Parents' Guide to

Stronghold: Warlords

By Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Complex strategic battles held back by slow empire building.

Game Windows 2021
Stronghold: Warlords Poster Image

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While there are some new elements, the over-arching strategy here follows a familiar theme -- collect resources, build your city, create army units and conquer the world. Featuring three single-player locations in its civilization building mode (a jungle clearing, the open steppes or an island that really doesn't lend itself to invasion), Stronghold: Warlords is a huge time sink. Resources take time to collect and there's a definite way things have to work. For example, you can have an iron mine, but unless you have oxen to transport the iron to your warehouse, the mine will produce but not help your society. Of course, to build the buffalo tether for transport, you need wood -- which may well be the slowest resource to accumulate. What's also questionable is that the accents of the narrators are terrible, and almost seem like a mockery of the culture at times -- particularly when asking if you wish to save the game or overwrite the previous save. Apart from that, the other audio elements are well done.

When it comes to the actual warfare, Warlords is a solid game, although it's a bit unspectacular. The visual elements are solid and filled with eye candy, and the combat looks intense -- which may make this a tougher game to manage for younger players. The time frame is intriguing, but merely naming characters or locales after historical elements doesn't make this a game that 'replays' history. This is a good civ-building game with elements that fans of the genre might appreciate, and some of the settings might make for a good introduction to the genre for younger players, but things don't happen quickly here and building the empire takes far too much time for casual gamers. But for veterans of the franchise, this could be an appealing way to spent multiple hours conquering rival generals.

Game Details

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