Greetings fellow armchair warriors to my latest (and likely last, at least for a while) Stronghold invasion, entitled The Left Hand of Darkness.
If you haven't read the novel, you really should. I command it!
As for the map itself, it's self explanatory: much like my old map The Challenge, you have a limited time to withstand invasions and kill the enemy lord. The key difference is shifgrethor: the novel's term for prestige/honor hoarding. It governs every individual in the world (some more than others) and it will govern you, the player, as well.
Buy 25 ale for the Snake (the only way to make the eventually overwhelming invasions stop)
No enemy/no invasions
And that's it! Make sure to read the notes before you rate--there are also some hints if you need help. Have fun and play smart!
This was a fun to play map, although there were moments when it felt like there's place for better. For example, the only area suitable for the future keep gets busy with deers for a couple of seconds in the beginning. That's only a minor point, but it counts.
It's not a highly replayable scenario due to the obvious lack of space and opportunities. Few gameplay choices comes in handy to the player and when the map gets played again, a bit of a boring feeling shows up. Not too obvious, but the more intense it gets if the map is played through over and over again. Unfortunately that's not too much of an improvable aspect and it comes together with the map that's over half unsuitable for buildings.
On another hand in the other half of the gameplay it gets more entertaining by the time passing and the unique challenges this map brings made it overall an enjoyable time.
Things are simple but not easy unless playing the map for a couple of times. The challenge of the map goes around the design and the many gameplay restrictions, forcing the player to use a strategy that might not be used with, yet it felt like a very original approach.
Every piece of landscape, story and map information is very creative and this is the chapter where this map shines. Simply, the author has shown an outstanding level of originality.
Map Design: 4
I have to say this map has one of the best snow representations around here. In addition, a great-looking glacier is present made of sea on a high plateau - an incredible idea and looks great too.
It's also noticeable the custom mine, a trick not so used but awesome-looking.
Beyond those great aspects however, things felt a bit rushed. Pebbles are used around the snow to give a better look of things as they have a similar color, but they are used in linear style. Combined with the grass that has a bit of an unnatural look
A lot of effort has been put into the story / hints files. Everything is useful and the story reads very well. An outstanding work, nothing less than a 5.