Bowmaster Winter Storm
It's been five long years. Your string fingers are twitching and your quiver's full with freshly fletched arrows. You're ready to play the newest release by LostVectors. It's Bowmaster Winter Storm! For fans of the previous BowMaster Prelude, you'll see a lot of familiar aspects of the game was carried over. One major change in gameplay is the addition of the easier point and click method of aiming versus the pull string method, which gives a more authentic feeling of the archery theme. Choosing the pull string option does give you more gold when you earn shot bonuses, so you're not putting yourself through the difficulties for nothing. Aiming and shooting is all done with the mouse, and you use [WASD] to move your character around and [spacebar] to jump. [Q] and [E] switch between shooting with a higher or lower trajectory. This mainly comes in handy when trying to avoid shooting characters (like scouts) between you and your target.
This game has a lot of customization as far as the direction your character can take as they level up in rank. At the beginning, you will be given a choice of class: hunter, destroyer or mage. The game remains the same, it is just your attributes (arrow reload times, damage dealt, etc.) which change. So if you're more of a twitchy shooter, the hunter may be the class for you. Perhaps you're all about playing female characters. Hey, no judgment here, just choose the mage class. Once you've started playing and first purchase upgrades, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of skills at your fingertips. Just let your arrow rest and take a moment to peruse the selection. Hovering your mouse over each option will pop up a box showing the stats for that skill as well as display the requirements at the bottom and whether or not you've met them. The first tab will contain the more familiar upgrades such as the flak bomb arrow. The next tab down has all the options for your army. That's right, as before you can send out minions of your own to fight the enemy. Be aware that this will compound the amount of things you need to pay attention to on the battlefield.
The game starts you off at your home and begins a tale of an old enemy out in the land again. Between levels you will see your progress along the game and also see the type of quest the level is. These range from the defensive 'Protect the Allied Scouts' to boss fights with a single enemy. While the goal of each level is set, the terrain is randomized, so if you're finding it hard to complete a battlefield quest on an open plain, perhaps the next time you'll be given towers or trees from which you can shoot. Those of you who loved the first Bowmaster will pluck at the upgrade to the graphics and music, and those of you who never experienced it will simply find a good defense game in Winter Storm. Just perhaps it'll even have a few of you who rage-quit Prelude quivering with excitement at a second chance to love this series... and possibly smile at the subtle archery puns in this review.