Complete disappointment with Stardock.

User Rating: 3 | Elemental: War of Magic PC
Even though I read through the terrible reviews, I picked up this game for two reasons. First, I have a great respect for Stardock and second, the game concept sounded fantastic. I can now say that I will not be buying a game in the future based solely on the name "Stardock".

I've been a PC gamer since the beginning of Reagan's 2nd term in office and have gotten pretty good at judging a game within the first hour of play. First the good news: Interesting storyline and concept and I must admit, although the graphics take some time to get used to, they fit the genre. And now for the bad news: Completely unintuitive interface, very little feedback to the player, nearly worthless manual, no tutorial to speak of, and well, to be honest, I have no idea because I can't figure out how to play the bloody thing.

Here is just one example: I set up my first town and there's some bad guys in sight. I take one of my units and when moving the mouse over the target, I get the universal symbol of crossed swords. So far so good. Yet, when I try to attack.... Nothing happens. No message or tool tip whatsoever explaining why I can't. I try the same thing with my 2nd unit with the same result. So, since I can't figure out what else to do, I click the "end turn" button 6-7 times in a row. Now all of a sudden, one of my units is able to attack... But the other one still can't! What the...? The entire time I was "playing" I kept saying to myself "This can't possibly be a Stardock game and has to be either Eastern European or Russian in origin."

The player reviews stating a "10" are soooooo far off base that it makes me wonder with suspicion who exactly these individuals are and question their motivations. A number of reviewers seem to agree that if one can get through the first few hours of gameplay, Elemental becomes a pretty decent game. I might try again just because I don't want to believe this game is really this bad. But with all of the really good games on the market, I'm not sure if Elemental is worth any more of my time.