Songs of Conquest by Lavapotion is a Heroes of Might and Magic-style turn-based strategy, featuring modern pixel art and a refined tactical system.
Songs of Conquest gameplay consists of Skirmish and Campaign modes. In Skirmish, there’s a single map you must dominate using all the game’s rules; campaign mode features four story-linked maps, with increasingly complex mechanics.
Each campaign map has a unique goal; the skirmish maps are mostly about capturing settlements and eliminating enemies (either AI or multiplayer). All maps are hand-crafted, and the game includes many customization options. Plus, there’s the built-in map editor with community map sharing.
You begin with a single hero – one of the powerful magicians called Wielders, able to lead armies and interact with the map. As you capture more cities, you get more such heroes. Each has unique starting skills and specializations, plus additional skills you can choose when they gain levels. The skills have many effects: impacting the hero’s interaction with the strategic map; increasing army size; improving their battlefield special abilities (called spells); or providing combat buffs to their army.
Each turn you can move your Wielder (and their troops) across the map – collecting resources, claiming locations, or initiating battles. Additionally, each settlement you control produces troops and resources. The latter allow for more advanced buildings, which buff, and produce better troops.
Battles occur on a hex map. There are many unit mechanics in the game. First, their initiative determines the turn order. Then, each turn, they’ll generate different magic powers, fueling your character’s spells. Finally, they have their own stats, affecting their interactions with each other and the battlefield. However, their main uses are: shooting, or moving towards and attacking enemies; activating special abilities; or some combination of those. Battles continue until one side is defeated. Any losses are permanent.
Reasons to Get It Now
If you are a fan of HoMM (Heroes of Might and Magic) style, then Songs of Conquest is an excellent choice. It maintains those games’ spirit while refining, simplifying, and elevating the experience. It currently features four factions, two campaigns, maps and multiplayer. There’s plenty of content, and if you are hungry for a successor to HoMM, then it’ll definitely scratch that itch!
Reasons to Wait or Skip
Songs of Conquest hasn’t yet gone through rigorous bugs and balance testing, expected from a large Early Access player base. While I myself haven’t seen many bugs – there are reports of those, and complaints about balance, especially in the later game. Those issues, however, will likely be resolved, and with time the game’ll be even more polished.
But, if you don’t like HoMM-style turn-based strategies – this isn’t your game. Songs of Conquest goal is to improve the overall experience – not break the rules to appeal to those skeptical of the genre.
If you are hungry for a HoMM-style game and are fine if it’s not completely polished, then Songs of Conquest is a good choice. It’s well-prepared for an Early Access release and has plenty of content to keep you busy. Anyone who likes Heroes of Might and Magic would certainly enjoy Songs of Conquest. Those who don’t, however, won’t find much to change their minds.