Grab Your Sickle: A Druid’s Duel Released

A Druid's Duel screenshot

Druids used to be pretty important in England. Their influence faded long ago, but things might have turned out differently if they’d possessed the ability to turn into animals and do battle on floating islands. Then again, would the legions of the Roman Empire really have been bothered by a few eagles ineffectually pecking at chainmail? I suppose not, but dropping a floating island would probably have the desired effect.

We may never learn the truth of that entirely stupid scenario, but in the meantime it’s possible to pit druid versus druid in bloody turn-based combat thanks to A Druid’s Duel [official site], which was released this week. Peer through this ornate torc and a trailer you shall see.

The developers promise a game of flux (not the card game), thanks to the way that the game board will change based on player actions. Between that and the floating islands I’m reminded of the rather excellent Greed Corp. A Druid’s Duel’s developers also state it will be simple to learn but difficult to master, thanks to the pared-back range of unit types, the mutable board and the challenges of capturing and protecting territory. All this is what you want of a turn-based strategy game, eh?

It also features local and online multiplayer alongside a single-player campaign. And so on and so on: honestly, the Steam page or the game’s own site has all of this mundane info. I’ve not played it but I think it looks neat, and it’s out now so fill your boots. I mean sandals. Druids probably wore sandals, right?

A Druid’s Duel is presently £5.59/$7.88/€7.99 on Steam, with 20% off thanks to the clever placement of some stone monoliths. It’s on Humble too, DRM-free, but without the launch discount.

14 Comments

  1. Yukiomo says:

    I kept reading the title as “A Druid’s Drool”. The actual title is probably a bit better than that one.

  2. Gilead says:

    Did anyone ever play NetStorm, from around 1997-1998? The floating islands and magic theme reminds me of that. Nostalgia.

    Also, the druids look an awful lot like the Magicka wizards. I suppose one tiny hooded magic-wielder looks a lot like another, though.

    • strangeloup says:

      I really liked NetStorm, and it is my not-so-secret hope that it’ll someday show up on GOG; even if I could find the disc from way back when, I very much doubt it’d play nice with a current OS.

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        heretic says:

        wow… yes! that’s what this was called, remember playing it without any instructions I failed very badly initially but got the hang of it eventually, capturing the high priests was the best bit :D

        link to en.wikipedia.org

  3. Scurra says:

    A Druid’s Duel’s developers also state it will be simple to learn but difficult to master,Sorry, I’m out. Anyone who falls back on that phrase, that doesn’t even deserve to be called a cliché, should be taken out and dropped off the nearest floating island.

    • Shadowcat says:

      You’re weird.

      Just because it’s a cliche, doesn’t mean it’s not an ideal goal for a great many games.

      • jrodman says:

        I have to admit that I typically interpret that phrase as “Our game will be shiny.”

    • noobule says:

      It’s literally the #1 goal every game designer out there trying to make an abstract strategy game like this. You might as well get mad at someone making a game in the bullethell genre for promising ‘lots of bullets’

      • Scurra says:

        Well that’s partly why I said it. It’s an entirely redundant phrase that tells you less than nothing about the game but it sounds deep and meaningful so it tends to get repeated a lot. Hence I thought it was worse than cliché.
        Of course “simple to learn, difficult to master” is a good goal for a game, but it’s kind of like saying “our game is well-balanced” or “the player is rewarded for skill rather than luck”. If someone said that about their game, wouldn’t you wonder a little? I mean, wouldn’t you actually expect that? (Assuming that it wasn’t e.g. a game of bingo.)
        I guess it’s because I want them to tell me why their game is unique, not why their game is like every other abstract strategy game out there…

    • draglikepull says:

      I agree, the phrase makes me have the same reaction. Virtually every game aspires to have depth. If your game aspires to have depth, tell me what specifically gives it that depth. “Easy to learn, difficult to master” is the video game equivalent of a political party saying “We care about the middle class.” It’s an empty platitude. Give me specifics.

  4. thranx says:

    Played this at pax… with the limited time I had with it, it was quite good.

  5. rustybroomhandle says:

    England, Mr Green? ENGLAND? I’d say the entity now known as England never saw much value in druids. They did a dandy job suppressing those cultures though.

    • Shaun Green says:

      Oops! Excuse my ahistorical gaffe: I was overly focused on visualising animals battling legionaries. (It was a little like an episode of Visionaries.)

  6. SuicideKing says:

    I see Ewoks