Songs of Conquest 1.0 Review

Written by Jericho

Songs Of Conquest Review

Songs of Conquest has finally been fully released on Steam and GOG after 2 years of early access. Developer Lavapotion delivers an experience that is both familiar and innovative to both audiences familiar, and not with the genre. While the difference between early access and full release might not be the most apparent, there are some additions that leave give you more for your money by expanding how it plays. With two brand new story campaigns, now one per faction totaling four, each with relatively long levels. In this review we will delve into the different mechanics, campaigns, UI, graphics, and impact on the genre.

Gameplay Mechanics

Songs of Conquest is a turn-based strategy game that mirrors the very core of the classic title Heroes of Might and Magic (HoMM). The core gameplay will have players exploring the map, collecting resources, building towns, and engaging in grid-based tactical battles.

Players will assume the role of a Wielder, and each has their own abilities and associated factions. Ultimately, being tasked with defeating and defending against the opposing Wielders and taking over the entire map. This splits the game into two different phases: exploration and combat.

Similar to how 4X strategy games and HoMM games play, you will need to move across the terrain and uncover different resources and secrets to aid you in battle. Through your exploration, you will find enemy units scattered across the lands that you will have to engage in.

If your army is strong enough you might even be able to recruit them to your side. When engaging in combat players enter a hexagonal grid, being able to place their Wielders troops on specific tiles before the battle. Taking advantage of the terrain and unit abilities is a necessity to defeat your opponents. This requires players to think several moves ahead and consider the strengths and weaknesses of each unit and enemy.

What makes Songs of Conquest unique is the magic system. Wielders can cast a number of abilities to turn the tide of battle. Instead of mana, they have something called essence, which each unit has. Having different essences allows for wielders to use different spells, and each charges more and more each turn. This allows for players to craft a unique unit and spell set for each of their Wielders.

The beauty behind this system is that it is accessible to all Wielders, but essence is limited to units. Meaning one has to tailor around their faction but have the ability to try out a little bit of everything.


The game is set in a lad divided into four different factions: Arleon, Barya, Rana, and Loth (my personal favourite). Each faction has its own unique aesthetic, units, and background that contributes to the depth of the game.

Arleon is a kingdom of knights and nobles, resembling medieval Europe. Loth represents a dark land ruled by necromancers and their undead hoards. Barya is the trade faction, throwing off the chains of the Empire and forming an independent merchant state. Rana, the swamp dwellers who have been oppressed, is attempting to reclaim their heritage.

Players now have the choice of one of these four factions. Each plays a bit differently and has unique combat and unit focuses.

The game also features beautiful, fully illustrated cutscenes with great in-game dialogue. The story is also well-written, with each faction having different storylines and objectives. They also stated that two new factions will be joining the fray Spring of 2025. There are no details, but one faction is called the Vanir, and the other is called the Roots, which I am very excited about. It is very reminiscent of the Flood from Halo.

Graphics and Audio

As soon as you open the game you are met with gorgeous visuals. Blending pixel art and modern graphics, making the game feel both nostalgic and contemporary. With impressive levels of detail for each of the Wielders and each of the perspective environments. Make each map feel alive as your characters idle gracefully while they await your command.

Each map offers a wide range of landscapes and environments to explore. From deep forest to eerie swamps, each has its own visual charm. I would like to note how the game uses color and lighting specifically. It is truly impressive how immersive Songs of Conquest can become when we just stop and listen to the soundtrack, and the environments our Wielders are in. Even when setting up and upgrading buildings, each has its own little uniqueness making it feel more alive.

Combat animations also have weight. When an archer or range unit fires attacks from a distance, it feels swift and destructive, while melee-oriented troops will attack either swiftly or slowly. For example, the rats from the Loth campaign will be a pack that lunges as one at the opponent, but moving down this faction unit, the legionnaires will have more weight due to them being a heavier unit.

Each faction’s unique theme allows for even more immersion. This is followed during combat as well, enhancing the movement, actions, and impact of your units in battle.


In addition to the main campaigns, the game also features a deep skirmish mode and map editor. Just like in Heroes of Might and Magic players can set up custom battle against AI opponents, which allows for endless replayability and a chance for players to find a playstyle that fits for them.

The map editor opens a massive world of different communities and custom content. The community has been creating custom maps and campaigns, with a few currently being featured. They also offer an easy-to-use search function to find custom campaigns.

There is also multiplayer support. Allowing players to test their skills against others in online matches. All of this adds massive layers of replayability to the game.

The progression system is also deep. Wielders gain experience as they travel and engage in combat. With each level up, the player has a choice of what they want to level into. Now, this can be expanding the number of units your Wielder can have or the damage or initiative they have for battles. The choice is entirely up to the player and their play style.

My Thoughts and Criticisms

Songs of Conquest is an incredible game, but it has some flaws. One of my biggest complaints is this games difficulty curve during the campaigns. While playing through I keep the difficulty on medium, but that felt a little difficult early on, and I’m sure this can be frustrating for newcomers. Then there are points when the AI can be easily cheesed, like during the later levels.

The AI is nothing to write home about. After a few hours, you will begin to notice that the AI tends to target specific troops over others and use this against them. This is more than fine; it is just something that players might notice. However, to give the developers credit, the AI does not cheat like in other similar games.

There are also some points in the map that can be finicky to click around, especially when they want you to traverse a tighter area.

This game is also complex to learn when we incorporate the different spells, units, and upgrades. The use of essence and unit combinations is unique, but it can be daunting for new players who might struggle to find a synergy. As mentioned before, magic is accessible to all Wielders. They just need specific resources to access them. The building upgrade system is also not entirely explained, but this is rather minor as you will get a grasp of it after the first few hours of the campaigns.

Overall, Songs of Conquest is a fantastic game that brings back the nostalgic feel many players are looking for. With stunning graphics and creative gameplay, players will find something that they enjoy.

Minor flaws can detract from the experience, especially when considering the difficulty curve and AI quirks. Some mechanics are also not explained very well, which can be an issue for some players, especially newcomers.

I like Songs of Conquest, it does the Heroes of Might and Magic formula very well. Though it is not perfect it scratches that itch. It deserves the praises that it is receiving. So, if you’re a fan of this genre of game then Songs of Conquest is a must-play.


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I have been a fan of turn-based games since I was a young boy. My first ever being Final Fantasy Tactics, which still to this day is my undisputed favorite game. Writing is another passion of mine, and when I'm not writing you can catch me watching movies or listening to podcasts. Can't wait to see the future of turn-based games!