Archives by Day

December 2020

Wintermoor Tactics Club

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Publisher: Versus Evil
Developer: EVC Games
Release Date: Sept. 10, 2020


As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

Switch Review - 'Wintermoor Tactics Club'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Nov. 12, 2020 @ 12:30 a.m. PST

Wintermoor Tactics Club is a visual novel-inspired tactics RPG about waging fantasy battles to make friends and survive high school.

Wintermoor Tactics Club is set in the titular Wintermoor Academy, a boarding school. The protagonist, Alicia, is a member of the RPG-focused Tactics Club, which whiles away its time playing Curses and Catacombs — a variation of D&D. Unfortunately for them, things go sour when the principal calls all of Wintermoor into an assembly. The announcement is that there will be a school-wide snowball fight between all of the clubs, and the losing clubs will be permanently disbanded. This insane pronouncement throws the entire school into a tizzy, and the Tactics Club must find a way to succeed against bigger and more athletic students. That is where the club comes into play: By practicing in C&C, they can translate their skills into the "real world" and use them to overcome challenges and become the ultimate club.

Wintermoor's story is silly and cute, and it never tries to be anything more. Each character is quirky, from the criminally inclined Jacob, who plays a rogue in C&C, to self-proclaimed and confident psychic Jania, who demands to play the overpowered pyromancer class. You'll encounter the usual Breakfast Club collection of nerds, jocks, rich kids, etc., but they're all likeable and fun to be around.

The core gameplay in Wintermoor Tactics Club involves, well, tactics. Either within the confines of the pseudo-D&D RPG or in the snowball fights that serve as boss battles, the gameplay is the same. (How does using magic translate to throwing a snowball? Don't ask.) Turns are divided by teams, with all members of one side going before the other team can start. Each character has a small subset of moves that tends to match their class. A tank class can lower enemy damage or push foes around, a mage can unleash powerful AoE attacks, a rogue can use traps and status effects, and so on. While each character has special moves, they also have very powerful tactics attacks that draw from a shared tactics meter. Use these wisely, and you can dominate battles; use them poorly, and prepare to lose.

The nice thing about Wintermoor is that it clearly provides the information you need to set up your gameplay. For example, each enemy tells you exactly what their AI is going to target next, such as "closest enemy" or "enemy with the least HP." By taking advantage of this, you can manipulate enemies into attacking your bulkier characters and get them into position for your DPS (damage per second) to nuke the heck out of them. You can see the strength, vulnerabilities, and other stats that are needed to defeat your foes.

Wintermoor is a basic strategy game that would make a great first entry for someone who's looking to dip their toes into the genre. For more advanced players, the core gameplay is easy, with most of the challenge being in earning high scores for medals rather than winning the fight. You can adjust the settings to make it a tad easier or harder, but you can't swing the pendulum too far in any direction.

Wintermoor Tactics Club's greatest strength is that it's a cozy game. The gameplay, graphics, music and plot are the video game equivalent of curling up with a good book on a cold day. It doesn't revolutionize the world, but it provides a cozy way to spend eight hours or so. The Switch version also has the advantage of being portable, and the title is absolutely primed for portable play.

Outside of the main combat, you'll spend most of your time wandering around Wintermoor looking for people to talk to or side-quests to do. The side-quests usually involve conversing with specific people or finding hidden objects, but they have some amusing twists, such as being asked to draw a horse. Completing these side-quests unlocks variations on your character's abilities so they can function in different ways, such as focusing on single-target damage over multi-target damage or giving them the ability to push enemies or deal status effects. Finding the right combination of abilities is a good part of the fun, so it's recommended that you complete these side-quests.

Wintermoor has a cute art style and nicely drawn backgrounds and characters. Some of the animations are a little bare-bones, but it's a nice-looking game and everything is clear and concise in the battles. The experience has a Saturday morning cartoon feel, which works well. I also like the character artwork, which emphasizes each character's personality. The soundtrack is also fairly nice, with a lot of mood-setting tunes to immerse players in the atmosphere.

Wintermoor Tactics Club is a safe, comfortable, and perfectly enjoyable tactics game. It's not ambitious or particularly challenging; it's a game that is pleasant to play but will probably be overlooked in favor of bigger titles. I absolutely recommend giving it a shot if you enjoy tactics games or want to try out the genre. Sometimes it's fine to just be a solid title without breaking the mold.

Score: 8.0/10

More articles about Wintermoor Tactics Club
blog comments powered by Disqus