Raccoons battle bears in the satisfying strategy game Woodland Heroes

Woodland Heroes is a turn-based strategy game that clearly takes inspiration from games of the non-digital variety. Despite its stellar production values and charming world and characters, the battles resemble Battleship, while the map screen feels almost like Risk. At the same time, it’s a game that feels very unique, especially amongst Facebook strategy titles.

As the title suggests, Woodland Heroes takes place in a forested world full of anthropomorphic animals. You take on the role of a brave young raccoon who takes control of guiding the raccoon army in the wake of an attack from the evil bears. With your father kidnapped it’s left to you to set things right again. It’s sort of a goofy set-up, but the clever and succinct writing help make it a world you won’t mind inhabiting.

Of course, the story is really just an excuse to have some battles, and that’s largely what you’ll be doing in Woodland Heroes. You can build catapult-style weapons of varying types, using both gold earned and resources harvested, and then move them about the map as if they were miniature playing pieces on a board game. Each area on the map represents a new mission, and your goal is to retake the land and defeat the bears once and for all. In this way Woodland Heroes resembles a more traditional strategy game, with a relatively linear progression.

As previously mentioned, the battles themselves resemble a good old fashioned game of Battleship. Both you and your opponent line up your weapons on opposing sides of the battlefield — each weapon has a different footprint and attack spread — but you won’t know where their weapons are located until you actually hit one. So the game becomes a race, as you take turns firing shots attempting to destroy all of each other’s weapons first.

Woodland Heroes

Woodland Heroes

It’s quite a lot of fun and the variety of weapons makes for some flexible strategies, as you can tackle different battles in different ways. And you’ll need to build a lot of them, as once a weapon is destroyed it’s gone for good. This is especially devastating when you fail a mission and lose a whole squad of catapults.

During our time spent with the closed beta, it wasn’t just the strategic combat that sucked us in, but the world itself. The art in Woodland Heroes is terrific and before and after each mission you’re treated to brief snippets of dialog from various characters. Not only is most of it pretty funny, but it also gives you a good sense of who the characters are. The story is actually a little bit dark, with overarching war themes, but the art and writing help keep it feeling relatively light and accessible.

Stay tuned to Gamezebo for our full Woodland Heroes review soon.

Ex-EA devs announce first new Facebook title, Woodland Heroes

Row Sham Bow is a brand new social games studio formed by a team of industry vets, with plenty of experience working blockbuster games like Madden and other EA Sports series. Now the newly formed team is setting its sites on Facebook, and has just announced its first game: Woodland Heroes.

Officially announced on the company’s blog, few details are currently available about the game just yet. Row Sham Bow has released its first piece of character art (below) and says that it plans to release more over the next few days.

Woodland Heroes

However, there is a game page for a title named Woodland Heroes on Facebook, though the game itself isn’t currently playable. When you attempt to launch the app you get the following message, which provides at least a few new details about the game.

Woodland Heroes

Woodland Heroes is expected to launch in a few weeks from now. In the meantime, you can follow its progress on both Facebook and Twitter.