The war is finally over after many long, gruelling years. You began as a lowly squire, but because of your courage and skill, the king has made you a knight, granting you a small piece of land as a boon. You must do your part to help rebuild the scarred land. Be wary, though. This land has been abandoned for some time, as it was one of the first outposts to fall during the war. It is now overrun with wildlife and bandits.
A reasonably good map, all in all.
Playability - Although this was quite challenging, I didn't find it very original. To win, I had to fine tune a few things but didn't really have to change my initial strategy at all.
Balance - Overall, it was probably just right, but I had no difficulty at all in getting the stone, the bandits were too easy because there were too few, and the real challenge, surprisingly, came from keeping my population happy. I gave it a 3 because if I played it again from scratch now, I'd know exactly what to do, having seen which bits would be difficult.
Creativity - I definitely like the whole idea, and barring the things I've mentioned for other points, no complaints.
Map - I found this quite an irritating map, combined with the 'complete castle' goal. The hills ran to the edge of the map, so you couldn't see whether enemies could go around behind them or not, and the scenario didn't lend itself to just enclosing the castle area, which means having to find and wall in the bits that trigger completion of that goal. That said, it was aesthetically good, quite realistic and just the right level of difficulty in placing things. "Pretty valley" it is :)
Story - I love the well-written story. It fell short of a 5 only because reality didn't quite match up with it - wild animals and bandits were barely a problem at all.
Posted on 04/01/09 @ 12:39 PM
"Cariston Valley" belongs to the few economic maps I first regard as impossible on very hard. Unlike many other missions, food is not the centre of reaching the goals. It is needed for popularity and for taxes, but population cannot grow infinite because of the blessings request. You have to work on a diverse economy.
Rather, the game is about intrinsic micro-managing. To which belongs finding out the right order of buildings and reorganizing some workers. Saved money for a -5 fear factor. And wood for traps against the bandits. With some training, I made my course quite well, with thrill and pleasure :).