Review: Revival from Herocraft
Here is a long overdue review of Revival, the latest and greatest from Herocraft, makers of such hits as Robo, Snow Lines and Stolen in Sixty Seconds.
Version Reviewed: 1.00
Revival is a turn-based strategy game with its fair share of tactical and micro-management elements. Those who know (and love) Civilization from everybody’s favourite game creator giant Sid Meier, will probably be able to jump right into this game of exploration, building and fighting.
Some might remember Revival’s first version as a java game – this edition is an upgrade in every possible way, a great entrant in this strangely abandoned genre in the (Symbian) mobile gaming world.
The background story puts you in the shoes of an ever-so wise intergalactic emissary, whose task is to expand a small tribe into a great empire, one to defeat the planet’s other tribes and acquiring the ultimate prize, means of interstellar travel. During the (more than 40 hours) long campaign you have to battle through 13 missions, each with its various goals. Invading existing cities, building and developing new ones, sending workers to mine and hunt, amassing (and controlling) an army, fighting on land and water, advancing in science and technology, will all be an important part of your success.
Balancing these different areas is no minor feat. You may choose to excel in one field over an other but you never know if your opponent’s strongest point happens to be your weakest. You have 27 continents on 7 different planets to conquer, a realistic economic model and a detailed tutorial to get you up to speed. As you upgrade your buildings, you can recruit more and more advanced units, while your older troops will keep on fighting and collecting experience points, thus improving their chances against superior units.
Revival has a lot to offer in many ways. It sure is a very long task to play through the whole game but it is very rewarding to move along that road and leave the milestones behind. The challenge increases at a steady pace and the missions are varied enough to keep you hooked until the very end; sometimes you have to survive for a set number of years, capture a specific town or advance to certain level.
Aesthetically, the game is a homage to the pre-windows era with its retro in-game graphics, brought into the 21st century with the inclusion of a very cool intro movie. The whole set-up is very easy on the eye, the menus and info windows are all as straightforward and un-complicated as they should be. Everything that needs to be is animated, from movement to building, mining or fighting. Each of your guys have a distinctive look to them and, with the lively sound effects and the quirky style of writing, these all add to the general appeal of the game. You even have a few ways to change how the game works and looks (turning off animations, the mini-map, manual turn ending and auto-save on or off) to adjust the experience more to your personal preference.
The one thing sorely missed is any kind of multiplayer option. At a time when you have to compete (in theory, at least, we haven't seen much evidence so far!) with the up-and-coming “horde” of N-Gage games with their various online and offline game modes, to play with or compete against your friends or pretty much anyone at the other side of world, it feels like an unfortunate decision to limit a game – especially a game like Revival – in this sense. There is always hope at the end of the tunnel though, Revival 2 is surely coming to the rescue if this first part gets the reception it deserves...
It is also worth mentioning that you can play (besides the campaign) as one of up to 8 warring sides in single mission mode, where you always start from scratch and you can win by either defeating all your AI opponents or being the first to reach the top of the science tree by making your own teleport machine. This mode will let you choose the number and level of players controlled by the phone - in this way adding a variety of further challenges once you have finished the campaign.
As always, you have the opportunity to try the game for yourself and you can do this in any of the 5 available languages.
There was obviously a lot of thought and care put into Revival, from the elaborate background story to the very well balanced unit skills and science tree. If you enjoy civilization style games then you will find it very easy to appreciate Herocraft’s effort to deliver an outstanding game to please the strategist in you.
Attila Katona, All About Symbian, 28 April 2008
Reviewed by Attila Katona at