Adelantado 4: Aztec Skulls is a game developed by Whiterra where you take the role of Diego Adelantado, a Spanish commander in colonial times. Your role as Don Diego is to befriend the local native americans and protect them from different threats, like floods and dark spirits. While not the most realistic setting, it does have its charm; the scenarios are really pretty to look at without being distracting from the gameplay. It should be noted that while there is some combat, there are no mature themes, making this game suitable for children or for having them around while you play.
The game has an isometric view, letting you get a good look at your surroundings. The art style might be 2D yet it still gets to be colorful, and with a lot of detail. When issuing a building, you can see the different stages of construction as your villagers add planks and stone. When said building is abandoned (because of lack of resources) it has its own art, where it has darkened and filled with ruin.
The Adelantado games are a series that blends strategy and adventure games in a package well served for both casual players and veterans alike. At each stage, you will have to manage resource generation, building production, and moving Don Diego around (he’s like the Hero Unit in other strategy games) to complete the different quests that allow you to move forward.
While that might sound like a lot for someone inexperienced in these games, there’s nothing to worry about. The game comes with really detailed and spread-out tutorialization, letting you get to grasp the different activities before introducing a new one. And as a plus, if you just want to enjoy the story and solve the little puzzles without needing to worry about your base, there is a “Relaxed” mode you can pick in the options menu, where the game basically manages your base difficulty for you.
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If you’ve played strategy games before, there’s plenty of challenges to be found. First off, there are harder difficulties, which just makes the whole game more challenging. But as you play, there are achievements to earn if you search every nook and cranny for secret treasures and collectibles. It is a really fun and highly customizable experience no matter what you’re after.
You should know that, even with all these strategy game features, there are no real opposing factions. You don’t build units to fight other soldiers, you just build and maintain a base. In that sense this is more of a puzzle game, where you have to figure out what to build and when to build it, so you can have the resources to advance to the next stage. That’s not to say that there aren’t any dangers; dark spirits climb out of holes to attack your base, and you have to quickly click on them to fend them off. Don Diego can also be harmed, specifically by traps, and you need a special building to heal him up. So there are dangers, just more on the puzzle-solving kind.
Being the fourth game in the saga, this title comes with some improvements over its predecessors. Firstly, of course, is the updated graphics. They might still be two dimensional but they look prettier than before. But more important than that are gameplay features to ease and improve play, like the ability to destroy buildings that no longer have a use (for example a wood cutting building where all the trees have already been taken down).
Another feature relates to Don Diego; before, when you sent him to break a pot and something was in it, you’d have to click that something to pick it up. Now, he will do it automatically. It should be noted that you can give multiple orders to Don Diego and he will perform them in the order given, saving you a lot of time.
Adelantado 4 Aztec Skulls is not only an improvement on the previous installments, it is also a great game in its own right. Whether you are looking for a relaxed puzzler or a fast paced strategy game, this game can fit either role with ease
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