Etherlords – User Articles |

Etherlords - User Articles |


It’s time to rekindle an old love. I found them at the very back of my digital games library. And what should I say? It was (almost) like the first time.

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Etherlords from €29.95 to buy.

We’re talking about the ether lordsseries that had accompanied me for a good part of my gaming life in the early to mid-2000s. Although the word “series” is perhaps a bit exaggerated, after all there were only two parts (I deliberately exclude the later mobile offshoot here). Both games entertained me for several hours and motivated me to play through them several times.

But let’s go a little further back in time. I encountered this for the first time in the mid-1990s, while I was still in school Magic the Gathering-Card game. I was immediately intrigued by the game mechanics and artwork, but also repelled by the money wasting machine “Trading Cards”. Nevertheless, I had bought a basic stock of cards and fought several duels with my friends. But I wasn’t willing to keep investing in new cards, so the hobby died out until I got my hands on my first Magic PC game in the late ’90s. This was also played extensively, but then disappeared from the shelves after a few months (and is now lost, which is why I also prefer digital game shelves).

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And then there was a break. By the end of 2001 I had a test report ether lords stumbled. I was immediately interested in this apparent Magic clone and shortly thereafter the “turn-based card dueling game” was installed on my PC. That can’t be more than twenty years ago, I’m not that old, am I? Well yes.

Etherlords 2: In the Vitali campaign you play the nature-loving heroine Eileen.

How to play Etherlords?

The central part of both parts is the turn-based combat. As in Magic – The Gathering, there are two magically talented opponents who can summon creatures and cast spells with the help of the ether. Unlike Magic, however, there are no lands that produce different colored mana, but “ether channels” that expand throughout combat, allowing for increasingly powerful spells.

As with the great example, you decide which of your creatures should attack and which should oppose the opposing creatures to protect you. And of course you have to think carefully about when to use which ability or spell to take down your opponent.

Round after round, you draw the spells randomly from a deck of cards you prepared before the fight. As the game progresses, you’ll get more and more cards and abilities, allowing you to develop your own fighting style. All of this is heavily copied from Magic, but in a good way, with useful simplifications in places. The complexity of the template is therefore never reached, which is meant here in a positive way.

In the first part, you move around a map with one or more heroes, take buildings and expand them, promote resources or start a fight with an opponent. All of this is very reminiscent of the Heroes of Might and Magic-Series. Against the background, it is also interesting that the developer Nival later for Heroes of Might and Magic 5 was responsible.

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In Etherlords 2 this part has been scaled back and simplified a bit, this time you move your character across the world more or less in real time and are no longer distracted from the fights as much.

Etherlords: Here you can buy new spells in the apprentice laboratory.

And what’s so fascinating about that?

The story about the mysterious power “ether” is certainly not. It’s a nice accessory, but completely irrelevant. The graphics may have been quite good almost twenty years ago – today they are no longer pretty, but tolerable. The soundscape is atmospheric and appropriate, but nothing more. The German voice output seems a bit overdramatic here and there, but overall it’s okay.

But the fascination of course comes from the tactical card battles and the ability to find more cards and use them to improve your deck. The composition of the spells before the fight is crucial: you have to learn over the course of the game to coordinate the effects of the cards as effectively as possible. In the highest level of difficulty you will be challenged really well, because it requires that you are well versed with the spells. But even the low level has its raison d’être, especially if you just want to comfortably fight your battles without having to deal intensively with all the effects of your cards.

The story is told in different campaigns in which you can play different races with their own decks. The campaigns are rounded off by single missions, a duel and a multiplayer mode.

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Etherlords 2: This is where the fight gets down to business. Below are the spells available to you.

Sounds good! Where can I buy Etherlords?

If you now feel like immersing yourself in the world of Etherlords, you can find both parts for just a few euros GOG as well as Steam executable prepared for current operating systems. However, I couldn’t get the versions to work on the Steam Deck. If you value the German language, you should use the GOG version, because the German version is only included here.

If you only want to buy one of the two games, then I recommend the second part. Here some cards from the first have been revised and new spells have been added as well. Along with the simplified overworld, I find Etherlords 2 to be the smoother game.

Thank you for reading! As always, I welcome comments. If you missed my first declarations of love, then take a look at mine Clash of Heroes– or Ghost trick-User Article.

Etherlords: In the first part you can control a whole series of heroes at the same time.