Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower Mobile Game Review
Dare you enter the lair of the Gaunt Summoner?
Today sees the launch of the latest Warhammer game, and we have seen a fair few over the years. This one focuses on the Age of Sigmar universe.
This time out it is a mobile experience, with videogame studio Perchang at the helm. Drawing the story, characters and location from the Warhammer boxed game Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower, we have been granted access to a pre-release build in order to delve into the lair of the Gaunt Summoner and bring you this review!
Rather watch the review? Check it out below! Alternatively scroll past it and read on.
Who are Perchang?
Perchang are a mobile game studio who launched back in 2016. Importantly in the case of Silver Tower, they were also responsible for the hit mobile game Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times.
Silver Tower builds on the framework built during the development of The End Times, giving the title a solid foundation.
Matt interviewed Ben Murch, Perchang’s Creative Director, back in February of this year when the game was announced to the world. You can check that interview out here.
What’s the Score with the Silver Tower?
Back in 2016 Games Workshop announced they would be bringing back the board game series called ‘Warhammer Quest’. 2-4 players would choose a hero and battle through a more traditional style RPG rather than a head to head battle which is what Warhammer is primarily known for.
The first title for the return of Warhammer Quest was Silver Tower, a mysterious labyrinth filled with Tzeentch magic and enemies, accumulating a final showdown, with the Gaunt Summoner himself. Throughout the game your heroes would find upgrades to help them to fight an ever increasing number of enemies.
Silver Tower is a free to play, turn-based strategy game, where you, the player, has to negotiate around a number of quests, with different victory conditions. The camera is set to an isometric point of view, with the ability to zoom in and out of the game.
The turn based mechanics utilize a grid based movement and targeting system, with each of your heroes having two available actions per turn. Once all three of your heroes have completed their actions you then end the turn. The enemies, controlled by the A.I, will then proceed with their actions, whether that be moving around the map or attacking you.
By selecting a hero you can view how far they can move. The grids in blue take one action to complete, whilst those in yellow take both available actions. You can select an enemy to see how far they can move to, which becomes essential as you progress through the levels and the difficulty starts to ramp up. This is most definitely a game that rewards thought, in particular again as the difficulty increases.
Enemies in range will appear under a red grid when your hero is selected. One attack is one action, however you do have the chance to score a Critical hit, and at times your character may proc into a ‘Death Blow’ giving you free attacks.
The enemies also have two actions, and from the many hours I’ve played of this game so far, I’ve been impressed with how they react. Acolytes armed with magic will keep their distance and fling bolts of fiery doom at your poor heroes, whilst those armed with close combat attacks will try to close the distance as quickly as possible.
In some cases, the enemy moved to a more advantageous position, whether to try and flank or set themselves up for the next turn.
A quest will end once the victory conditions are met. These are displayed at the start of the quest, and generally involve either killing a certain number of enemies, reaching the exit or destroying Tzeentch obelisks.
Graphics and The Environment
We’ve been treated to some glorious looking mobile games, in particular in the past 6 months to a year.
Silver Tower won’t push the boundaries of what your mobile device can do graphically, but then it doesn’t need to. The isometric view zooms close enough to the action to see the animations of your characters attacking and moving. Each character, whether it be a hero or enemy, are well rendered and really well animated. It’s great seeing the plethora of champions and opponents, such as the Knight-Questor of the Stormcast Eternals, or the fire-hungry Brimstone Horrors come to life within the game.
I love the little details and animations within the gameplay environment, my favourite being the eyes dashing about on some of the levels as the action unfolds, giving you that real eerily Tzeentch feeling, as if the Architect of Fate is watching your every move. The environments feel like they belong in the Silver Tower, and reflect the boards we saw in the physical release of the board game.
Another feature I’d like to point out is some of the interactive elements within the levels themselves. The first time I encountered them resulted in the death of two of my heroes, and a grin appeared on my face as I began to realise even the tower itself would be a foe! The enemies do sometimes encounter these too, giving you more tactical options should they inexplicably finish a move in a dangerous position.
A special note should also be said for the music throughout the game, from within the quests and the menus. They are suitably eerily and creepy as you traverse the tower.
