The Battle for Wesnoth


[Note: this review was written by reader Sinkhan, a connoisseur of freeware and open source programs- The Freewaregenius] The Battle for Wesnoth is a brilliantly assembled turn based strategy game that is sure to bring out the tactician within you.

This open-source fantasy game is based in a fantasy world of elves and orcs, knights and sorcerers, and of sword and bow. It currently supports around 40 different languages.

This is game is in the same vein of other TBS games, especially Fire Emblem. Many of the controls, rules, and gameplay features are quite similar, but in many ways it is different. Here are some of the main features of this game:


  • The player has several units and moves them around the map. The main game map is based on a hex-tile system, meaning that there are six directions of movement for any unit.
  • A wide assortment of unique weapons for most of the units ranging from the ax to the spellbook.
  • Character traits and attributes that affect different aspects of the unit such as movement, attack and defence, and health.
  • Different classes of units, most of which can be promoted giving the units new abilities.
  • Terrain and day/night factors that can seriously determine how the player moves their units around. Forests and villages provide defence bonuses and certain units attack more effectively during the night than during the day.
  • A total of six expansive default campaigns are available plus a tutorial campaign that will surely help the ease new players into the game.

The game also includes a very in-depth and helpful guide outlining the different classes, attributes, and fundamental gameplay details which can be accessed at any time during the game. Beyond the main single player missions, there is an option for multiplayer via their official server, LAN, or just hotseat play. As the game is open-source, an active community of developers and fans are continually improving and adding to this fantastic game. Verdict: When I first found this game, I was pretty skeptical of how fun it could possibly be; within a day of downloading it, however, I was proven wrong. Whether it be the compelling stories behind the campaigns, the strong computer AI, or the intuitive style of gameplay, The Battle for Wesnoth will most likely pull you in with one of its simply amazing attributes. A real spare time killer.

Version tested: 1.2.4

Compatibility: Windows 98 and up, Linux, Mac OSX Go to the game home page to get the latest version (approx 59.8 megs).