I previewed the extremely well put together demo for The Incredible Baron just over a year ago after FlatRedBall Studios got their project successfully Kickstarted. Back then, I thought the game showed a lot of promise, so I was eager to give it a go now that it is a fully fledged out product.
The Incredible Baron is a reverse tower defense game where you use creatures you "research" to attack the enemy base. It's strategy with a little bit of a Pokémon vibe where you have to replay levels and work hard to flesh out your library of available attack plans. However, grinding isn't imperative, and the story can be finished with the creatures that take only one try to research.
While I have to admit I appreciate a basic campaign that doesn't take grinding and going back through levels to complete, I did think some of the challenge was removed from The Incredible Baron as I could complete all the levels on my first attempt without working out a real strategy. I know that the story mode is the easiest mode, and I had to retry some of the silver and gold levels a few times, but overall it was just too easy. If it were more like HunieCam Studios where it took me several attempts to figure out a winning strategy, I would have had more fun with the game.
The main story campaign is more than three hours outside of grinding, which is a lot given that The Incredible Baron was created chiefly as a mobile game. There is a lot of fun content here, with the game introducing new weapons and strategies as it continues as well as an intriguing final boss. There are quite a few different levels where, instead of attacking, you have to reach a certain point, or you have to succeed with a limited number of resources and creatures at your disposal. The gameplay is certainly the core strength of the project. I was also personally a fan of the art, which I thought brought a lot of character to the game.
Regarding the story, I would say this is one of the weaker points. The dialogue is fun in parts, but the story is very basic and doesn't seem to hold together particularly well. However, I don't believe The Incredible Baron needs a story so much as the power here is in the gameplay which is light and fun. There is a cutscene in each level when playing through the story mode, but you can skip these.
The sound design is good, though I will say that the steel drum did begin to grate a bit after a time. I played this game on PC instead of mobile, and I think I missed out because of this. Asides from the fact that The Incredible Baron seems suited to a touch screen, it is also more of a game that you would dip in and out of on the train or in a spare few minutes rather than a title you sit down and play. With the harder silver and gold levels, it's a game that you could get a lot of hours pleasure by playing through levels several times to collect creatures.
Overall, The Incredible Baron is a solid mobile strategy game that is worth the price with its fun gameplay and hours of content. It only loses out on lacking that addictive nature I believe it could achieve if only it challenged you a bit more.
The Incredible Baron was reviewed on PC via Steam with a code provided by the publisher.
A solid strategy game that could do with more challenge and only really shines on mobile platforms.