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Songs of Conquest is a brand new release from Lavapotion and Coffee Stain Publishing, a turn-based tactical RPG with kingdom management that definitely feels like Heroes of Might and Magic. Note: key from Key Mailer.

I was never truly a big fan of Heroes of Might and Magic though, while I appreciate the lasting effect it had on a lot of people, I think many will appreciate another modern take on it. Featuring some great pixel-art touched up with modern effects and lighting, it really does look absolutely gorgeous.

Thanks to Proton it works on Linux desktops and the Steam Deck out of the box, it couldn't be simpler. Click install, hit play — nice. However, on the Steam Deck, some UI elements are just a bit too small, which I hope the developer can work on. It's only just entered Early Access so they have a lot to do. Additionally, you want Proton Experimental for best compatibility, although currently the cut-scenes are upside down.

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For the Steam Deck, the default Steam Input configuration it was given to act like a Keyboard and Mouse actually works really nicely for it. Since it's a slow game being turn-based, having that time to think helps. For now, playable and it does perform well to a solid 60FPS just keep in mind the smaller text and UI issue there. Even on the High settings (default), it performs at around 50-60FPS most of the time which is great, although tweaking it down to Medium makes it even better while still looking great on the Deck screen. With Medium settings and using the Steam Deck Beta to put it into 40Hz, looks like at least 3 hours battery life. Honestly with bigger text and UI it would be a fantastic experience on Deck, and then perfection with proper controller support.

On desktop Linux, no performance issues at all either, multiple-hundreds FPS. Everything looking great!

Seems like it has some nice writing through the campaign too. Although, honestly, I can't get over just how absolutely lush it looks. The maps have lots of little detail to them, as you explore and come across various camps and villages that allow you to buff up your forces or engage in battle and the battle animations look just as great too.

I still have a lot more of it to play yet but it leaves a lasting first impression.

Game Features:

  • Adventure Awaits - Explore a wide variety of maps with diverse enemies and valuable loot. Venture into contrasting biomes with unique enemy factions, environments and battlefields.
  • Build an Empire - Manage resources, research new advancements and expand your kingdom. Plan your towns to match your playstyle - will you utilise brute force, magic or a mix of both? There are many paths to world domination.
  • Wage War - Dive into a deep combat system utilizing troop abilities and powerful magic. Combine troops to maximize available spells and damage potential. Use the battlefield to your advantage by claiming high ground and protecting bottlenecks.
  • Alone or Together - Immerse yourself in epic single player adventure or challenge your friends to an honourable duel, online or local!
  • In-game Level Editor - The in-game level editor allows you to create your own adventures using the same tools the developers use to create campaign and skirmish maps. Script in-game events, control the soundtrack, write dialogue and share your creations with others!
  • Four Factions - Four factions are locked in an epic conflict. Arleon, knights of old battling each other for dominance. Rana, ancient tribes fighting for survival in the swamp. Loth, necromancers raising the dead to create a glorious future. Barya, bold mercenaries and inventors dedicated to coin, gunpowder and independence.
  • A Choral Campaign - Listen to the bards as they celebrate your path to victory. Each of the two campaigns comes with a unique song that tells the tale of your rise and ruin. Unlock new verses as you complete missions, enjoying the full track at the end of the journey.

The developer is estimating around one year to remain in Early Access. For now what they have is an absolutely magical start to what could turn into one of the best fantasy strategy / RPG mixes around. It's already hit a Very Positive user rating on Steam too, which is unsurprising to me.

Nice to see another really interesting release working on Day 1 with Proton.

Available to buy on Steam or if you want to try it in plain Wine it's also on GOG.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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ElamanOpiskelija May 17, 2022
Damn Right, sir! Platinum rating in Proton just at launch, and on Early Access!

I must say I'm surprised with latest entries from my wishlist: Dune (in a negative way) and this one (in a positive way).
I predict that the positive reception will continue, and I don't discard that even some players may move over from T.W. Warhammer 3 to the brighter side.

That being said, that Cecilia Stoutheart character is terrible. It makes Ms. Rottenmeier look like a party girl in comparison. Can't wait to play as the enemy faction.
eldarion May 18, 2022
Your definition of working "quite well on steam deck" is a little bit strange. ;)
Liam Dawe May 18, 2022
Quoting: eldarionYour definition of working "quite well on steam deck" is a little bit strange. ;)
Care to explain why? As stated it works out of the box, just has the cut-scene issue.
Purple Library Guy May 18, 2022
Maybe the cut-scene thing isn't a bug. It's a fantasy game, maybe there's going to be some lore about the main character having a strange relationship to gravity, and she's actually walking around upside down.
anewson May 18, 2022
Quotealthough currently the cut-scenes are upside down.

this is a hilarious bug, I hope it's never fixed.

In all seriousness, I've seen a bit of this played and have to agree with Liam, the game is so fantastic looking it's hard to even judge the rest yet. I have very high hopes for it.
drjoms May 18, 2022
Two Words:
Heroes Four...
eldarion May 19, 2022
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: eldarionYour definition of working "quite well on steam deck" is a little bit strange. ;)
Care to explain why? As stated it works out of the box, just has the cut-scene issue.

Sure. According to your article (i didn't test it myself):

* Videos playing upsidedown
* minuscle ui elements (read barely playable)
* needs you to use proton experimental for best compatibility
* Minuscule text
* Recommend lowering settings to medium

Just because it works great on a Linux desktop and runs on steam deck (obviously, because it's just a PC miniature with a keypad), it doesn't mean it's playable there (yet), hence, not "working out of the box" on my book.
Liam Dawe May 19, 2022
Well the key is in my wording isn’t it. That is why I said “quite” and “playable” as opposed to “great” or *insert claiming it’s a really good experience* and explained why it’s not a solid experience but playable.
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