Warparty first impressions — Stone age strategy

Over the years, the real-time strategy genre has covered almost every phase of humanity’s history. While the near and distant future remain especially popular, Warparty goes deep into the opposite direction and takes strategic warfare to prehistoric times. The game is developed and published by Warcave and Crazy Monkey Studios, and it has just entered its beta testing phase. We’ve been playing it.

Warparty Crystals and fields; a good place to start.
Crystals and fields; a good place to start.

The mix of Stone Age and strategy has been explored before in titles such as Jurassic Primitive War or Paraworld, but remains a niche that is not exactly crowded. As it is to be expected, Warparty does not strive for Palaeolithic accuracy and lets you command units both dinosaur and human.

Warparty is a traditional real-time strategy. You start out with a settlement, your headquarters, which is used to train workers. Said workers then harvest food and mine crystals, as well as raise new structures. Those, in turn, are utilised to train the warriors needed for your warparty to wage war.

The foundation of your army are axemen and archers, supported by medicine men and a powerful hero unit which each player is provided with at the start of the match. With enough food, your settlement can be upgraded, which gives you access to the more powerful dinosaur units as well as technologies such as burning axes and poison arrows.

Warparty Cold climates bother neither the dinosaurs nor your skimpily clad cavemen.
Cold climates bother neither the dinosaurs nor your skimpily clad cavemen.

Currently, Warparty offers only a single faction, but it can be customised by selecting one of four special abilities before the start of a match. The wise council improves your economy, hunters give you access to ranged units right from the start, and necromancy allows you to train weak but cheap zombies.

The beta version of the game does not yet include any campaign missions, but allows multiplayer matches and skirmishes against the AI. The multiplayer maps are symmetrical and accommodate up to four players.

In addition to resources, they are littered with dinosaurs. These ancient beast sometimes guard shrines, but can also — importantly — be hunted for food. Once a shrine has been captured, you will start to gain power. Power can be used to activate support powers. Their various effects include dealing direct damage to enemy units, giving your own troops a boost, or making your workers work faster for a brief while.

Warparty, The enemy tribe does not stand a chance.
The enemy tribe does not stand a chance.

Overall, Warparty does not try to reinvent the wheel. Instead, it takes established ideas and gives them a fresh paint job. Warparty’s environments are colourful, the music fitting, and the cartoonish cavemen and dinosaurs charming. It is quite entertaining in its current state, and there is promise of more to come.

Warparty is currently in closed beta on PC, via Steam.

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