Game Review: Militia

gets to grips with a tricky video board game

Militia (4)Rating: ★★★★☆
Platform: PC
Release Date: 2 December 2015
Developer: BrainGoodGames

Militia is a game that seems to be constantly compared to chess. I feel however that this is a rather short-sighted comparison. Each match takes place on three independent boards and each round is randomly generated. Whilst like in chess each piece you control has a specified set of moves that’s about where the similarities end.

When you enter a new round you’re faced with a number of enemies and your objective is simple. Use the limited number of pieces you have to take the ‘captain’ enemies before either you run out of turns or all of your pieces are taken. This game is the almost the definition of “easy to Learn, hard to master” the rules are always the same and in theory if you just think hard enough there’s no way you can lose! However it seems that you always miss seeing an imp who then takes one of your pieces, or you didn’t notice the archer at the other end of the board. It’s strategy in its purest (and arguably best) form.

Whilst the game is local only it scales in difficulty with your ability. The more matches you win the higher your ranking the more difficult the scenarios. However if you fail a match you lose ranking and thus the difficulty decreases. Ideally this means that you slowly hone your skills and hit rank 10! (I’m still only at rank 5… it gets hard fast). This also ensures that the game never gets old and each time you think you’ve mastered it.

If that’s not enough for you the game also includes the Dark World expansion which adds an entirely new mode. It features completely new pieces for you and the computer which allow for abilities that wrap around the board, create or detonate explosives and lots of other new abilities that make for an even tougher experience. This again comes with its own laddering system. It pretty much doubles the amount of content in the game. Not only this but the developer seems dedicated to adding more content with Endless Mode being recently added and even more features promised in the future.

Militia is a great game and one I’ve already played a fair bit. It’s simple yet compelling and is likely to appeal to a very wide audience including those who do not traditionally play games. The game is great on Steam but also maybe better as a portable game which is available on tablets. The tablet version comes with the ‘light’ level set for free, So there’s no excuse to not give it a go. There’s then the option to purchase the additional ‘Dark World’ expansion for a couple of pounds. It should be noted that the review key for this game was provided free of charge by the developer.

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