Over the summer I had the chance to sit down to Rionix and PQube’s The Unexpected Quest while it was being showcased during the Steam Summer Festival. Having been fully released, this interesting puzzle based Real Time Strategy will keep you busy for a good couple hours.
As unexpectedly as the quest that I was on, this might actually be the shortest review I’ve ever written. Just about everything that needed to be said was said over the summer when I had the chance to sit down to stages one, two and four as the demo skipped over three.
Starting with two townsfolk, it’s up to you to start gathering resources in order to take down barricades and build up the buildings that you’re going to need in order to push further. Barracks, Wizard Towers and Forges each need to be built per stage in order to overcome the challenges whether they be through might or mental prowess. To be fair, most of it is taken care of through might because your town’s folk have to chop down trees and use their pickaxes against stone blocks before the fighting even begins.
Through the barracks you can recruit warriors, archers and wizards which can each only take on targets of those specifications. This is really why The Unexpected Quest is a “puzzle” based real-time strategy. Enemies of each of those types will be roaming around each map and it’s up to you to make sure you’re ready to encounter them to move on past. Each enemy type has a level and if your unit is of a lower level, they’ll quite easily die unless you use potions and shields on them. To even the score, you’ll need to find items that boost each unit type as well as spend gold to increase their respective unit type’s level through the forge.
And that’s really it. Rinse. Repeat. Sadly eight stages and five hours later you’re done. The only thing that could possibly prolong the experience are stars that can be acquired on each level for an achievement. This basically means not losing any units, finding all the treasures and doing all the side quests. After that the adventure is simply over.
Now to play devil’s advocate, while I did enjoy my time with the unexpected quest, and while I would have liked more, even with the deadpan ending, it answered about the time that it should. The main reason for this is that every single stage starts off with you having to build from scratch. You can’t carry resources over, you can’t carry buildings over, and you can’t carry units over. All of this has to be done each and every single time making it quite long after a while especially when you had a good rhythm going. The only thing that actually carries over are items in your inventory such as being able to start your units off at a higher level, potions for healing, and items to boost resource production.