Four races of wizards, adepts of four magical schools, collide in a brutal fight for world domination. Etherlords, an iconic strategy created by Nival, became a bestseller in the world and earned highest grades from critics.Etherlords is an exciting mix of turn-based strategy and fantasy trading card game.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (73 reviews) - 42% of the 73 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 12, 2001

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Packages that include this game

Buy Etherlords Bundle

Includes 2 items: Etherlords, Etherlords II

 

Reviews

“This is the best game ever released in the turn-based fantasy genre.”
87/100 – GameSpy

“Having missions that take hours upon hours to finish is a difficult feature to sell to gamers that may have limited time to spare.”
81/100 – IGN

“Although the grand strategy is a bit misguided, the tactical combat is a splendid twist on the concept of collectible card games.”
81/100 – GameSpot

About This Game

Four races of wizards, adepts of four magical schools, collide in a brutal fight for world domination. Etherlords, an iconic strategy created by Nival, became a bestseller in the world and earned highest grades from critics.

Etherlords is an exciting mix of turn-based strategy and fantasy trading card game. Innovative game mechanics that first appeared in this game formed the basics of most modern games of this genre.

Key Features

  • 4 races of magical creatures, each with their own unique lands, architecture, spells and strategy;
  • 2 battle campaigns for each two allied races;
  • More than 300 spells, including sorcery, battle magic, summoning and rituals;
  • More than 10 game levels, all connected by one storyline;
  • 64 heroes of all races; their parameters, special abilities and selected skills progress with each level gained.
  • Individual battle style for each hero with the help of their unique sets of spells;
  • A combination of magical battle system based on table games and strategic use of resources;
  • Full 3D turn-based battles with unlimited variety of tactical decisions;

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows
    • Processor: Pentium II 266 MHz
    • Memory: 64 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 7.0
    • Storage: 1500 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows
    • Processor: Pentium II 450 MHz
    • Memory: 128 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 7.0
    • Storage: 1500 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (73 reviews)
Recently Posted
vivisect6
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
I spent quite a bit of time trying all of the suggested actions from the discussion boards to get this turd to work.. It is broken.... It will not run on Windows 10.


I'll bet the game sucks anyways.... :(
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Faudraline
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 14
Etherlords is a strategy defense combined with a neat and challenging card game combat hailing from Nival Interactive, a small Russian development team that will take on the formidable feat of developing Heroes of Might and Magic V, eventually later on. As a side note, alongside its quite improved sequel Etherlords II, the game holds a special place for me; meaning many frustrating hours of deck building and combat practice during 2001-2004. I was about to shed tears of joy when I first managed to beat this one!

In the world of Ether, there comes a time when the way to the Temple of Time is finally open. The old legend states that whoever holds dominion over the Temple shall rule the power of Ether, the substance of all magic and creation. Four distinct nations of the realm: druidic Vitals, aloof Kinets, fierce Chaots and decaying Synthets all begin a race towards the Temple to challenge the master of the world: the White Lord. Only one shall succeed and overcome the challenges of becoming the next White Lord. As the saying goes: "The Ether enslaves the ones who obey it, and destroys the ones who do not".

I suspect that neither European nor American market are familiar with this challenging and enjoyable series, so I'll try to make a resume for the game dynamics. In its essence, Etherlords is a strategy game which presents the player an isometric map with a capital city, resources to gather and monsters to challenge. With each combat your hero overcomes, he/she levels up to unlock a selection of abilities. You have to make sure that you protect your base and gather needed resources to wage war at the same time. Here, we basically have a Heroes of Might and Magic alternative.

The combat itself on the other hand, is a variation of Magic the Gathering card game where your hero and the enemy faces each other, with monsters to summon and spells to alter the battlefield. Here is where things get complicated: you will be collecting the spells throughout the strategy map and you will have a limited number of spells that your deck may hold any given time. For each spell acquired, you will also need the appropriate resources which determines how many times that spell can be cast. Thus, you have to establish a careful balance between the game's strategy and card game elements. Easier said than done, this restriction quickly becomes tricky to handle. When you decide to change one card, you can easily find yourself travelling to the other side of the map, while an enemy hero silently marches towards your capital.

