Druidstone - Legend of Grimrock, isometric, tactics


My pleasure. I’d hate for you to skip something you might actually really enjoy due to a misunderstanding in how it plays. I can’t recommend it enough - maybe check out some YT footage and go from there.


But the blog is about the fact they didn’t remove all randomness, but still preferred a more deterministic approach to combat. That’s similar to ItB, where combat is absolutely 100% predictable (it’s how you approach it that matters) but there are random elements outside of that (eg. enemy emergence and placement) that create the tactical challenges. This sounds like a similar approach which has me interested.

Anyway, I’ll report back. :)


Druidstone has been out for a hour already and no comments yet here. Oh QT3 why are you letting me down.



Too busy playing it to talk about it.


Too busy sleeping to play it. Very annoying that these games are always released at 1.30am, it’s timezone-ism!


No excuse, pull an all nighter and get Smaug to make breakfast and take the kids to school.


AC I will probably grab this one. It looks too interesting and too good a price and it is from the Grimrock guys and gals.


It looks like the game has timed missions (x amount of turns to complete). If you don’t make the timer you get extra enemies spawning in and stuff like that. Since the missions also have bonus objectives required to level up your troops then, to me, this seems to be a puzzle game like Fantasy Wars.

I hate timers in turn based games and puzzle missions so I guess I’ll pass on this one for now, unfortunately.


There was an interesting discussion about “puzzle” game and THIS game by myself and ponycarnival in Tom’s stream tonight. I think I lost the argument because I plan on grabbing this very soon. But I plan on getting back to the argument over a min/maxing and random game (a la an open world rpg) versus a mission game (which strikes me as puzzly).

This game is relatively inexpensive and is by established developers – I will grab it myself and comment.

(JA2 was a bit puzzly – but it was open as well…one wonders if there is a good soft spot)


I’ve played a few missions now. It’s an interesting mix of X-Com style tactics, Into the Breach deterministic combat, a deck builder, and probably a few other things.

Each scenario has a main goal, and optional sub-goals. Importantly, you can replay any level to get the sub-goals later on when you’re more powerful or better equipped. This isn’t apparent until the overworld map appears after beating the second mission, but now I can see what they’re going for here, and I like it. For example, the first mission has you killing a bunch of low level enemies, but you only get the sub-goal if you take no damage. At first this doesn’t seem possible, but you can either play with the AI logic to keep them away from your most vulnerable character, or go back to it after a short time once you can put a gem into your fortify ability which includes all allies within 1 square - then the objective is simple.

I’ve had one timed mission so far (the second one). It’s a challenge to beat before the timer runs out, but it’s not a fail state. And because you can replay the mission, you can go back and try to beat the timer for the reward later on. I was a bit concerned about the timer missions, but if that holds true for all of them, I’m quite happy with that.

Combat is definitely puzzle like insofar as there’s a particular way of doing things if you want to get all the sub-goals. If you just want to beat the map, it’s a bit more open - at least, in the early stages, not sure how exacting it will be later, but the devs are clearly going for the optimal solution being very challenging and requiring very careful planning given knowledge of the map. There are spellbooks that give you bonus abilities, and often these are the key to getting all the objectives.

Incidentally, it’s quite obvious how much they’ve been influenced by Into the Breach! Yet these are hand-crafted scenarios, not procedurally generated, so the possibilities for deviousness later on are quite high!

So yeah, I like it a lot so far, but I’m still in the early stages so it remains to be seen how it holds together later in the game.


I saw it and bought it straight away.

Between this, Battle Brothers, Imperator, Thea 2…not much time for anything.


Everything else you said sounds good but I hate this. One of the joys of these kinds of tactical games is coming up with creative new ways to win the mission. Tactics on rails is not nearly as much fun. That said I’ll probably get it at some point just for the ‘everything else’ about it.


I’m not sure how accurate this will be later in the game though. These first few missions are unlabeled tutorials teaching you how the game works, and so it’s pretty clear what you have to do to get the sub-goals. Later on? I’m willing to bet this will be much less clear because as you level up your characters you choose new skills and also how to deploy the various gems you get to upgrade existing abilities. I mean, they could go down the “you must configure your characters exactly so to beat this mission” route, but I’m hoping it’s more a case of “you need some way of addressing this threat and you have many possible approaches”.


Timers aren’t so bad if they happen only once. Repeating timers where created by the Devil though.


I’ve done two missions with turn limits now, and neither has been a problem (on Normal difficulty, anyway). While they add a sense of urgency, their main reason for being there is to challenge you if you want to complete all the bonus objectives. They add extra difficulty once the timer runs out, so you need to plan ahead if you want to survive. They’re a good excuse to come back to missions later to replay them for bonus objectives. I like it.

Also, as I’m getting further into the game, there’s less sense of these being puzzles. Really, they’re not. Sure, if you want the bonus objectives you need to plan more carefully, but it’s not giving me a sense that there’s only one possible solution or that you’re trying to outsmart the designers. At least, not so far - it’s a lot more open than that. I think the Into the Breach comparison is a good one, in that you need to look at the map tactically and figure out how you’re going to approach it, and reassess each move. It’s not as tight at Into the Breach is, but I’m thinking along similar lines.

Getting more cards and upgrades now. Where I bounced completely off Steamworld Quest, here I’m finding the card / spell system a lot more engaging.

So yeah, I’m digging it a lot right now. There’s supposed to be a shop where I can buy upgrades, weapons and armour but I’ve yet to find that yet.


I already got the game but haven’t played yet, so reading this makes me happy.


I grabbed this and I see it is a very smooth turn-based tactics RPG. It isn’t full featured (no customization, no open world, etc) BUT – it is very well done. I am thinking about my tactics at work on this game so you should know --that means the criminally accused have suffered a bit. Some nice upgrades, graphics and otherwise smooth gameplay. It is no DD2 but … it has a simple charm and an aggressive “ok how can I do that better?” theme.

I am trying not to say it is “puzzly” because …. To be honest even in the opening levels it gets wide open pretty fast. I like this turn based system for sure.


I’m liking it so far. It does feel puzzly, but probably because I’m trying to hit optional objectives the first time through (which I’m not really doing). I’m fine with a puzzle tactic game though, so this could be a lot of fun.


Ponycarnival should comment on “puzzly”

But My thought is as I have played… it is just difficult.


I picked this up and played half a dozen missions or so. I really like it; the characters have cool abilities and the upgrade system is also quite good. I’ve had to replay a couple of missions due to making bad decisions – it can really hurt you if you take it too slow. I really like the resource management within mission; do I spend one of my cure spells right now or do I wait for an opportunity to make the most of a focused one, and so on. I do need to get a higher damage bow, though.

Edit; Grrr, apparently the spell that lets you open chests at range doesn’t work on the one in The Placed Glade, even with a gem slotted in +1 range.