My Preview of A Druid’s Duel, a Whimsical Turn-Based Strategy Game

Note: This game is looking for votes on Steam Greenlight and backers on Kickstarter (closes April 9th)

A Druid’s Duel is a tile based casual video game that pits you against other players or an AI in a land grab for mana, power, and nature. Did I mention druids with shape shifting powers? Resource management? Clever map tactics? Yeah, those things are actually pretty cool too. According to lead developer Kris Szafranski, the game already has much of the core game engine built, but the backing power of Kickstarter is going to be the way to ensure that some of the really cool features get added into the game. As we’ve all come to know stretch goals help determine how far down the rabbit hole the game creators can go.

Why I like this game:

I was fortunate enough to play a demo of the early beta of A Druid’s Duel on the iPad of the lead developer of A Druid’s Duel and owner of Thought Shelter Games. After being shown the basic moves of this game I lost myself for 10 minutes much in the same way when playing my favorite casual iPad games such as Carcassonne and Small World 2. Resource management, smart moves, and high replay-value all hit me in my gamer soft-spot.

As described on the Druid’s Duel Kickstarter page:

Take control of your own Circle of mischievous druids in this chess-like battle of wits. Duel your way across the vast Realm of Six Seasons, striving to dominate the land. But beware! The stakes are raised with every parcel gained or lost.

Your druids assume powerful animal forms and the very landscape can transform in front of you, keeping you on your toes and forcing you to adapt every single turn. Featuring an engaging single-player campaign and tactical battles for up to four players, A Druid’s Duel is ever-changing and fraught with exciting challenges; much like Nature herself.

Why this project will succeed if given the chance:

This is a passion project for the game’s creator Kris Szafranski and he’s leveraging a long career in the software development industry having served in both development and leadership roles to make smart business decisions and remain focused. In an interview with Kris he mentioned that ten years ago he would have given up already because passion cannot provide the sole source of success. He planned ahead and put money away in his piggy bank so he could devote himself to working on this project full-time. He’s thrown himself into the design of this game to create a very balanced experience that strikes a difficult compromise between making a game that anybody can pick up and play and yet is supported by game mechanics that lends itself to repeat plays in both solo mode and the endless variation provided by online multiplayer.

Don’t believe me? Check out the early game demo for PC, Mac, or iOS. 

Disclosure: I’ve personally backed this game via Kickstarter and would like to see more independent game developers have the opportunity to build truly great games, not just the games they can afford to build in their spare time.

About Ryan Carlson

Father, Husband, GeekDad of 3 Girls, and a Glass Explorer. A Technologist for The Nerdery by day and an Alpha Geek by night: Wargaming / Painting, LEGO, Roleplaying, Board Games, Podcasting, and Writing.

About Ryan Carlson

Father, Husband, GeekDad of 3 Girls, and a Glass Explorer. A Technologist for The Nerdery by day and an Alpha Geek by night: Wargaming / Painting, LEGO, Roleplaying, Board Games, Podcasting, and Writing.

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