Graphics are fairly outdated, but still charming enough in my opinion. The environment and character animations are colorful exaggerations that we are already familiar from Warcraft III or King's Bounty series. Camera settings are usually a bit distasteful, inconveniently choosing to focus on random figures, but hey! No one promised an A+ game. What we have here is an old, challenging strategy and card game that certainly doesn't hold hands with the player.

There is a truckload of negative reviews about the game out there, complaining about constant crashes or not being able to run the game at all on modern systems. These issues are long gone. The worst that you should be expecting is that you may have to run the game from the directory rather than the Steam shortcut which doesn't record playtime. Otherwise, it works fine. The campaign is fairly long - with two concurrently occurring separate scenarios. You can always run an independent strategy or dueling session too.

I strongly suggest giving Etherlords a chance if you either enjoy strategy or card games, or that you'd be curious about a successful combination of the two. Take it when you're feeling up for a challenge.

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kazerniel
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: November 3, 2015
Broken piece of ♥♥♥♥, avoid! (Just look at the reviews and Discussions - the game is crashing all the time for most people.)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
m_ikirt
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: September 23, 2015
No, I don't recommend this game. From the get go the game was confusing, with no real way to tell what you are supposed to do. No tutorial, or in game instruction at all. That alone wouldn't bother me much, as I like to figure things out. However, when you combine that with the fact that the game constantly locks up, and I personally had to completely restart my machine to get out of it, this game is just a frustrating mess.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Taebrythn
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: September 10, 2015
the game is a mixture of magic the gathering and heroes of might/magic. if you don't mind it being old then go for it. there are issues with the game startup/crashing. make sure to look in the discussions for fixes so you don't look like a fool saying it doesn't work.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dargenus
( 12.7 hrs on record )
Posted: August 26, 2015
Fun game; way, way, way too buggy. Crashes all the time despite my best attempts to run it with affinity 1.

A lot of the levels are either horribly overtuned or I am missing something. Getting past level 3 was a miracle.

Would recommend anyway, but the game crashes way too often and I just got tired of it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SomeDudeinCO
( 0.0 hrs on record )
Posted: August 8, 2015
Launched game, went in to options, game crashed. Had to reboot PC. Launched game again, started campaign, game crashed again. Uninstall. Windows 10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shikei001
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: August 8, 2015
Could not play it with Win 7 no matter what I tried.
With Win 10 it WORKS NOW !

All I had to do was to install the XNA pack, as suggested in this thread.
(I also run it as admin by default.)
http://steamcommunity.com/app/270770/discussions/1/540733523709079989/

Thanks for a tiny bit of my childhood :D
Helpful? Yes No Funny
eljeko
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: August 7, 2015
The No it's not for the game per se but for the poor porting to steam.
Got it as special offer but it's a costant crash.
It's a god game, I had this in the good old times.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
thorgrim1972
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: August 6, 2015
I'd recommend this game and say yes grab up this classic jewel, but unfortunately the game freezes up and/or crashes literally every 3 minutes. Again this isn't saying the game itself is bad, if it were to actually run properly it would be awesome. The problem is it doesn't want to run to begin with.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jack_the_beast
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 11, 2015
the game itself is pretty good, the duels are great although the game system it's a bit confusing if you're new to the genre. I don't like the cainpagn mode, particulary I don't like that you have to restart from level 0 in each level.

it's better to go directly to Etherlords 2
Helpful? Yes No Funny
-=GHS=- Miles The Man
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 14, 2015
Definitely worth the $5 for it. Plays kind of like Magic: the Gathering but is different enough to have it's own name.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ForestDragon
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 14, 2015
One of the greatest games from 2001. Still good 3D graphics, and hard, turn-based battles!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CelJaded
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 12, 2015
A card battling RPG is a great idea for a game, but Etherlords doesn't fulfill that potential. Play Etherlords II instead as it's much more streamlined and enjoyable.

