I'm thinking about changing the name of my column at Gameshark.com to "Barnes Bitches About Price". Because that's what I'm doing again in my otherwise favorable review of Conquest Gaming's WARLORDS OF EUROPE. It's eighty freaking dollars. For a game that ought to cost half that. I bet it'd sell three times as many copies with a lower price point.
The problem is that the game is priced competitively with FFG products and other releases, so it's hard to fault the company for keeping up with the times. But it's the kind of game that needs to be $40 so that kids can buy it, not just hardcore hobbyists who have no compunction at dropping that kind of money on a game. What's more, the game is very old fashioned and somewhat outmoded (but it's a good kind of old fashioned and outmoded), so it makes recommending it tough when $80 can buy you a more innovative and forward-thinking game in this same genre.
I actually liked that the game was MUCH closer to the old Gamemaster games than most recent examples that have tried to follow that path, and it's extremely clear-cut, straightforward, and unadorned. There's not a god damned thing "clever" about it, it knows exactly what kind of game it is and it plays to its strengths without over-reaching or trying to dress things up with a bunch of unnecessary rules, chrome, or detail.
But $80. Read the review and decide for yourself if that's out of range for you. I'm sure some of you "I'm alright Jack" types have no problem at all with the price, but I think it's not healthy when a game like this has to be sold at this price to cover costs and be competitive on the market.
Michael is a member of the Fortress: Ameritrash staff, and a regular columnist for Gameshark.