Recensione Druidstone: The secret of the Menhir forest

Druidstone: The Secret Of The Menhir Forest is a turn-based strategy fantasy game developed by Ctrl Alt Ninja Ltd. The fledgling Finnish software house boasts among its ranks the presence of the team that, in 2012, kicked off the highly successful series Legend of Grimrock.

But forget the dark dungeons of the series: Druidstone will immerse you in the sparkling green of an enchanted forest with a great mystery to solve and a touch of retro that never hurts.

In the heart of the Menhir forest

As the title suggests, the history is set in the Menhir forest, a magical place inhabited by druids and rangers constantly busy defending the territory. A new terrible threat has in fact hit the forest and the animals that populate it. It is a dangerous disease (The cancer) that is poisoning the earth and living creatures. THE protagonists of this story are improvised heroes, with a mysterious past, who decide, for the most diverse reasons, to fight the enemies in defense of the forest.

The story opens with Oiko, a bizarre being devoted to magic who soon finds himself attacked by the corrupted creatures of the forest. They will come to his aid Aava, the daughter of the head of the circle of Druids who was recently kidnapped and Leonhard, the "Guardian" of the forest who no longer has any memory of his past or why he is there. The 3 will decide to join forces to save the archdruid kidnapped by an evil order that worships the God of fire Oghmu and discover the truth about the evil that has befallen the forest.

What begins as a "simple" rescue mission will turn out to be more complicated than expected. The path of our heroes will lead them towards a much deeper mystery that affects the very fate of life on earth and other dimensions that they did not think existed. Together, with the help of bizarre new allies, they will thoroughly explore the forest and the places around it to save the Menhir Forest.

Download QR-Code Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest Developer: Ctrl Alt Ninja Ltd. Price: 20,99 €

That touch of vintage

Druidstone's plot unfolds in the campagna in single-player, the only mode available, through various assignments and fights. Every mission it is played on a well-defined map in which the characters, controlled by the player, and the enemies move in turns. The characters will have at their disposal every turn of the action-points, with which they can attack, use skills or interact with the environment (open doors or chests) and gods movement-points, thanks to which they can move around the map. The playing field is usually very small and the player's freedom is reduced to the bone. Virtually the whole game consists of passing a mission that will unlock another slightly more difficult one and so on until the end of the game.

Each time an assignment is passed, the heroes earn gold, with which you can upgrade your equipment, experience, which will allow him to level up and obtain new spells, and enchanted gems, to improve skills or items. Fulfilling special requests, such as not taking damage during a given mission, can provide more gold and gems or new items to purchase. Although the gameplay remains practically unchanged throughout the game, it must be said that each new mission presents increasingly interesting and complex challenges. The enemies to fight are many and with one AI that we did not expect. It will not be enough to load the opponent with the sword drawn but it will be necessary to think carefully about the next move also taking advantage of the game map. It is in fact possible to use map objects or particular positions to inflict more damage or temporarily unlock new abilities that could change the fate of the game.

Each hero presents classes of skill very specific. Aava is a healer capable of damaging the undead with her healing spells but she is also skilled with the bow which makes her extremely effective with ranged attacks. Oiko, on the other hand, is a magician capable of manipulating the elements of fire and lightning that will prove effective when surrounded by enemies. Leonhard on the other hand is a great swordsman with a strong resistance, able to protect allies from external attacks.

The fascination of Fantasy

The objectives of the missions are varied and are rarely limited to killing every enemy on the map. Each action must be thought very carefully to avoid wasting action points and remain helpless in front of the enemy. To give greater importance to the strategic factor is the oddly high difficulty of the game in some missions. You will need to repeat them over and over to find the right strategy to follow or use different equipment. In some missions there will also be a timer within which you will have to reach the main objective, while others will provide for puzzles to be solved.

The beauty of the fantasy world is somewhat weakened by the lack of freedom of exploration but still manages to be pleasant. Among the missions we will come across remote woods, snow-capped mountains and ancient temples, all scenarios with their own identity and well defined. The Shinobi Engine, owned by Ctrl Alt Ninja, manages to fully capture the semi-cartoon style of the game, with fluid and pleasant graphics and excellent animations. We found some drop in Frame Rate especially in the most crowded missions but nothing so tragic.

Il audio compartment it's great, with a well-crafted fantasy-style soundtrack. Perhaps we would have liked to find more variety of music between different places and situations but, considering the short duration of the game (about 12 hours), we can be satisfied.

In conclusion

Download QR-Code Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest Developer: Ctrl Alt Ninja Ltd. Price: 20,99 €

Druidstone: The Secret Of The Menhir Forest it's a nice old-fashioned strategy game that reminded us of long sessions of Dungeons & Dragons. With a good dose of RPG elements and a compelling storyline, manages to attract the attention of the player.

If you are passionate about the genre you cannot miss this little pearl Indie.

Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest

  • Various types of missions
  • Good level of difficulty
  • Compelling storyline
  • Little longevity
  • Little freedom of choice

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