Once again in a few moments of spare time (with little cash to spend on new games) I delved into my collection of old laptop games to see if any have passed the test of time. Much to my delight I discovered that a childhood favourite called Heroes of Might and Magic 3 was not only an enjoyable nostalgia experience but has remained an addictive and entertaining game. Many an afternoon was used up and burnt away playing multi-player sessions of this game with friends, and the game has retained its ability to drain away your free time. First of all, lets be clear, this game is a mid-nineties game and it shows. Do not expect graphical brilliance from this game. It is incredibly simplistic in its graphical design but actually gains a level of charm as a result of this. For those of you who have never played this game before, a quick description of the game is in order. The gameplay is broken down into a seven day week, and every day you can build one building in your city and move your heroes to their maximum movement values across the game map to reach resources, items and enemy castles and heroes. At the end of the week your castle generates a certain amount of troops at different levels which are bought using gold found on the map or generated by your town. Combat takes the form of turn based combat where individual creature stacks can move and attack once per turn. As the title of the game suggests magic is also much in evidence and can be case once per turn in combat and on the playing map, the application of spells such as haste and slow can drastically alter the flow of combat and offers large amounts of scope for complex tactics. That is the beauty of this game, it is very simple to pick up and play and is very easy to grasp but, should you wish, it can also offer a varied and tactically complex gaming experience. In addition to this the game can be played online with up to seven friends or against players around the world, so you can always find an opponent who matches your skill (or who just falls short of it which, lets be honest, is usually more fun.) Players can choose between 8 different factions (Castle, Rampart, Tower, Inferno, Necropolis, Dungeon, Fortress and Stronghold) which each have their own creature stacks and different strengths and weaknesses, which offers a lot of re-playability to find the alignment which most suits your style of play.
There are 6 solo campaigns to play through as well as over 40 single scenarios with different victory and loss conditions that require different tactics to complete, which help to keep the game-play feeling varied and interesting. The Heroes of Might and Magic series has many incarnations but this is widely regarded, by both critics and fans, as being the best in the series, therefore if you have never tried any of the games I would recommend this game over any of the newer games. Many of you may have played this already, but to those who missed out the first time around, get this wonderful strategy game, you won’t be disappointed. Also it is a total bargain as it only costs a few pounds from Ebay or free from many download sites. Not that I recommend such nefarious practices, of course. Enjoy!
Here is a link to a video showing some of the gameplay courtesy of Humakt83: (Don’t watch all 9 minutes)