Jeff Vogel makes ugly games. It's almost literally his brand. And he's been very successful at it, establishing his Spiderweb Software studio as a reliable developer of deep, complex fantasy RPGs. He took his first crack at Kickstarter in 2018 and did very well, more than tripling its $30,000 goal, and today the subject of that campaign—Queen's Wish: The Conqueror—went live on Steam.
Like most other Spiderweb games, Queen's Wish: The Conqueror promises "a fascinating story full of surprises and interesting decisions," set in a massive open world where you can do pretty much whatever you want: Your job is to expand and fortify the Empire, but you might have other ideas: Maybe you want to call the shots yourself, or maybe you're a liberator who's come to set the people free. Whichever way you go, you'll explore indoor and outdoor environments, customize your character with 50 different abilities, engage in tactical combat against unique races and characters, and build and outfit a network of fortresses.
For all their depth, the primitive visuals in Spiderweb games can be off-putting. The good news for RPG fans who aren't sure whether they want to put up with that is that a demo is available at spiderwebsoftware.com. (Demos are available for just about all Spiderweb games, if you find yourself falling down that particular hole.) If you're ready to commit, Queen's Wish: The Conqueror is available for ten percent off its regular $20 price on Steam and GOG, and is also on Itch.io but not on sale.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.