the table to make it feel both fun and unique.

Overall: 4/5

'Call of Cthulu' provides a solid and enjoyable TBS experience. For any fans of strategy games, it's a nifty addition to one's collection. However, frustration will be multiplied for those that are very inexperienced in the genre or dislike it altogether. However, for what it does, Call of Cthulu is a very enjoyable and fairly unique approach to the genre.


Post a Comment