Battle for Wesnoth 1.8.6 Review

key review info
application features
  • Build a Hero, and lead your army.
  • (2 more, see all...)

Immersive games are far and between on the Linux platform. Fortunately for us, Battle of Wesnoth is a jewel and not too many people know what a great game they could be playing right now. Maybe it's not the best looking game out there, but it is probably one of the most interesting and captivating games that can be installed in a Linux distribution.

Before getting to the actual gameplay and other similar characteristics, we must say that Battle for Wesnoth is a turn based strategy (TBS) that is played on a hex map, much like the dreaded old Panzer games. Skepticism is the first response of any serious gamer, but this game has a way of getting people hooked with its charm.


Installing Battle for Wesnoth is quite a simple task. If you fancy Ubuntu operating system, the latest stable version of the the game can simply be installed from Ubuntu Software Center or from Synaptic Package Manager.

The latest version of Battle for Wesnoth can also be found in the Fedora repositories. If you have the time and the will to compile your own version, the developers also provided a source package. True fans can also install a development version, 1.9.8 which is rather advanced if we compare it with the stable one, 1.8.6.


Battle for Wesnoth is what we consider and old game. It was developed initially by David White and it first saw the light of day in 2003, which means it has over nine years of age. Its style and gameplay hasn't changed much over time, but the addiction level has increased exponentially.

Unlike other strategy games, Battle for Wesnoth will not entice players with pretty graphics or empty promises about epic adventures (although the main quests are pretty epic), but it delivers something that is more like a feeling and sense of adventure. It's hard to explain how such a visually disturbing game (for the young generation that lives in the DirectX 11 era) can provide a complete experience with just the gameplay.

Players need to start with the provided complete tutorial in order to fully enjoy it and to learn the mechanisms that are used in the gameplay. At first glance everything is quite simple. The heroes can move a certain number of spaces, have a predefined hit ratio based on the weapon used and influenced by the geographical features around them, and can recruit units in the castle they own. Players also need to capture villages as they provide the money necessary for the campaign. Everything then ends and starts with the End Turn button.

Gamers will have access, right from the start, to 15 separate single-player campaigns, very well written and which will provide countless hours of fun and adventures. They are provided based on the difficulty level, which means there is a steady and easy learning curve.

Battle for Wesnoth also features add-ons, either for single-player or multiplayer and they number in the hundreds. The game could actually stretch for a thousand hours if we take into account everything that has been released for this game.

All this content is available because the developers have included a serious map editor, which is available and usable right from the game menu. With a little practice anyone can build a decent multiplayer map and actually a lot of people did.

Speaking of multiplayer, Battle for Wesnoth also features a complete multiplayer experience. This means it has official servers, you can host your own game or even shirmish maps (including playing with other users on the same computer).

The last thing we have to mention is the amazing soundtrack that complements the game and we're pretty sure that is one of the features that complements the gameplay and makes all the difference in the world.

The Bad

Being such an awesome game, Battle for Wesnoth doesn't really has any flaws, but it could only get better if some of the single-player campaigns could somehow get a little voice actings. It gets somewhat tiresome after a while to read all that text.

The Good

Battle for Wesnoth is almost the perfect game. It would certainly get at least a few 10s on Metacritic if someone would actually bother to gather all the reviews out there. It's a game that is easy to love and it will be an example on how games should be for years to come.


This is the simple part. Battle for Wesnoth is a beauty and a must have for all the fans that love a great strategy game. There is no comparison, at least not on Linux distributions, and I hope this game gets a lot more attention and the fan base it deserves.

user interface 5
features 5
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5

final rating 5
Editor's review

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