Wartune Impressions: A Social Game for “Real” Gamers
Upgrade your gold refinery to increase your town’s hourly gold production. Upgrade your warehouse to increase the amount of gold you can carry. Upgrade your academy to unlock new technologies that will bolster your character and town in various ways. Upgrade your town hall to increase the amount of gold you can levy from your citizens.
Your blacksmith allows you to enchant items with greater power, place gems in an item with sockets, craft items from components, and recycle unwanted equipment. Your arena allows you to engage in solo duels with other players or group battles against other parties. Your Hall of Heroes grants you access to multiplayer dungeons. Your Bounty Hall offers you rewarding quests. Your farm lets you grow crops that will grant you your selection of resources.
But wait — there’s more! In case that wasn’t enough things to do, you can also visit the Wilds, where you fight for control of gold mines and plunder enemy cities. Or, you can fight the World Bosses that show up on a regular basis. Or, you can take a jaunt through the Forgotten Catacombs to combat increasingly difficult waves of enemies to see how long you can last.
In Wartune, there’s no shortage of activities for you to partake in, and despite my cheekiness, I must applaud the developers for creating what amounts to several games in one — they even managed to work in Whack-a-Mole and Quick Time Events. The sum total is delivered in a pleasant-looking package that mixes sprite animation with painted landscapes, and Wartune excels at its most important objective: addicting players with near-constant gratification through quest completions, the amassing of wealth and power, and the continuous unlocking of new mechanics, upgrades, and skills.
However, I have found myself wondering if, beneath the veneer of its addicting factors, Wartune is actually fun. Am I playing the game because I enjoy the thrill of gaining another level or completing another quest, or am I playing because I actually enjoy the core gameplay? Is Wartune chock-full of activities, mechanics and features in order to distract you from what is an ultimately hollow experience? The combat system is so basic that there’s an in-built AFK mechanic that will run battles for you, and aside from the combat, what else in Wartune can actually be considered gameplay?
I’m not here to evaluate the definition of the word “fun,” nor the merits of the genre of game that is fueled by gratification, but I can say that Wartune is successful at what it sets out to do: hook players with a combination of a well-paced reward system and a variety of activities to keep the game fresh. Whether Wartune can avoid going stale in the long run is yet to be seen, but as it stands, it’s a guilty pleasure social game that can keep you occupied when you’re not playing a real game.