Let’s see what we have here. A Chaosium game, a real expert in role-playing games, based on the Cthulhu universe and developed during the First World War. Did I get the long teeth? There are few games about Cthulhu and even fewer that are worth playing. For those of you who are not interested in principle I encourage you to keep reading, since we are talking about The Wasted Land, a turn-based combat and role-playing game with good game mechanics.
Before we continue, I must confess a terrible secret. The application hides an abominable horror, much worse than the terror caused by the inhabitants of the Lovecraft universe. I am referring to a translation that makes your hair stand on end, since it has been made by someone who doesn’t speak any Spanish, but nothing, nothing, nothing. If you don’t mind playing it in English, come in and make yourself comfortable. Quick, the Outer Gods have little patience.
We start the application and we find this screen, in which we can choose between a new campaign, see the guides (although we will have a minitutorial to get the game), options (basically sound and appearance of the health bar of the characters) and the game itself.
It is important to emphasize that the information of the game, as long as we do it in Shakespeare’s language, is clear and concise, giving us the right and necessary information to start playing.
And we get to the game itself. In it, we have to guide a group of adventurers through various levels and fight against numerous German soldiers, cultists, zombies and other monsters of various kinds. It’s based on a turn-based combat system, in which we select each of the characters we can play and tell them what actions to take. Each action costs a series of action points, which are recovered in each round if we are not dead or out of combat. So, we can move, shoot, and do some first aid if we have enough points for it. We even have modifiers, which will cost us more action points but give us more aim per round.
So the gameplay mechanics could be said to be this: we assign actions to each of our intrepid characters until their action points are exhausted and when we’re ready it’s time to pass the baton to the enemy. Each one of them will do the same, exhausting their action points to position themselves and finish with us. Although it’s a turn-based game, it’s not at all tiring, and it’s possible to speed up the actions and make everything happen faster.
The graphics are in three dimensions, more than correct, and help us get into the action. The artificial intelligence of our opponents is worthy (come on, they’re going to make things difficult for us by number and brute force rather than by taking really smart actions) and the game is quite entertaining.
In Wasted Land we will be improving our characters thanks to the checkpoints we get when we manage to perform actions successfully. When we finish each of the missions we can also exchange items or buy others thanks to the win system included in the game. And, just like Cthulhu, the loss of mental health due to exposure to horror is well handled in the game, with the possibility of recovering it during the game.
Call of Cthulhu The Wasted Lands
If you’ve never played a role-playing game (you don’t know what you’re missing) think of Wasted Land as an entertaining turn-based combat game with magic, cultists, terror and survival. If you’ve played Cthulhu, you know the dynamics of it and you know what you’re going to find. Available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch (iOS 4.2 or higher), the game costs 3.99 euros, and I’ll recommend it (strongly recommended) when they fix the lousy translation of it to our language.