Highborn is a turn based strategy game, filled with humour and engaging gameplay, despite its “casual game” description. It pokes fun at itself throughout, and loves highlighting faults in stereotypical protagonists. This is the PC version of the game, which was developed because of how successful the game is already on the smartphone markets. Jet Set Games have tweaked their original release – graphically as well as in other areas – and it shows just how good a game Highborn is.
The story begins with your character looking to gather a group of mates, which I know is something we have all seen in games and films preceding this. However, this game portrays more realistic relationships between friends. This is shown through the characters being heavily sarcastic, and taking little digs at each other at every chance. They aren’t overly friendly towards each other either. You start off playing as the Knight: Archie.
This dim-witted and heavily-armoured dentists wet dream is your introduction to the game. He has good lines and is a heavy hitter, very reminiscent of the stereotypical 80’s leading men. Archie bears the brunt of most of the jokes in the game amongst the friends. Personally though, my favourite character is Floyd, the villain of the story. This Arch-Lich is the hero for the Decay side. Each of the heroes, good or bad, has their own attributes and different play styles. For the good side you can charge into battle as Archie, stealth your way past enemies as Trillian or use the destructive forces of Magic as Enzo.
The games villains also have their own banter, which leads to some brilliant back-and-forth’s between the characters in each mission. There is also a lot of childish humour which I have to say probably got the biggest laughs from me.
Another high point of the game are the so called “helpful tips”. They don’t offer any guidance for the game whatsoever, but do offer golden nuggets of life advice. One such nugget is the classic, “let the Wookie win”. Another one of the “helpful” tips is a shameless plug of this very game for iOS and Android.
I genuinely enjoyed this game. I laughed often, and spent quite some time trying, in vain, to get all of the achievements. There are some things that I found did reduce my enjoyment though. One of these is how clunky the gameplay is. On countless occasions during play time I found myself having to continuously click a position on the map when trying to move a character, only to find myself having to highlight the character again and click the same position. Another thing I found annoying about the game was having to wait for a character to stop moving before I could highlight a different character to then move. Although the game is turn based it shouldn’t be necessary for each character to require all of your attention when they are carrying out an order.
Overall, Highborn is enjoyable and the story is strong enough to keep you playing through the campaign. The comedy and the strange achievements will have you repeating missions just to see if you are able to complete the game in the way that the sneaky sods at Jet Set Games wanted it to be played.
7 shiny dentures of brilliance out of 10