RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone comes to us from freshman studio Wimo Games and takes a unique approach to RPG design. A hybrid board game and turn-based RPG, players lead their band of heroes on an epic quest to save the land from sinister magic. Combining unique gameplay and decent writing, Heroes of Whitestone may very well have a chance at being one of the best Android RPGs of 2022.
Heroes of the Land
The game opens with Nevin the Rogue pinching pockets in the markets of the titular town of Whitestone. His crime spree is interrupted by the Warrior Valara and the Caster Kalla. However, before they can take him to jail, a band of Orcs and their Elven overlord attack the town. The Minotaur Warrior Koth and Dwarven Healer Rorin soon join the Party in Defending Whitestone. Players unlock additional Heroes through Heroes of Whitestone’s gacha mechanics, though these five serve as the protagonists of the game’s story. The variously willing protagonists must gather allies and save the world from the Elven Twilight Empire.
I’d say RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone is above average for a freemium mobile RPG in terms of writing quality. The conflict is primarily black and white, and some plot twists are predictable. However, the main cast has great chemistry, and I like that the developers took the time to give every Hero a detailed backstory. It might not sound like a huge deal, but it helps make the characters memorable and even fleshed out the world a bit. I also like how the elves are the villains and working with the orcs, in stark contrast to the usual fantasy cliché.
RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone also has an excellent quest structure, with each subplot having a clear beginning, middle and end. Again, that might not sound like a big deal on its own. However, I can’t tell you how many gacha games think “story progress” means checking off random, disconnected tasks. Heroes of Whitestone, meanwhile, makes me feel like my actions are moving the plot forward in a meaningful way.
Board Game Action
While I liked Heroes of Whitestone’s story, the gameplay is what piqued my initial interest. Players roll a virtual die to advance along a board game-style path. Different spots might contain treasure chests, crafting resources, merchants, combat instances or other things for the player to interact with. Each new chapter takes players to a different board. There are ten in all, not counting the tutorial area in Whitestone itself. Completing quests and advancing the story opens new sections of each board, including smaller dungeon boards.
Standard Combat encounters in Heroes of Whitestone are five vs. five turn-based battles. Heroes stand in a formation of three in front and two in the back. Most attacks can only target Exposed enemies. Front row enemies are always Exposed, while back-row enemies become Exposed when the two heroes in front of them die. For example, players first need to defeat those in the front-right and front-center positions to target the back-right Hero in an enemy formation. Boss battles generally follow the same format, but a single powerful enemy takes up the whole back rank. Some attacks ignore Exposure, but these are relatively rare, and most have long cooldowns.
Heroes fall into the standard three archetypes of Warrior, Rogue, and Caster. Rogues like Nevin are pure damage dealers, while Warriors can be tanks and area attackers. Finally, Casters are a mix of heroes of healers, buffers, and AOE damage dealers. However, these aren’t rigidly defined roles, and many Heroes serve a combination of functions in battle. RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone also divides its heroes into the standard rock-paper-scissors of elemental effects. Water counters Fire, Fire counters Nature, Nature counters Water, and Light and Dark only counter each other.
Of course, RPG Dice’s unique selling point is the Dice. Players collect Dice from treasure chests and assign them to specific Hero abilities. Every ability deals base damage determined by the Hero’s items and stats, with the Dice role applying a damage modifier. Different Dice also have different critical effects. These include healing or buffing the Hero or applying negative status effects to their target. While the Dice aren’t a total game-changer, they add extra spice to every combat encounter.
While I’d hesitate to call any game perfect, I came away very impressed with RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone. The gameplay is fun, the story is engaging, and there wasn’t even much grind compared to other free-to-play Android RPGs. Heroes if Whitestone is an impressive first outing from Wimo Games and bodes well for the studio’s future.
Is It Hardcore?
RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone combines fun characters, an engaging story and unique board game-inspired gameplay to create an amazing turn-based RPG for mobile.