Developers, Independent Arts Software, have given life to miniature figurines as they battle for victory over the land of Eldrador in this turn-based strategy game.
Numerous games have their roots in many different forms like movies, tv-series, and comic books. However, the origins of Eldrador Creatures are based upon a toy collection by Schleich. If you’re looking for the next complex strategy game, you won’t find this here, but if you’re looking for a simple introduction to the genre aimed at 8–12-year-olds, then this could be a great first step in that direction. We all got to start somewhere, right?
The wild world of Eldrador is inhabited by monstrous creatures that hate each other and fight for the power of their elemental territory. All four lands are in fierce combat to find the all-mighty superweapon. This sword-shaped weapon will bestow great power onto any land that possesses it. Within the first few minutes of the game, you are presented with the choice of which land you want to help aid for domination. There are four elemental lands to rule over; Ice, Lava, Stone or Jungle.
The land you choose will have creatures within its faction that reflect that given element. As you might have guessed, these creatures are based upon the toy line. With the creatures being such a massive part of the game, you would think there would be a sneak preview of which creatures dwelled in each elemental land before picking who you want to help out. But sadly, this is not the case. Luckily, I sided with the ice faction and found myself being fond of the creatures from this realm. That’s not to say the other lands didn’t have some awesome looking creatures – because they do. But not getting an opportunity to see which creatures designs you like best before picking your allegiance felt like an oversight. Once a faction has been chosen, you can begin your campaign of travelling across the world map and taking on the available battlefields in that elemental land. Once you have achieved victory, the next battlefield will become available.
The battle mechanics are simple to grasp. It’s a turn-based system that allows you and your opponents to exchange blows until each creature has had its turn on the battlefield. Several actions can be carried out during your turn. You can guide your creatures across the battlefield by choosing the highlighted spaces. From here, the monsters can then perform an attack or a special skill on their turn. Although they are not the greatest at multitasking, as they can only perform one of these actions in their turn. This adds a level of planning into your moves, especially as once a special skill has been used, you’ll have to wait for it to rebuild before you can use it again. Furthermore, creatures can gain a passive skill when you reach a certain point in the game. Whereby, a hidden benefit can become activated during the battle, such as being more likely to land a critical hit.
On the battlefield, many environmental hazards will cause havoc to creatures. These menacing dangers can range from swirling vortexes, crumbling bridges, and enormous barriers. You can use these threats to your advantage, which can lead to some fun situations emerging. Like the opponent’s monsters being trapped in a certain corner or receiving damage. A stumbling block of this is that even though the environmental hazards are entertaining enough to see play out, there are not the widest variety of hazards available to keep it fresh for a long time. This is further not helped as the environments are a little vague, and the surroundings can often blur all into one, making it dull.
After finishing a battle, as a reward, you’ll gain surprising little packs that contain ‘mini creatures’ that almost look like wannabe crazy bones (anyone else remembers them?). If something proves too difficult, you can use these ‘mini creatures’ to gain additional perks, such as defending yourself from incoming aggression or dealing additional damage to foes. This was a nice feature to include as it makes the game newcomer friendly and offers a helping hand in many combat scenarios.
The overall gameplay is well-polished. The curser glides across the screen effortlessly and was easy to navigate through commands. This was nice to see, as many games in this genre can be prone to not being responsive. On top of this, the game is coupled with great narration, which made learning the game’s basics much easier and more kid-friendly. The creature’s animations and combat sequences play out smoothly. Which unfortunately makes the state of the environmental backgrounds even more of a bummer. You will have this great-looking creature standing there with a bland backdrop.
All things considered, I enjoyed playing Eldrador Creatures even though I do not think I was their intended target audience. The battles themselves are engaging, with a simple turn-base system. Before long, you’ll become attached to your creatures. I would certainly recommend Eldrador Creatures to younger gamers looking for their first game into the genre. Even though I can’t guarantee the little one won’t be begging for a figurine of their favourite creature by the end of it…
Eldrador Creatures PS5, PS4 Review
Eldrador Creatures is a simple but fun turn-based game that was clearly made with younger players in mind, and with that being considered, it’s a good jumping-off point for new players to the genre.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5, PS4.