Each of the heroes within the game have a unique ability that can be used within the quests. The Darkoath Archer, for example, can summon a Chaos Hound who you can control for 2 turns. The Ogor Leadbelcher on the other hand, has a Thunderous Blast, which does 3 explosive shots on a 3×3 gridded area, and in addition sets fire to said tiles for a turn.
Some of these abilities, such as the Ogors, can only be used once per quest. Others have a turn cool down before they can either be used, or used again.
Each ability is in keeping with the style of the hero, and they are really fun to use. At the moment it appears your character is locked in to one particular ability, which cannot be swapped out. I’d love to see in a future update the ability to change abilities.
Quests and Additional Content
The main story quests are grouped into different segments, each consisting of between 4-6 quests. These in many cases end up with a harder end character, such as the Gaunt Summoner himself.
Between the main story quests you’ll want to explore the array of daily quests, each with the chance to earn either in-game currency, weapons or XP. I quickly found that purely sticking to the main quests wouldn’t work, and that you will need to use the daily quests to ensure your heroes level up and gain new upgrades/weapons.
Whenever I felt that the quests were starting to get too easy, or repetitive, the layout of the game board would change, or the enemies would creep up in difficulty, keeping me wanting to continue playing the game. Whereas the opening quests you could throw your heroes head first into your enemies, as the quests progress you’ll find yourself hanging back, perhaps saving your ranged heroes actions so that they can do a Reaction shot, which is triggered when an enemy enters your champion’s field of vision.
Upgrades in this game are known as Boons, and can give you as an example additional critical hit bonuses. These can be equipped to your heroes, and later when new heroes are summoned you can switch the equipment around without penalty. If you find your gaining multiple weapons and boons that you don’t require anymore you can choose to sell these.
Summoning Heroes and In-App Purchases
The core component for me when I was playing through Silver Tower was the excitement of unlocking new heroes to try out.
In order to summon heroes you need to earn summoning stones. These can then be spent to summon heroes, or Champions as they are known in the game. 100 stones nets you a 1 or 2 star champion, whilst 250 earns you an epic summon, rewarding you with a 3 star or above champion.
These are a little slow to accumulate, however it is not impossible to play through the game without buying additional stones using your own money. If, like me, you want to unlock new characters a little quicker, then the in-app purchases are reasonably priced, with a range of prices starting at 99p and going up to £99.99. Gold can also be purchased, whilst Boons and Weapons can be unlocked via the in-game currency.
Your band of heroes can be viewed at a glance within the menu system. Here you can equip them with weapons and boons, level them up if they have earned enough XP, and read what their unique ability can do.
You also get a nice shot of the character you are viewing, as well as a name for them generated when you summoned the character. Whilst a small point, I would have liked the option to click and zoom in on the heroes, allowing me to spin them and see more of the character details. This is commonplace in games of this style, but is missing from this particular title. Not by any means anything game-breaking, but would have been a nice addition.
It is possible when summoning to encounter multiples of the same heroes. They’ll vary in stats, however the unique ability will remain the same.
What I found is I soon started to recruit a number of the same heroes, with some I’d likely not to ever use. At the moment there’s no way to ‘remove’ a character you have summoned, which is resulting in my character select screen becoming quite full. The ability to remove a character, perhaps earning you a portion of summoning stones back, or XP/in-game currency in the process, would have been something I’d have liked to see.
This above point really comes into force when selecting the heroes you wish to take into a quest. Whilst the current level of the hero is displayed, there is no way at a glance to see which has any equipment or boons attached to them. This results in remembering the order in which they appear on the Champion screen, which isn’t an ideal way of making sure you are taking the right heroes into the quest.
I’m a massive fan of the various characters in the Age of Sigmar universe, and was a big fan of the original board game of which this title is based on, so I was really excited to get my hands on the game.
It really hasn’t disappointed me. The clever design nods within the quests and tactical gameplay has kept me coming back for more. The real draw for me is wondering which character I’ll unlock next, as to date I haven’t unlocked them all.
Summoning stones can be a little slow to gain, and the lack of ability to see details on the heroes you are choosing to take into your quests is disappointing, however this does not diminish from the excellent work Perchang have done here.
I had a real blast playing Silver Tower, and will be continuing to do so after this review is published.
A must-download for any fans of Warhammer Age of Sigmar.
The game is free to download on both iOS and the Google Play Store. The game launches on the 3rd September, and the launch trailer can be viewed below: