Good game that would have been easy 9 or higher if not for few flaws and bugs.

User Rating: 7 | Elemental: Fallen Enchantress PC
If you have spent countless hours playing Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic here's treat for you: game that combines both and to large extent pulls it off well. It's a turn based game that includes city building, researching technologies, hero development and resource management.

Two of my favorite features from civilization present in Fallen Enchantress are city building/development and technology research. Adopting technology research to fantasy world there are three branches you could chose from: civilization, warfare and magic. First allows you research technologies that will help you build city improvements and develop your economy; warfare techs enable training better and stronger troops. Finally magic gives you more spells, allows you to better use magic resources and etc.

City development is another great feature in the game. Just like in civ games you can build numerous improvements but unlike civilization, here you specialize your cities into either military path, magic or money/growth. This gives you greater freedom to adopt your cities to the style of your play; either you are conquering type that builds cities to churn out military units; or you'd like to dominate your enemies with powerful spells; or focus on economy.

The resources in game to manage are varied. First you have your iron and horses/wargs that allow you to build certain unit types. Then you have magic shards for each element plus life and death schools of magic. Finally, you have tiles that will improve your city's economy such as gold, grains and etc.

Once you build stable economic base to your empire you can set out to conquer your opponent. To aid you with that you can recruit heroes which will gain levels and new skills. Here again you can specialize them to be powerful magicians, fighters or to simply help with city governing. There are countless items that are available for you heroes (armor, weapons, magical trinkets), that are obtained either through purchase or solving quests/exploring.

If it all seems bit much and complicated at first, it is. It takes a while getting used to it but once you understand what everything does and how it works it creates a lot of depth to the game and increases replayability.

Having discussed everything I like in the game, here are few things that I found annoying or flat out maddening:

City/unit management is pretty not intuitive. It takes you a while to figure out how to train a unit or build a building. Cycling through cities that have empty build queue or units that haven't moved yet is pain in the neck. Once you moved all your unstationed units and selected what you want to build in each city game assumes you are done and ends the turn, ignoring the fact that you might have units inside the cities that you want to move.

Marauding monsters are another nuisance, or to be more precise their ability to wipe out your cities. In civilization the barbarians would pillage your improvements and attacks your units but they were not strong enough to capture your cities. Here they are strong enough to destroy your city. To make matters worse, some monsters are so powerful that you'll have trouble defeating them even when you have best units and highly experienced heroes.

Which leads me to unit balancing, which is slightly off. More specifically I'm referring to dragons. If you have one on your side, most likely you'll be able to waltz through entire map and conquer everything. If you find yourself fighting one... you better hope you have very powerful spells and army.

Lastly, there were frequent crashes. Now, I haven't seen too many complaints about this so maybe these were specific to my PC ( I have 6 core AMD with Radeon graphics card). Still, I feel obligated to mention that game crashed for me quite frequently, every hour or so. Sometimes while ending turn something would go wrong and game had to be rebooted. I suspect it had something to do with autosaves.

So if you made it to the end of my rather lengthy review... despite some problems Fallen Enchantress is fun and addictive, very much like Civilization and Heroes were. Had some bugs been fixed and other issues addressed this surely would have been score of 9 or even higher.