Title: Ancient Warlords: Aequilibrium
Genre: Casual, Indie
Release Date: 2 Jul, 2018
ancient warlords aequilibrium
No other Steam offering exemplifies the absurdity of existentialist philosopher Albert Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus" like this sorrry excuse for a game. Like the Ancient Greek king Sisyphus, punished by the gods, you will struggle to comprehend your purpose, then you will toil away, only to be forced to repeat, and repeat, and repeat, ad infinitum, until out of frustration you revolt from the absurdity of your existence by quitting the game and doing something -- anything! -- else. No instructions. No tutorial. No "how to play" videos or community guides on Steam. Like life itself, there really is no manual. The developers say they will provide instructions and a tutorial, but there's been no update to the game since I got it in early July 2018 (I'll amend this if they do). Why they would release a game with no instructions, then lie saying they'll provide them without ever doing it, is a mystery. But these devs seem to release games and abandon them with zero follow-up, instead moving on to their next lame release. If you look at their other games (I should have before purchasing) you'll see they all have bad reviews with similar complaints (lack of substance, boring, pointless, no instructions, etc.). I seem to have figured out a bit more than other reviewers. You start the game and see a map of the "old world" with 15 ancient cities stretching thousands of miles from Gaul to Korea. You randomly select a city and either "go to the tavern" or "start a fight." If you select "go to the tavern," you still have a choice of "the tavern" or "my squads," with 10 free card slots and a row of cards at the bottom of the screen. At "the tavern" you can purchase new cards from one or more of four decks, depending on which city you're in, namely, Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese. At "my squads," you can create a battle deck by dragging the cards you want to use from the ones you own to the bottom of the screen, and vice versa. If you don't have any cards at the bottom of the screen you will automatically lose your battle. Next, you go back and select "start a fight" to engage in battle with a computer opponent. The battle occurs in rounds, with each player alternating playing any card in their deck (card order plays no role) and scoring points. I'm not exactly sure how this works, because there are no instructions whatsoever, but I've been able to win by scoring more points than my opponent and then passing on my turn -- if the computer can't score more points by playing two cards in a row, you win (I think). However, the real problem, beyond a lack of any instructions whatsoever, is there's no larger goal at all: the whole game consists of randomly going from city to city, traveling across the world with the click of a button, with no point to it except to win battles, earn gold, buy new cards, and repeat . and repeat . and repeat . and -- well, you get the idea. This game is a complete and total dud. There is no larger, over-arching narrative, or goal, or point to the game. The whole thing is pointless and meaningless except randomly beating opponents in different cities, earning gold and acquiring new cards, and doing it again. It's slightly enjoyable for maybe five minutes until the nihilism sets in as you realize the pointlessness, aimlessness, and meaninglessness of your existence. I'm totally serious: this game is an exercise in Nietzschean nihilism as you slowly get the joke that what you're doing has no point or goal beyond what minimal pleasure you can squeeze out of playing a stupid card game against a computer. The historical context of the game -- being a "warlord" -- is supported by nothing whatsoever except a few lame graphics and your own imagination. Soon the ennui accumulates, and you quit because there is simply no point whatsoever in continuing. I don't know who thought this would be a good idea. This game feels like a cruel joke to see who would be stupid enough to purchase it. OK, you got me!!! I'm suffering the public humiliation of being foolish enough to have taken the bait and purchased this absurdly boring game. And so I'm warning you, dear reader, not to follow my example! ADDENDUM: Out of curiosity, and faced with time to kill, I returned to play this game a month later, trying to find anything good I may have overlooked . only to find that cards I purchase will randomly disappear after being added to my battle deck! So, on top of the confusion of having no instructions or tutorial, there appear to be software bugs, too. My advice to everyone is to run away from this game! Don't walk: RUN!!! Be afraid that it could just appear in your Steam library and that you might hit 'PLAY' by accident. Now I'm angry . Steam should refund money on turkeys like this where the devs promise to provide instructions but never do. This game is a blight on Steam, which is rapidly becoming the craigslist of computer games, with unscrupulous pump-and-dump "Early Access" devs who never intend to bring their games to completion but who make a quick buck on the promise of someday releasing a fully developed game that never appears. Steam really should refund every purchaser their money and ban these developers.. I bought this because it looked interesting. No instructions, no tutorial. I choose a squad and went to join a fight and it just comes up and says I lost. No game. Just "defeat". No game here that I can see.. game does not work, everytime i go to battle it says defeated. also no tutorial or even a menu on how to play the game. The only game options is to control the sound and there is no multiple save files only one.
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