Warlock: Master of the Arcane Review |

Arcane comes from the Latin word “arcanus” meaning hidden or secret. Paradox Interactive’s new game revels in both of these things, asking players to learn its quirks before unlocking its potential. Cajoling into place an erratic mixture of city planning, hexagonal war waging, and omniscient spell casting, Warlock: Master of the Arcane requires you to become well versed in the game’s many esoteric systems before anything resembling success can be achieved.

“Playing Warlock is like encountering a cumbersome but lovingly constructed mechanical watch.”

That’s not to say that Warlock is a game whose elegance and virtuosity is directly related to the skill and experience of the person playing it, far from it. Rather, where Warlock shines is in the satisfying feedback loop at work in coming to understand the how the game’s world functions and its inhabitants behave. Without multiplayer or as much complexity as a title like Civilization, Warlock isn’t a game that requires mastery in...

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