Given that King’s Bounty 2 released recently, I felt it was fitting to cover some other games that were inspired by King’s Bounty. For this article, we’ll be going over three different games… or rather, it’s two games and a “trial version” of sorts: Beasts Battle, Necromancer Returns, and Magician’s Legacy: Prologue (the full “Magician’s Legacy” has not been released). All three games were developed by Greenolor Studio, an independent studio headed by Sergey Pomorin. You can find three articles detailing the games’ development process here.
None of the Greenolor games feature strong storylines; if you play these games, it’s for the gameplay and not much else. And to the games’ credit, everything is done competently. There aren’t any glaring QoL issues. Combat is well-balanced. There’s sufficient strategic depth to keep you engaged, even if none of these games are exactly outstanding.
First off, Beasts Battle. This was where Greenolor established itself. You’ll encounter many of the King’s Bounty mainstays, such as a hexagonal grid, a leadership stat which lets you hire more troops, similar archetypes like archers and fliers, a spell book, and the ability for each unit to counter only once per turn. You can expect around 4 hours of gameplay, which is fair considering the $4 price tag. Gameplay is divided into three small campaigns: warrior, mage, and overlord. The warrior and mage ones are what you’d expect from a King’s Bounty-lite game, allowing you to level up your commander and buy troops. The overlord campaign is a bit of a change in that it has you play as the final boss from the previous two campaigns. You don’t level up, you don’t use your gold, but instead, you get a fixed number of summons per battle. Overlord mode is probably the most interesting part of Beasts Battle:
Moving on, Necromancer Returns was certainly an improvement from its predecessor. Greenolor Studio took some influence from Braveland, another King’s Bounty-lite game, and implemented a traversable world map, in addition to more dialogue. With additional touchups such as a more diverse equipment system and the ability for troops to promote, Necromancer Returns is overall more polished and feels more like an actual game, rather than a mere collection of loosely-related battles like Beasts Battle. There’s greater troop diversity here, although still a bit less than I would prefer: you only have eight different troop types from which to choose, which doesn’t lend itself very well to extensive customization.
The one thing I didn’t like about Beasts Battle was that troops don’t automatically regenerate. This worked in King’s Bounty because resources are limited, therefore making limited troops more consequential. In Beasts Battle however, you have the ability to infinitely grind for gold. This meant that perishable troops comes across as an arbitrary excuse to pad out game time by forcing you to grind extra to keep your reserves stacked. Thankfully, Necromancer Returns dispensed with this limitation. Overall, I consider Necromancer Returns to be a much more refined version of Beasts Battle. It’s still not what I’d call an amazing game, but it’s enjoyable for what it is. It was also a definite improvement over its predecessor – and that’s what counts. I don’t expect instant perfection from anyone, but I do expect to see people learn from their mistakes.
If there’s anything negative I have to say about Necromancer Returns, it’s that the price is a bit high. You’re spending $10 for around 5 hours of gameplay, which falls a ways short from my golden standard of $1 spent for 1 hour of gameplay. In the spirit of impartiality though, I should disclose that I personally got a key of this game for free, courtesy of Greenolor. Thanks, Sergey! But anyway, I believe the game would be much more appealing if the price were slashed to somewhere around $6 or $7.
Lastly, we’ve got Magician’s Legacy: Prologue. Being a sneak preview at the full version, this game is free to play. It’ll last you around 30 minutes, but that should be enough time for you to get a feel for these games. What you see here is more-or-less the same as what you’ll experience in Necromancer Returns or Beasts Battle. So if you like what you see, then you should check out the other two games.
There’s really not much else for me to say about Magician’s Legacy: Prologue due to its extremely limited nature. I don’t like the artwork here as much as in Necromancer Returns, but this is hardly a deterrent for me; I’ve always maintained that those who skip out on games solely because of graphics are ridiculous and deprive themselves of many great things.
As of this article’s publishing date, it remains to be seen whether Magician’s Legacy will be released in full. For now though, what I can say is this: for anyone interested in the studio, you should give Magician’s Legacy: Prologue a shot because it’s free. From there, if you like it, then you should check out Beasts Battle and Necromancer Returns. Beasts Battle is better value; Necromancer Returns is more polished.
They’re not the greatest games ever made, but they do a good job for what they are.
Year: 2014 (Beasts Battle), 2018 (Necromancer Returns), TBD (Magician’s Legacy)
Console: PC, Android
Developers: Greenolor Studio
Greenolor Studio website
Find the games on Steam
Or find them in the Google Play Store