Songs of Conquest PC Review

Itching for some Heroes of Might and Magic?

By LCLupus, Posted 18 May 2022

Do you like Heroes of Might and Magic? If the answer is yes, then you’ll probably like Songs of Conquest. There hasn’t been a Heroes of Might and Magic game since 2015, and those fans probably deserve something new. But this review is for those unfamiliar with Heroes of Might and Magic. This is for people like me. So, let’s break this thing down.


Songs of Conquest is a turn-based strategy game in which you control several heroes, called Wielders in-game, and those Wielders must then defend and build an empire while slowly establishing an army to the point where all enemies can be destroyed. At first glance, it looks like an RTS, but the big difference is that you do not directly control any armies. Each Wielder has an army attached to them, and so the micromanagement is significantly easier than it would be in your usual RTS.

Each of these Wielders have a certain number of movement points per turn, and you use those points to move around the map and explore. Around the map, you’ll find various resources that allow you to build up your base and army. For instance, bundles of wood or gold can be found lying around the world, but you can supplement your overall resource gains by building certain buildings (such as a sawmill for lumber) or you can find buildings on the map that give you these resources every turn.


You need to manage both your base, as it allows you to upgrade your troops, build structures that allow for more troops and, as you upgrade your main base, you can recruit more Wielders (which increases your overall defensive and offensive abilities, and it allows you to do more per turn), and you need to manage your armies.

Each Wielder has their army that can be grown using buildings you build at your base, such as barracks, or from random points of interest around the map, like mercenary camps. You then move around the map gaining experience, finding equipment, and strategically conquering more of the map. And then, once your army is strong enough, you can fight creeps to increase your experience or pass-through certain places (for instance, some creeps will guard equipment pickups, gold mines, etc.).


You do all of this to finally take on other Wielders. This then leads to the combat system. Now, in the overview map, you can just run around the environment, selecting what to do and where to go and you never have to get into combat unless you want to, but other Wielders on enemy teams are a different situation altogether.

Every Wielder, with the equipment you pick up and the magic you acquire, can aid their troops in battle. The battles themselves switch to a grid-based arena in which you move your troops to higher ground, behind cover, or just straight on at the enemy. Different unit types must be treated differently. For instance, you probably want archers on higher ground and poleaxe soldiers to run head on and strike. And some units have abilities that are exclusive to them that can help you in battle. And, if you don’t like the fighting system, you can just set it to do the fight automatically. However, it can be finicky. For instance, I once lost against an enemy who was classified as “easy” and won against one labeled as “dangerous”. So, it is often best to do the fighting yourself as AI tends to be less intelligent than a human. Unless of course, you’re terrible at strategy games (like myself).


So, that’s Songs of Conquest. You build up a base and upgrade your Wielders so they can have larger, stronger armies and eventually take down all your foes. But here’s where it comes time for some problems. Movement across the map with your Wielders can be incredibly slow, the difficulty can spike astronomically (it’s one of those games where you have to do the early game right or else there’s no real hope of winning), and it can feel like it takes ages to build up an army, some resources take forever to accumulate while your gold count is constantly increasing (although there is a market system where you can buy things with gold), there are strange restrictions on building your base that can be annoying (for instance, you can only build one thing at a time and you only have a limited number of slots to build things; which may annoy more traditional RTS players), and it can feel like you’re just meandering around a map and looking for random things rather than having a coherent plan.

It also isn’t great that when playing skirmishes, you’ll probably win or lose before getting to have any of the cool units or upgrades. Much like in RTS games, there tends to be a focus on ending the game as quickly as possible rather than building up massive armies to wage war against one another. And this isn’t helped much by the fact that if you do want to play online against other players, you may have some trouble finding other players. At the time of writing, Songs of Conquest has been out for about a week, and I couldn’t find a single multiplayer match.


Now, let me first say that while I know this is not an RTS game, I am going to make some RTS comments because they apply to this kind of game. If the campaign isn’t amazing, an RTS is not going to be able to survive on singleplayer alone. I don’t even think I know any RTS games that have survived on singleplayer alone. Multiplayer is where these games find their longevity. And if you can’t get into a match, you’ll only ever play against bots or you’ll play the rather humdrum campaign.

The campaign in this game, and the world in general, is very generic. Think Game of Thrones-style houses fighting each other but without any of the political intrigue, interesting characters, or unique world. It’s a standard fantasy world with a feudal class system, some different factions that don’t differ much in how they work, and nothing else particularly exciting to write home about. The campaign mostly seems to be there to serve as a tutorial and to give you a song. Genuinely. It gives you a song. As you finish missions, you’re treated to segments of a song, and while it is rather sweet, it’s also a rather strange thing to have as a central feature, and if the Steam page is anything to go by: it is a central feature.

The campaign, in addition, is rather short. A few missions and then you’re done. So, you’ll probably end up playing the skirmishes if you do get into Songs of Conquest and there is a lot of replayability if you enjoy the central loop. But there is that little multiplayer issue, as I mentioned. So, it’s up to you whether you want to risk it for a game that may not have much of a player base.


However, for a game that is in Early Access, it’s a good beginning. It doesn’t have much in the way of bugs and issues. And, as an Early Access game, it may end up having a longer campaign or more stuff overall when it’s finally done. Maybe. But as the game presently stands, it probably isn’t worth it until the player-base increases. This is, of course, a contradiction; if no one plays, the player-base won’t increase, and if the player-base doesn’t increase then no one will play.

But, if you like Heroes of Might and Magic, as I said at the beginning of this review, then maybe you’d enjoy Songs of Conquest for its central loop enough that a larger player base can start to form. At least it should tide you over until someone releases another Heroes of Might and Magic. Provided that ever even happens.

Justin van Huyssteen,
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Coffee Stain Studios, Coffee Stain Publishing
Developer(s): Lavapotion
Genres: Turn-Based Strategy
Themes: Adventure
Release Date: 2022-05-10

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