Whilst the card dueling portion of Etherlords is robust and enjoyable enough, the strategy/world map portion is simply not fit for purpose.

Producing hero units and casting global spells like a Heroes of Might & Magic game holds no weight when the ideal tactic is to simply eliminate the AI’s strongest hero and make a beeline for their temple.

As the game goes on you get the feeling that Nival lost faith in the strategy side of Etherlords and quietly downplayed its importance in favour of the superior card battle system.

The final battle of the campaign though is problematic as it pitches you in a duel against the sinister White Lord with a totally different hero and every spell in the game unlocked for deck preparation.

All of your hard work in building your own personal deck disappears at this point and it becomes a troubleshooting exercise instead of a grand finale to an epic adventure.

Read the full retrospective at my blog »
Helpful? Yes No Funny
κάθαρσις
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 9, 2015
doesnt work at all
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BottomFeeder
( 7.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 5, 2015
Couldnt run it, crashes on battles. tryed on two systems with the same crash. Windows 7 and 8. I like this game thats why i bought it. But i did assume it would run on computers not from 2005 when i paid for it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vegan
( 12.4 hrs on record )
Posted: February 21, 2015
UNPLAYABLE
I love this game, it's in my top-20. But before steam and now it is BUGGED to the unplayable level.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ixurge
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 10, 2015
boring and repetitive.
got it in a bundle, give it a try if you find it on HUGE sale.

it's old and unfortunately it aged terribly.
the basic idea is cool, is like heroes on might and magic, mixed with a TCG for what is about the combat phase.

unfortuntely it is very very slow to play, with outdated graphics and controls and, personal taste, a very inappropriate soundtrack
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Soro
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: January 30, 2015
THIS GAME WILL CRUSH which is common for old pc titles . You simply have to follow few steps to fix it though . http://steamcommunity.com/app/270770/discussions/1/540733523709079989/

Old fix worked for me . Try that one first so you can play with sound .

Etherlords 1 is similar to Heroes of Might and Magic but battles play like a 3D card game .

I played Etherlords2 first and I got to admit that this one is superior to the suqeal . Second game is basicly same thing only without the hole Town vs Town concept .

Some will say that this game tried too hard to be heroes of might and magic but I still think its very uniqe and deserves your attention .

Etherlords1 is amazing card game and for few $ its absolutely worth it .
Helpful? Yes No Funny
inn0s
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: January 23, 2015
In it's current state the game constantly crashes. Many users complain about this issue in the forums. It's plain and simpy not playable.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
34 of 37 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
Etherlords is a strategy defense combined with a neat and challenging card game combat hailing from Nival Interactive, a small Russian development team that will take on the formidable feat of developing Heroes of Might and Magic V, eventually later on. As a side note, alongside its quite improved sequel Etherlords II, the game holds a special place for me; meaning many frustrating hours of deck building and combat practice during 2001-2004. I was about to shed tears of joy when I first managed to beat this one!

In the world of Ether, there comes a time when the way to the Temple of Time is finally open. The old legend states that whoever holds dominion over the Temple shall rule the power of Ether, the substance of all magic and creation. Four distinct nations of the realm: druidic Vitals, aloof Kinets, fierce Chaots and decaying Synthets all begin a race towards the Temple to challenge the master of the world: the White Lord. Only one shall succeed and overcome the challenges of becoming the next White Lord. As the saying goes: "The Ether enslaves the ones who obey it, and destroys the ones who do not".

I suspect that neither European nor American market are familiar with this challenging and enjoyable series, so I'll try to make a resume for the game dynamics. In its essence, Etherlords is a strategy game which presents the player an isometric map with a capital city, resources to gather and monsters to challenge. With each combat your hero overcomes, he/she levels up to unlock a selection of abilities. You have to make sure that you protect your base and gather needed resources to wage war at the same time. Here, we basically have a Heroes of Might and Magic alternative.

