The Many Taverns of the Occident

Occidental Heroes is a fun, original-yet-classic strategy RPG for mobile platforms. It is part hex crawl, part tactics, part throwback Roguelike RPG. Even if, judging by the blog, it is no longer in active development, the game is still exceptionally good. It’s also a steal at $3. But we’re not here for that. We’re here for the taverns!

At first glance there isn’t much to see here. There are only a few graphics rotated around the various taverns you come across on your journeys. The pixel art is lovely and evocative, but not every tavern has its own image. That simplicity, I think, belies what’s actually going on.

It starts with the overland map, pictured here. Again, there is little to it: you’ve got a standard hex map with standard, albeit lovely, icons. Rather than a character your crew is represented by its heraldry. As you travel and complete jobs, you notice your supplies dwindling little by little — especially if you must leave the road and brave the wilds!

Thankfully, towns are not far-between and as long as you don’t find yourself in unexpected and extreme danger, and assuming you’re stocked and prepared for the journey, you’ll make it back to town in one piece. And then it is time to hit the tavern!

Again, the tavern itself isn’t much. But, the vivid writing is more than enough to trigger one’s imagination. Instead of lobbing you a hand-crafted space on a plate for your consumption, the imagery and writing serve rather as fuel for your own imagined place. The tavern is also the spot in which you find work, search for new members of your party should an adventurer fall, and part ways with comrades ready to retire from a life of questing. In brief, Occidental Heroes packages up the expected, tried-and-tested measure of a tavern in nearly microscopic form and delivers it in a satisfying way.

So, while Occidental Heroes is not a tavern game by any stretch of the imagination, I think you’ll find it a worthy trip into an interesting world, ready and able to gratify that desire to settle into a cozy tavern after deadly encounters along the road. Being able to put it on your phone and jump in right now makes it even more of a win.

If you’ve had some adventures, and a few rounds of drink, in the Occident, let me know what you think!

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