Beard & Axe is a retro-styled adventure that will take you on a quest to become the next Dwarf King. You’ll have to slash and shoot your way through oaths, drinking beer to regain strength. The game is still in the closed beta stage, it will be released on Steam July 12, 2018. In this article, I will share with you my experience after trying out the current version.
Release: July 12, 2018.
Developed by: Dwarfaparte Games.
Reviewed on PC.
After serving many years, the current king is ready to drink from the old brew so another dwarf can claim the throne. The new king is to be chosen by an oath contest. The aspirants will swear oaths to go on quests and bring back booty. The aspiring dwarf that fulfills the most oaths will become king.
You start this adventure as one of the aspiring dwarfs. With your Axe in hand, you’ll go to different maps to gather resources and lost relics. Everything you get will aid you in your quest.
Beard & Axe combines turn-based exploration with encounter-based fluid combat. You’ll explore different maps, each with a particular resource and relic. While looking for loot you’ll run into enemies and hazardous obstacles.
The oaths work as a pretty interesting mechanic. You have to set a goal before each mission. If you come short from your oath you’ll be punished, and if you end up with more than what you declared, you’ll forfeit the excess.
There is a subtle RPG component, you’ll be able to find relics that will make you stronger along the way.
Beard & Axe is meant for players looking for a real challenge
The game comes in two difficulties, hard and permadeath hard. In the standard game mode, the game is already unforgiving. Early mobs are quite strong, and dying will deplete all the resources you’re carrying.
One tip to help you start with the right foot; stay out of the forest! The initial map (where you’ll go to get beer) has roads surrounded by forest. When you see a patrol your first instinct might be to hide in the dense forest until it goes away. It will certainly work to avoid patrols but then comes the spiders. The forest is crawling with the little creepers, and surprisingly they’re far stronger than the full armored patrols. On top of that, the slow from the webs makes fighting very frustrating and they don’t drop any loot so it’s also pointless. Lucky for us, they won’t attack outside the forest.
You can heal by drinking beer, but healing too much will get you drunk. While drunk, you won’t be able to move on a straight line and will have an accuracy penalty.
The game has awesome retro-styled pixel graphics. You’ll be able to explore many different maps with cool environments and weird creatures. With detailed animations and pro artwork, Dwarfaparte Games managed to create great aesthetics for Beard & Axe.
The graphics mix very well with the theme, they help you immerse in this medieval fantasy. The pixel graphics always help enhance any retro style, but the color tones and animations truly complete the experience. The best part is that it remains consistent throughout the game, even on the UI. The interface might be a bit awkward compared with modern standards, but it works great towards the consistency of the experience.
Beard & Axe is an action-packed adventure great for gamers looking for a challenge. Join the race for the dwarven throne. Ax in hand you’ll swear oaths, slay monsters and bring back great loot. The game is still in early access, you’ll be able to try on July 12, 2018.