The combat itself on the other hand, is a variation of Magic the Gathering card game where your hero and the enemy faces each other, with monsters to summon and spells to alter the battlefield. Here is where things get complicated: you will be collecting the spells throughout the strategy map and you will have a limited number of spells that your deck may hold any given time. For each spell acquired, you will also need the appropriate resources which determines how many times that spell can be cast. Thus, you have to establish a careful balance between the game's strategy and card game elements. Easier said than done, this restriction quickly becomes tricky to handle. When you decide to change one card, you can easily find yourself travelling to the other side of the map, while an enemy hero silently marches towards your capital.

Graphics are fairly outdated, but still charming enough in my opinion. The environment and character animations are colorful exaggerations that we are already familiar from Warcraft III or King's Bounty series. Camera settings are usually a bit distasteful, inconveniently choosing to focus on random figures, but hey! No one promised an A+ game. What we have here is an old, challenging strategy and card game that certainly doesn't hold hands with the player.

There is a truckload of negative reviews about the game out there, complaining about constant crashes or not being able to run the game at all on modern systems. These issues are long gone. The worst that you should be expecting is that you may have to run the game from the directory rather than the Steam shortcut which doesn't record playtime. Otherwise, it works fine. The campaign is fairly long - with two concurrently occurring separate scenarios. You can always run an independent strategy or dueling session too.

I strongly suggest giving Etherlords a chance if you either enjoy strategy or card games, or that you'd be curious about a successful combination of the two. Take it when you're feeling up for a challenge.

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
44 of 49 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 5, 2014
Basically, if you don't mind doing a little workaround to get it to run and you like strategy games where you summon monsters and cast spells and it doesn't bother you if it is from 2001, then you may well like this game.

Using Win7 64-bit initially the game kept crashing every 2 minutes so I checked the Community and learned to get it to run you need to run the game directly from the exe (default: Steam\Steamapps\common\Etherlords\Etherlords.exe) rather than hitting Play on Steam. You will also need to use the following compatibility settings on the exe: Disable visual themes, Disable desktop composition, Disable display scaling on high DPI settings, and Run this program as an administrator. Fortunately if you do all that you can then make a shortcut and not have to go through all that trouble more than once.

Anyway the game itself is complex but fun, it is like combination Turn-Based Strategy and Magic the Gathering. You have a base to defend and you can summon heroes who go out on the map to explore, fight, and capture to increase the variety of resources you have (the strategy part). The heroes in turn engage in battles with monsters or other heroes they come across, and the heroes do so by summoning their own creatures and casting spells from the spellbook you have them set with (the MTG part). They also get XP and levels from the fights in order to gain new skills.

Things get more complicated there since beyond the basics, you will need to purchase higher level spells from shops you find on the map but to do so you will need certain resources, of the specified varieties for the spell. Not only that but you will also need resources purchased at a different shop in order to even cast the spell in battle. That can make it a little frustrating since you might get a really cool new spell but not have the resources to cast it, or you may run out after using it a couple times. The battles are fun and fast-paced enough to keep it interesting and there is even an option to auto-battle if you feel impatient and the AI is decent enough to win unless you are at a disadvantage, and of course you can resume control at any time.

Some things you may not like, tooltips don't appear by hovering but instead by right-clicking so get used to doing that a lot. The tutorials consist of just blocks of text that appear the first time you click on something new and you will probably learn more by doing, or through the right-click tooltips. The camera is not always where you want it to be in battles and the default view has the minimap upside down so that was strange. Resource management gets in the way of enjoying new spells sometimes. The enemies are unfairly advantaged in that they do not seem to be as limited as you in their spells/resources. Also it's an older game so don't expect super graphics, but I will say the number of different monsters is cool and they look decent.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
32.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 1, 2014
One of the old school classics.
Since the game was developed by Nival (Russian based), western market might not be familiar with the game.

However there are few points why you might be interested to play this game even though it has been 13 years since it was released:

- Game is Hard. No kidding, even normal difficulty will have you thinking over on what kind of strategy and builds you must use to win every campaing map.
- Game is played out on a strategic map (similar to HOMM) & tactical battles (collectible card game).

