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Game Info:

War for the Overworld
Developed by: Brightrock Games, Subterranean Games
Published by: Brightrock Games, Subterranean Games
Release Date: April 2, 2015
Available on: Windows, macOS, Linux
Genre: Strategy, Simulation
Players: 1-4
ESRB rating: Unrated
Price: $29.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Brightrock Games for sending us the review code.

Morality is a big thing at Christ Centered Gamer for many obvious reasons. So, I'll get straight to the point and admit it was hard to review War for the Overworld. Not many games have the creative guts to put players in the role of a powerful villain. We have games that put players in control of drug dealers or demons in abundance. Yet how many games do we have that come out and say, "you're evil, go kill people" and leave it at that? The game itself is a rather excellent strategy game yet the challenge will be reviewing the moral standpoints. Let's get right into War for the Overworld and lead the minions of evil to ruin the good kingdom.

In War for the Overworld you play as the Underlord, a sleepy demonic deity being pushed on by a narrative voice to regain your dark powers. Deep underground your hand commands your tirelessly working imps to dig out rooms and pathways so you may build a dungeon. Within your dungeon you build rooms to raise and command various minions as well as lay traps for unsuspecting heroes. Some missions task you with defeating a human leader within a time limit; other missions task you with building up massive forces to take on complicated enemy dungeons. Occasionally you will even have to face off against other Underlords. If the story campaign doesn't suit your fancy, a medley of other modes await you in this game. You can start multiplayer games to compete against other players, you can fight against AI in skirmish modes, and you can time yourself to build a dungeon that has to survive against waves of enemies. If you want a more relaxing experience, you have a Home Realm you can retreat to where you may experiment with dungeon building techniques and designs without the stress of enemies hammering at your doorstep.

War for the Overworld
Highlights:

Strong Points: Decent Strategy game that's a tribute to a Classic PC title. Controls are easy to learn and the game is not hard to master.
Weak Points: The strategy might not be completely fleshed out in the single player mode.
Moral Warnings: You're playing a demonic overlord with no moral compass at all. The game is very gore heavy for a top down perspective game. You will destroy lives and kill in the name of your own amusement and gain.

The gameplay is well put together. The campaign teaches you every single element of the game in detail, not only with tooltips, but narration as well. Nothing goes unexplained and nothing is hidden from the player. As you progress through the campaign you will unlock new rooms that, when built, will attract particular minions to your dungeon. Each level's map will be designed differently. No level will allow you to build infinitely. To build rooms your minions will need to mine for gold which is usually in set amounts on each level. Some stages may have special blocks to mine which give infinite gold yet they are usually only for particularly tough stages and they are hard to find. Minions also demand a payday as the level goes on. Your gold stores will never be completely full so you must plan to manage minion needs and room needs well. In each stage you start out with certain abilities and rooms locked away. To unlock them you need to gather sins by first attracting cultists to your dungeon and then having them research sins in a library. These allow you to unlock spells, rooms, and traps to use in your dungeon as you see fit.

War for the Overworld can mostly be controlled with a mouse to show your minions where to dig out areas. Dragging over claimed areas will automatically build rooms. You can pick up minions with the mouse and drop them off on any claimed tile to face combat. You have flags you can place to command minions or beast type minions to go to certain locations. You can designate areas for workers to avoid while you build up your forces. Camera movement can also be controlled with WASD. If you choose, you can possess individual minions with a spell to take direct control of what combat abilities they use and how well they fight, yet most players won't find this very necessary and useful. It's more for fun after you set your strategy in motion.

War for the Overworld
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 46%
Violence - 3/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 7/10
Occult/Supernatural - 2/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 1/10

The game's cons come in its challenges. This game is a love letter to the popular PC classics, Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2. Yet for some people they haven't completely captured the spirit. The campaign's difficulty curve is a bit of a rollercoaster. You'll find some levels slow and easy where you're smacking everything down only for particular parts to ramp up the challenge and then it drops again. The game is very easy to “Zerg Rush.” For those uninitiated in strategy games this means using cheap and fast units to beat the level quickly before the opposition has time to build up heavy defenses. This game is still an excellent love letter, but it doesn't exactly capture what was loved about the original game. Don't expect a robust multiplayer environment. Most online matches are few and far between and some rooms will be made by people only playing with friends. If you find someone to challenge, the online does work flawlessly with little to no lag. The game is much more balanced in multiplayer than in the campaign. You'll find yourself able to use multiple strategies instead of rushing through everything.

You're playing a demonic overlord that commits evil acts for fun; you're the equivalent of Lucifer no matter which way you look at it. You can commit vile acts of torture and imprisonment just to bend souls to your will and you summon everything from vampires to zombies. The gore can be heavy and your floors will be filled with blood. Succubus minions make the sort of naughty sexual noises you would expect from such creatures. Yet you don't witness them doing any lewd acts. Christians and parents alike should be very wary of this game. The only place this game is squeaky clean in is language. I would not recommend this game to those under the age of sixteen.

If you have ever wanted to commit evil for the sake of evil then War for the Overworld might be the game you're looking for.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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