☆Review: "Visit the land of ‘Hogswart’ (I didn’t make that up)" ☆ #GameDev

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Made by ManaVoid Entertainment, it was funded on Kickstarter, it met CA$ 37,933 of its CA$ 35,000 goal, with it reaching the goal in November of 2014. 

Two years on, in December of 2016, 1.0 was released on Steam, with a Mac port released only on the 13th February.

Does it meet the standards of what they themselves set? 

An epic adventure with many twists and turns, based on an enthralling fusion of two genres?


But it’s a unique first step of the fusion between the genres of management sims and RPG’s.

There isn’t much of a story here to focus on, but for what is here; the land of Astreus holds many retired soldiers. Without a war to fight, they decide to form adventure parties to seek loot and many items. Eventually, agencies were formed to reduce the errors that some teams were making. Which is where you come in.

You start as a ‘CEO’ of an adventure agency. You’re tasked with the name of your group, alongside choosing the first of your team members.

With or without following the tutorial, the instructions and the onslaught of menus can be overwhelming at the best of times. Methods to move your team on to the next path isn’t always clear, while there are other times where you’re simply not sure where to go to.

The UI took me an evening to figure out, far too long for any game to find your bearings on.

I once equipped a medallion, only for it to disappear and not affect the character in any way. Goodbye medallion.

The map is an interesting concept. Its shape reminded me of the classic gameshow Blockbusters, laid out in many hexagons. Here, instead of Bob Holness showing you the way, you approach many towns and forests, where you come across the townspeople and random loot.

You are given choices from time to time of how you want to handle an encounter. For example, if you come to a town in your ‘turn’, you may be faced with a multiple- choice.

You can offer some diamonds and left-click for a dice roll, to see if you will win the chest or the respect of the townspeople.

Almost in the vein of Dungeons and Dragons, it helps give an ‘epic’ feel to your team and the story, which can spur you on to see what else is on this huge hexagon-map.

On certain times, you engage with an enemy, and this is when the RPG battles begin. They are traditional, where you have choices to perform a melee or magic attack. But these are incredibly slow, with the music adding no effort to add tension to the battle. It feels almost monotonous by the time you reach your fourth encounter while you’re clicking three times to register an attack on an enemy.

It then essentially rinses and repeats the theme. I was expecting my team to be compared to other players across the world, by way of a leaderboard or even coming across them in battle. But every group are CPU-controlled, which disappointed me. Having this online would pick up the pace, and give a sense of urgency and fun, more similar to what Dungeons and Dragons, or even how Star Wars Galaxies used to bring.

Even though 1.0 was released in December, it still feels as though it has a long way to go. It can be tedious, and you only realistically manage one person at the start of the game. Its art and animation can be unoriginal and lazy, while the game could have better been served as a game for a tablet device, instead of the PC/Mac marketplace.

It’s the first stepping stone into how a fusion of genres such as RPG and management simulation games are now possible. Epic Manager begins the road, albeit with some major bumps in the road.

But it’s a start and a brave one at that.

"Try it for a weekend, and see how you fare in the agency world of loot and a confusing UI. Or even just to see if I was right about going to Hogswart."

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Just Falls Short Of Greatness)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

Dev Link

Steam link


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