Some points to think before trying it out:
- Game is Hard. It is a double edged sword...when playing campaign, think of it like a puzzle game (remember HOMM campaigns with impossible odds, but when you knew a particular trick it became easy).
- Game runs on a locked 4:3 resolution.
- Game pace is rather slow (you can improve it by choosing various game options, but still)


However, I would recommend it to anyone born in 20th century. There is also a sequel which is nearly the same but improved (oh the times when sequels were actually good).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
19 of 34 people (56%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Several attempts to play Etherlords only ended in computer lockup. I use a Pavillion g7 with windows 8.1 and have only had one other (solved) issued with about 70 different games played thru Steam. The game just freezes and you can hear the sound sticking. Only Ctl/Alt/Del will get you out.

With that being said I bought the game bundled with Etherlords 2, which works fine and seems like a significantly better game than the original, which I was only able to play in tiny segments.

In summary, don't bother with Etherlords, but Etherlords 2 has so far been enjoyable for a follow the path and battle monsters with trading card deck, turn based battles. The battles are interesting due to strategic card play depending on luck of the draw cards.

I think I will get bored with this long before it ends, but Etherlords 2 is a well thought out game, despite it's predicessor.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 30, 2015
THIS GAME WILL CRUSH which is common for old pc titles . You simply have to follow few steps to fix it though . http://steamcommunity.com/app/270770/discussions/1/540733523709079989/

Old fix worked for me . Try that one first so you can play with sound .

Etherlords 1 is similar to Heroes of Might and Magic but battles play like a 3D card game .

I played Etherlords2 first and I got to admit that this one is superior to the suqeal . Second game is basicly same thing only without the hole Town vs Town concept .

Some will say that this game tried too hard to be heroes of might and magic but I still think its very uniqe and deserves your attention .

Etherlords1 is amazing card game and for few $ its absolutely worth it .
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 23 people (57%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 18, 2014
I love this game for a long time, but I don't love having it crash every 20 minutes.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 29 people (55%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 23, 2015
In it's current state the game constantly crashes. Many users complain about this issue in the forums. It's plain and simpy not playable.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 10, 2015
boring and repetitive.
got it in a bundle, give it a try if you find it on HUGE sale.

it's old and unfortunately it aged terribly.
the basic idea is cool, is like heroes on might and magic, mixed with a TCG for what is about the combat phase.

unfortuntely it is very very slow to play, with outdated graphics and controls and, personal taste, a very inappropriate soundtrack
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2015
Definitely worth the $5 for it. Plays kind of like Magic: the Gathering but is different enough to have it's own name.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 7, 2015
The No it's not for the game per se but for the poor porting to steam.
Got it as special offer but it's a costant crash.
It's a god game, I had this in the good old times.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 13 people (54%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 5, 2015
Couldnt run it, crashes on battles. tryed on two systems with the same crash. Windows 7 and 8. I like this game thats why i bought it. But i did assume it would run on computers not from 2005 when i paid for it.
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12 of 24 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 16, 2014
First off do not let all the Crash ?? reviews and forums scare you off, its a minor problem, the game was just released on Steam so give it a few days, anyways, i have a thread up on a lot of help for game play and such. there is 2 PINNED threads on how to get the game working, the best thing i found was a a few posts from player that helped the best, The game Runs fine 0 problems for me and i am a major Noob to get anything to work. i just followed the steps and got full audio dialog etc. just you can not Alt/Tab or Tab/Shift out of the game its old school style still, and to take Screen shots its Print Screen and there stored in the game folder not on steam uploader like all the other games.

Turn based Strategy Tatics style game 7/10 for its style.

Any questions post them here or on my Thread
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4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
12.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 21, 2015
UNPLAYABLE
I love this game, it's in my top-20. But before steam and now it is BUGGED to the unplayable level.
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6 of 12 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
This game is a good game IF it worked...... I have tried 2 different computers and the same result, unplayable......Constant crashes, freezes up. That was with windows 8 & 8.1. Personally you shouldn't release something if it does not work on ALL systems especially newer systems. Who wants to run an old school dinosaur, lol Not me. If the problems get fixed i may consider it again. But Definately Not Now. Apologies for being honest & thank you.
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7 of 14 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 12, 2015
A card battling RPG is a great idea for a game, but Etherlords doesn't fulfill that potential. Play Etherlords II instead as it's much more streamlined and enjoyable.

