LadiesGamers Guards

Guards Review

Game: Guards
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam)
Developer|Publisher: Battlecruiser Games | Drageus Games
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $4.99 | UK £4.49 | EU € 4,99
Release Date: May 21st, 2021

Review code provided with many thanks to Drageus Games

Keep It Simple Stupid

You can’t beat simple concepts when it comes to gaming. There is a reason that classic board games like chess and card games have stood the test of time for so many years. The rules are generally simple and accessible for everyone but to become a master of a game takes years of experience. We are seeing signs of this in video games with titles like Tetris and heck even arcade classics like Pac Man.

I myself still pick games like this up to this day since they don’t require a lot of investment of time or mental capability to enjoy particularly if you have a busy schedule. For today’s review, we have Guards. A generic-sounding title that may not look like a lot on the surface but give it a chance and it might just hook you in.

LadiesGamers Guards
Toss a coin to your teammates

Fantasy Squad

In Guards, you play as four heroes on a quest to take down the waves of monsters in the land and vanquish ‘the Boss!’ No, not a weird fella in a suit, think more monstrous. You start the game with four heroes: a Peasant, Mage, Archer and Witcher. You know a typical band of fantasy heroes.

Four more heroes can be unlocked later allowing you to create your ultimate four-person fantasy squad. The game gives you a quick tutorial on how to play the game before leaving you to your own devices. No long-winded plot, just a game that places you straight into the action. A good thing too because your train to work might arrive at any moment.

LadiesGamers Guards
Take some time to upgrade

Choose Your Next Move Carefully

The game plays as a turn-based battle system on a grid with three rows. Three of your heroes take up a row each and the fourth hero stays at the back regenerating health per turn. Enemies arrive each turn from the right side of the screen and you need to take down a set number which is indicated in the top left of the screen to complete the level.

Each turn you have to swap one of your heroes. If you swap with one of the front line heroes, each hero will then proceed to attack whatever is straight in front provided that said hero has the appropriate reach.

Guards LadiesGamers
Take that!

Heroes like the Knight and Witcher are better for close-range combat whereas the Mage and Archer are better at taking out enemies from a distance. Once you take a turn all enemies on screen will also take action of moving closer to the heroes or attacking at long or short range. If you swap with the fourth hero in the back this hero will perform a special action, such as healing a party member or landing a devastating blow to enemies on the grid.

This all devolves into a game that feels like a simplified version of chess. A game where every move can mean the importance of getting the upper hand or possibly failing. If any of the heroes dies the game is over and you accumulate some gems which can be used to upgrade your heroes back in the main menu before trying all over again. It’s a simple gameplay loop but it quickly becomes quite addictive even if failure is almost a certainty. 

LadiesGamers Guards
Choose your moves wisely

Low Poly

The graphics are 3D low poly faceless models. It’s an art style that works very well and does the job needed here. Most of the level environments are forest areas and there is a decent assortment of enemies to attack typical to a fantasy setting. Examples include bats, goblins and armoured Hogs.

The game also surprises with some pretty good lighting and weather effects. It runs very well in handheld and TV modes. It seemed like a title that probably would have benefitted from touch controls since all you are doing is swapping heroes positions. Sadly this feature is absent. 

LadiesGamers Guards
Watch out for enemies in the back row

Guards is a simple concept but much like rogue-lite games, it has this ‘just one more go’ feel to it. Even with each failure, I found myself having a lot of fun experimenting with different heroes and trying new items.

The game also offers challenges to complete. These unlock items and stars the latter can be used to upgrade your party in general over time. Even when you have managed to conquer the game on the normal setting the game offers you the chance to play on a harder mode.

A single run will probably take up to 30 minutes to finish. The replay ability will keep you coming back for several gaming sessions. The game might come across as a bit of a grind to some gamers. After all, you’re probably only going to finish the game the first time once your heroes are sufficiently levelled up. But this is a grind I never found to be a chore. Some may also see Guards as keeping things too simple, lacking general depth to its mechanics. But I can argue that I still had a lot of fun with this simplicity.

LadiesGamers Guards
Complete challenges to unlock more goodies

Conclusion-Seize It 

If you’re looking for something to play in short bursts and like your board games, then Guards is well worth venturing into the fantasy realm for. It could use a little more depth to its mechanics but at such a modest price point it’s hard not to recommend this simple turn-based adventure.

It got its hooks into me and I have to say I very much enjoyed coming back to this again and again. 

Final Verdict: I Like it a lot

I like it a lot

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