Released in 2003, The Battle for Wesnoth has been around for a while – and for a very good reason. A turn-based strategy game that employs a hex map and adorable sprite graphics, Wesnoth has simple but charming aesthics and elegant design.
The combat is easy to grasp but difficult to master, and players will need to account for the specific strengths and weaknesses of each unit as well as the time of day and the terrain. Every move needs to be carefully considered, and the wrong step could see the tables turned in an instant. In single player mode, that’s not an issue – you can undo your moves.
In multiplayer games, however, you’ll want to weigh every decision you make. There’s no do-overs, and you may find yourself praying that your opponent is a sadist who likes to play with their toys before crushing them, just in the hope that you’ll get another few precious turns to salvage your units.
In addition to a gargantuan single player campaign, The Battle for Wesnoth has a dedicated development team, thriving community and an adaptive mythology that’s still growing and changing. The core content has your typical high fantasy themes, with a multitude of available factions – elves, dwarves, the whole shebang. I can take or leave the music, and while I haven’t gotten very far into the story, it seems solid enough. The player-created content is one of the reasons the game remains so popular, ten years after release. There are intricate campaigns and one-shot scenarios, mods to change the rules or add classes and races. Best of all, these add-ons can be installed at the press of a button from the main menu.
Did I mention the best part? It’s free.
An oldie but a goodie, let me tell you about the land of Wesnoth - a real, genuine FTP turn based strategy game.What Our Ratings Mean