Whilst the card dueling portion of Etherlords is robust and enjoyable enough, the strategy/world map portion is simply not fit for purpose.

Producing hero units and casting global spells like a Heroes of Might & Magic game holds no weight when the ideal tactic is to simply eliminate the AI’s strongest hero and make a beeline for their temple.

As the game goes on you get the feeling that Nival lost faith in the strategy side of Etherlords and quietly downplayed its importance in favour of the superior card battle system.

The final battle of the campaign though is problematic as it pitches you in a duel against the sinister White Lord with a totally different hero and every spell in the game unlocked for deck preparation.

All of your hard work in building your own personal deck disappears at this point and it becomes a troubleshooting exercise instead of a grand finale to an epic adventure.

Read the full retrospective at my blog »
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 7 people (43%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
I want to play this game but it's completely unplayable. I can't even get it to run for long enough to get through the first fight in the campaign.

Hope it gets fixed :/
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 8, 2015
Launched game, went in to options, game crashed. Had to reboot PC. Launched game again, started campaign, game crashed again. Uninstall. Windows 10.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2015
No, I don't recommend this game. From the get go the game was confusing, with no real way to tell what you are supposed to do. No tutorial, or in game instruction at all. That alone wouldn't bother me much, as I like to figure things out. However, when you combine that with the fact that the game constantly locks up, and I personally had to completely restart my machine to get out of it, this game is just a frustrating mess.
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30 of 62 people (48%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 13, 2014
I have been having similar issues as others where the game gets a few minutes in and then freezes and makes a loud buzzing/ticking noise. I am trying to find a solution myself but just something to be aware of for anyone interested in picking up this game.

The sequel however from what i can tell does not seem to suffer from this problem. so you have the option to skip over this one and play the sequel instead if you dont feel like risking it or trying to get it working.
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16 of 34 people (47%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 1, 2014
Etherlords is a combination of turn-based strategic war game and card based battle game (a la Magic the Gathering or Pokemon the Card Game). You can hold duels, but the main feature of the game is that of the campaign, a story played out either through the side of the peaceful Kinets and Vitals (the Kinets being very air-focused and Vitals being very earth-focused), or the war-like Chaots and Synthets (The Chaots focusing more on fiery themed attacks, and the Synthets being a death and sacrifice themed race).

In each campaign map, you control a set of heroes summoned from a castle to complete an objective, usually to move about the map making the heroes stronger with the main goal of destroying the enemy castle or castles.

The campaign for either side gets very hard very fast, even on easy, where the enemy heroes are more obviously "cheating" (i.e. they lose less of the battles than a human player). This seems to happen regardless of if you allow the computer to fight for you (a valid option in some cases) or if you tactically fight the battles out yourself. The enemy also seems uniquely equipped to contrast your attacks. If you have played the original Pokemon games, a good 80% of the battles with enemy heroes feel like the first battle with Professor Oak's grandkid, Gary.

This would be fine if the battles were active and interesting, but this is more of a slow, steady, slow burn game. So a battle, even a simple, normal one could take 20-40 minutes only to lose and have to reload from wherever you last saved. Also, because this is an older game, you must purposely save, or that 20 minute battle against a rat that went sour for your neophyte warriors will need to be fought again. And then you do it again on the next map with different heroes.

The strangest thing is the final battle, fought with a max level hero and any spells you want against a single foe, is meant to cap the story, but feels more like it was the intention behind the game all along; to have a single hero leveling up, gaining spells/cards and finally fighting a foe. As if the original plan for the game was more of an RPG card game hybrid.

All of the patience for a turn-based strategy and a turn-based card game without any real payoff in terms of story or continuing gains makes this a game I cannot recommend.
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