The Great Tournament Review

Updated on September 26, 2017
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Jeremy explores several topics in-between juggling college with nanotechnology research (for fingerprint imaging purposes).

Jousting knights
Jousting knights | Source

What is The Great Tournament?

The Great Tournament is a free-to-play mobile text game created by Philip Kempton and published by Hosted Games. Like any text-based adventure, you'll spend the vast majority of your time reading the lengthy story, almost like a novel. However, unlike books, you make decisions at several points that influence the path of the game, and you craft your own unique character complete with various RPG-like stats: Strength, Intelligence, etc.

Plot and Setting
Without giving too much away, your customized character lives with a lower-class family in medieval times, loves attending local jousting tournaments, and aspires to one day compete as a knight. Through various events, perhaps you'll have a chance to fulfill this dream...

The story takes place over several years, allowing you to see the impact of your decisions and watch your character grow. So, does the game craft a tale compelling enough to maintain your interest? Let's examine the triumphs and failures of The Great Tournament!

The Great Tournament
The Great Tournament | Source

Pros

  • Free
  • Intriguing story
  • Choices have weight
  • Multiple endings
  • Strategy

Free
First and foremost, this game truly is free-to-play. Sure, there's a premium version, but it adds only a few extra features for die-hard fans, like ad-removal. Unlike many "free-to-play" traps, you'll never feel like you're missing out by not spending real money. The story and your character will both fully develop regardless of whether you spent actual cash.

Story
With an arching, action-packed tale, the game splendidly keeps your interest. This isn't Shakespeare or Pride and Prejudice, but the game has good pacing and spreads its action nicely throughout. Most characters are well-developed and believable; it's nice to see real protagonists with real flaws.

Choices
In this title, your choices matter. Your Diplomacy skill influences your chances of prevailing in negotiations, but so does your choice of words. Bandits attack; do you stand your ground or retreat? Should you admit the truth when questioned about sneaking around? What weapon do you specialize in? Which, if any, ladies capture your interest, and can you successfully woo them? The game really makes you feel the impact of your decisions, and provides several methods for handling most incidents.

Multiple Endings
Again, without spoiling anything, your character and companions have several possible destinations depending on your decisions. Some of the endings could use more fleshing-out, but simply having so many adds even more impact to your choices.

Strategy
I'm impressed with how many attributes a text game was able to implement. You've got the normal RPG-like stats listed below, a simple Light/Dark morality meter, Health, Gold, plus Archery, Riding, and Melee skills. At times, the game almost morphs into turn-based tactical combat, a refreshing break from the story.

Stat
Used For
Strength
Combat, power-based choices
Agility
Combat, reflexes and parrying
Leadership
Attracting and inspiring followers
Intelligence
Provides tactical options
Wisdom
Provides common sense-based options
Diplomacy
Increases success rate of negotiations
You'll have to make tough decisions about which attributes to focus on.
Artwork from the game
Artwork from the game | Source
Sample text from the game
Sample text from the game

Cons

  • Spelling/grammar errors
  • Aesthetically lacking
  • Stereotypical villain

Errors
For such a well-received game, The Great Tournament simply contains a plethora of grammar mistakes. Not an occasional slip every so often; I mean a lot of mistakes. Just reading the excerpt above reveals several: the wrong form of "you're", missing commas, and nonsensical phrases like "She nodded and went over to the hot water and washing her hands." Heck, they're so common you almost get used to them, and thankfully the intended meaning usually still seeps through.

Nonetheless, and I should know, a little proofreading would go a long way.

Aesthetics
Simply put, the game has little artistic value. Text is delivered in plain white backgrounds with standard black text. Very occasionally a static image appears to provide some context, but for the most part you're reading a novel and can expect as few pictures.

Villain
In contrast to the well-defined heroes, the main antagonist of the game comes across as one-dimensional and bland. Thankfully, you'll encounter a wide variety of villains and sub-villains to help offer variety.

More jousting
More jousting | Source
4 stars for The Great Tournament

Rating

Despite copious errors and nonexistent backgrounds, The Great Tournament offers a fun, choice-driven adventure. As long as you can overlook the frequent spelling mistakes, you'll grow invested in the character you build and the dynamic world around you. Just keep younger children away, as the game employs swearing and violence.

What do you think of The Great Tournament?

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Play for Yourself

To see what you think of the game, you can either download its app onto your phone or visit this site to experience it on your computer. Unlike many mobile games, once it's on your phone, you don't need an internet connection to play, making it a great travel game.

I hope you give this stellar experience a try, and encourage you to follow the tips below!

Tips for Victory

Various pointers to guide you through the game.

  • Some combat is inevitable, so train at least one battle-related stat.
  • If your Strength is high, fight offensively. If Agility is higher, fight defensively.
  • Listen to the clues the game provides. For example, Sir Robert values honesty, and staves are ineffective against heavy armor.
  • Be wary of gambling your Gold.
  • Allow leeway when traveling, as unexpected events may cause delays.
  • Have fun!

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