|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ice Game Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Paradox Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 25, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Players looking to hone their strategies against the computer will have three modes with which to do so: Easy, Normal, and Hard. Of course, at first, even the first few matches on Easy will seem rather quick and brutal until the player has a grasp of the pieces, at which point they can attempt to take on smarter AI. Then again, Legio also supports two types of multiplayer modes: one purely online and another that lets two people play using the same computer. From a gameplay perspective, there is absolutely nothing that separates any of these modes from one another. And, while going head to head against a living, breathing person would certainly be far less predictable and interesting, it is difficult to find anyone else online to challenge.
Like many indie games of the casual/puzzle-solving genre, Legio's online community suffers from a shortage of active players. While much of this isn't necessarily the game's fault, it is difficult to understand why such a small game would offer its online multiplayer stand-alone instead of integrating it into an online gaming website or a platform such as Steam, which would certainly ease the process of finding opponents by exposing more people to the game and making it far easier to see who is online. Rest assured, however, that when an opponent can be found, players are treated to a deep and interesting gameplay experience that will require their best strategic thinking.
Legio is a strategy game that takes the rigid parts of chess, breaks them apart, adds a bit of strange and fun, and then keeps its complexity subtle and hidden. While it is certainly easy to pick up and enjoy, so much so that the lack of a tutorial isn't an issue, the game has layers of strategic depth that will challenge even the most logical and analytical thinkers. The absence of story-based gameplay is a small, forgivable mark on a game that really doesn't need any back-story at all. It also benefits from having exceptionally low system requirements, making it accessible on even the most slim-downed machines such as laptops or netbooks. In fact, the only thing holding Legio back from being a favorite among chess-like, turn-based strategy enthusiasts is its lack of a comprehensive multiplayer platform.
Regardless of how you look at it, Legio isn't a game for everyone. Instead, it caters to a very specific niche audience in both its gameplay and presentation. However, for a price tag of just $10, it is difficult to say whether this is something you'd want or not. If you very much enjoy one on one games of the mind, then you'd certainly love it. Of course, if you prefer human opponents over AI, then you may want to wait and see if the online community either gets a better platform or just more players.
CCC Freelance Writer