I took an oddly long time to play this game, and I think there was a good reason for it.
In each of the 24 levels, spread across 6 different zones, I found myself heavily invested in , and often stressed about, the outcome. Most levels took between 25 and 40 minutes, a few boss levels sometimes slightly more time if you consider the “thinking” down time. And although that doesn’t seem like much time, I very rarely found myself playing two levels back-to-back.
I talked yesterday about options in games, and I think this applies here. Often in Skulls of the Shogun, there are quite literally too many options for the player. Not only does every unit on the battlefield have a complete and unrestricted range of motion (there are no “tiles” or “spots”), but you have 5 actions per turn, and there are at minimum 8 units in your control plus at least 10 or more enemy units to consider the actions of. It would be like if Chess has no dedicated squares on it, and on each player’s turn, they could move 5 pieces instead of just 1.
This is also much of what makes this game fun, challenging, and interesting. But, for me, it simply took too much mental energy to play more than one round of in a gaming session. I’m glad I took a few months to play this game, I got much more out of it because of that.
[ Today I Was Playing: Skulls of the Shogun and Super Stardust Ultra ]
February 20, 2016