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    dkirschner's Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves (PC)

    [May 26, 2017 11:54:50 AM]
    Clever tower defense game--and it's now free! If you've played games like Orcs Must Die and Sanctum, you'll feel familiar enough with Sang-Froid. Sang-Froid though is more story-based, and benefits from it. The game takes place in 19th century Canadian frontier wilderness. You play as one of two brothers living at the edge of a small village. Werewolves begin appearing and terrorizing the village. Your sister is a prophetess and there's this whole religious story going on (a Catholic priest, a nun, and the Devil are all characters). The French/Canadians (rough on my history here!) have some tenuous relationship with local native people, and their animism plays a role in the story too. All the variety of werewolf, maikan, windigos, will o' wisps, etc. are there for a reason related to the story.

    Cool setting aside, the game takes place in phases. After some story bit, you'll be shown a map depicting how many of which kind of enemies will attack which buildings. By the end of the game, there are five buildings to defend. Enemies attack in waves, and you can filter this on the map to figure out the order in which you'll have to deal with enemies. Click on an enemy and it'll show the path they will take to their target building. You have a nice variety of traps at your disposal, and you place these on the map. Then, you can go to town and buy supplies like better axes or healing potions, upgrade your stats, and finally begin the night.

    You start at your house and run around the map a la Orcs Must Die. At this point, the game is pretty much hack 'n slash as you run around overseeing your traps, triggering the ones you need to, and killing enemies. The variety absolutely keeps it interesting, and it's too complex to give a detailed example in text. So, simply, let's imagine there are two wolves heading to your house and three wolves heading to the lumber mill. I think I can take two by myself, but it would be nice to do a little damage to them first, so I set out a wolf trap. Wolf traps instantly kill wolves or grand wolves. After dealing with one, I can kill the other. But the other three wolves are going to destroy the lumber mill if I ignore them (a game over condition), and I need to slow them down while I kill the other two, so I lay a couple pieces of bait along their route. At the last piece of bait, I also string a rock net trap in the trees. When the wolves are eating that piece of bait, I run over and shoot the trap and they take damage from falling rocks. That's not going to kill them though, so I set a spike trap by the lumber mill with a piece of bait on it. They proceed there, eat the bait, and trigger the trap with their weight. They die and I win!

    So like that, but by the end there are 5-6 waves per level with a lot of enemies. You'll need to build watch towers and ziplines to move faster around the map, build fire walls to reroute enemies, set up mortars for massive AoE damage, poison windigos with poisoned bait so they aren't at full health when you have to face them, set up wayside crosses and holy trees to help handle large numbers of will o' wisps and werewolves, create silver and holy bullets to snipe from watchtowers, etc., etc.

    My favorite thing about the game is that you have to plan ahead and kind of know what's coming in the next waves. Your traps disappear once triggered, but will stay on the map indefinitely until they are. So you've got to make sure that enemies in early waves don't trigger traps laid for enemies in later waves. It makes it tricky to plan for like 40 enemies running all over the damn place when you want specific things to happen to specific enemies. You have to be aware of where the traps are, where you are, where the enemies are, where the next wave is coming...and also of your "shout" radius (you can shout to attract enemies to you, useful for getting them off buildings), and also of the wind! Enemies will smell you downwind, so you've got to keep track of your scent so that you don't accidentally pull enemies away from where you want them. It's a lot of fun, and never felt overwhelming in a bad way. I beat most levels first try, several took two tries, and one in particular took me four. So the game isn't that hard, but I wonder if it's my experience with tower defense.

    Anyway, it's worth checking out if you like the genre! The story is interesting, setting is very cool. Combat and presentation are rough around the edges, but I can live with that.
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    dkirschner's Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 16 May, 2017

    GameLog closed on: Friday 26 May, 2017

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Looks cool. Mix of action RPG and tower defense in interesting setting. ---------- Clever and fun tower defense/hack 'n slash.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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