#20 Blacksmith Legends
Today’s promotion is Blacksmith Legends, a management-fantasy blacksmith simulation/strategy game from solo developer VM Gaming.
Blacksmith Legends is a RPG management strategy game where you inherit a small workshop and build your way up. Your job is to craft/modify your recipes, manage your workshop/employees, become hero or villain in the Kingdom to impress or dethrone your King!
Before we start, I want to make clear that Blacksmith Legends is currently in early access and I’m promoting the game having played for two hours, in which time I completed the prologue.
Before the story begins, you must select a character, name them, and even have a little fun designing your own flag. Then you are whisked away to Mirstone Village, where you have inherited a small plot of land from your parents. It is here that you build your blacksmith, with the help of your guide, Lucy.
Worth noting that you’ll be doing a lot of reading as there is no narrator, no voice overs, no cut scenes etc. and the screen can feel somewhat cluttered at times, but if you take it slow, you won’t be overwhelmed. I enjoy management games and I found this one quite easy to get to grips with. Like most games from this genre, you get into a groove.
As soon as you are done preparing your blacksmith – don’t forget a door – the locals put you to work!
Requests appear one at a time. You’ll start off by crafting axes, hoes, shovels, and cart wheels. Every time you craft an item, you’ll gain experience, eventually levelling up. You’re not a machine though and you have to keep an eye on morale and crafting quality. There are only so many hours in the day and if you push yourself too hard, you’ll produce wares that are cheap and undesirable.
You can pay a weekly fee to train you and your staff, but it means shorter working days and more breaks. You’ll get less done but you’ll be happier and your items will be of higher value.
Naturally, you’ll be rewarded for completing quests. You’ll earn gold and reputation, and you’ll also unlock new crafting recipes and decorations. I was initially worried at how repetitive this would get but before long, I had unlocked the tavern.
The local boozer is good for many things. Firstly, there is a large chest which offers free weekly rewards – you’d be a fool to overlook that. Plus, eventually you’ll be able to hire staff from here to join your growing establishment. Best of all, the first time you visit the tavern, you can hire a mercenary named Terrick. This is one of those moments in a game where you feel a big door has been kicked open.
With a hired killer on my books, I could now send him out into the world to cause trouble.
Unleashed, Terrick will find valuable mines, he’ll spy on camps, slay road bandits, storm haunted crypts, and most importantly make you money.
I really like the simplicity of the battles in Blacksmith Legends. They play out like a card game that you can either simulate or control manually. They are turn-based, with each side relentlessly hitting the other until only one is left standing. There is nothing else to it. You are basically a spectator, although you have to keep an eye out for icons that briefly appear on screen. If you can click on them quick enough, you can aid Terrick with a heal, parry, or damage buff.
The battles are fun to watch and do a good job of breaking up the concise routine of crafting. Small doses of back and forth between these two pursuits kept everything fun.
Something that needs to be mentioned is that you can upgrade Terrick’s equipment and what I really liked is that you can craft five sets of chainmail and all five will have different stats. One may boost your defence, while another will increase your attack. You could craft a third that grants you +35 health.
Anything you do craft that Terrick won’t use or isn’t needed for a quest, you can sell. As the quests continue, they grow in size and although crafting is just a few clicks of the mouse followed by a short wait, you can do this in the blink of an eye thanks to the different speed settings that are in your control. Press the number ‘4’ on your keyboard and the middle ages will be over before you can say ‘we’re out of coal’.
Once you have a mercenary in the field, you’ll have to start making choices that either benefit the kingdom or bring about its downfall. Make sure you read each quest opportunity carefully and weigh up the potential consequences of accepting it.
I stayed true to the kingdom and upon finishing the prologue, I unlocked the town merchants, which I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into.
I’m having a blast with this. It won’t be for everyone (no game is) but it is confident with its gameplay loop and what it can offer.
After I completed the prologue, I joined the Blacksmith Legends discord and I’m so pleased this game has a supportive audience. I’m excited for the future of this title, especially given its roadmap. There is a lot more to come for this game. Sharpen your swords.