This time around though, things are a bit different, there is not one but two tie in games that were released and both free to play. The first is a mobile application called Heroes of Dragon Age released December of 2013. Technically not directly tied to Inquisition it is a bit of an “awareness” game that keeps the brand alive in the intervening period between Dragon Age II and Inquisition. I have to admit, if you watched the recent South Park Freemium episode it really strips away a lot of the mystique of this game but it’s still a solid fun squad building experience.
Your squad of heroes can be one of four colours as well as different factions. Each colour and faction has bonuses against other colours and factions and by pairing them up with like members they get a bonus to their attack and health ratings. It is tactically wise to have several squads of different colour loadouts to go against other players squads or attack specific story line’s enemies.
More long term solutions are either fortifying or consuming units. Fortification was introduced in the second update and allows you to lock units as support characters to other units. For example I have a Bethany Hawk, I fortify her by adding an Apostate Mage to her damage slot and her damage is increased. The amount the stat increases depends on rarity and level of the unit. Each character can have up to ten of these slots available and once slotted a unit cannot be removed only replaced. Consuming a unit is similar but instead of directly impacting a specific stat it provides the unit doing the consuming with an XP boost. After consuming enough units the primary unit goes up a Tier unlocking more powerful attacks (and a different skin). If you have two units of the same type it automatically increases your level to the next tier. So for example if I have two Bethany units and combine them it turns in to “Bethany II” and automatically increases their power.
This sounds like a boring game but it’s actually quite fun and explains a lot of the background of the universe without locking you in to the feeling you HAVE to play this to get the full experience of the retail game. Every time your character levels up your energy levels increase and reset to full counters (pretty typical mechanic) but these levels are actually fairly easy to get, for a “freemium” game it never feels like you are being milked for money also it’s kind of fun seeing variations on characters from the game for example Slave Assassin Fenris just made me sad while Barkspawn made me laugh my ass off. For a free game on iOS and Android you can’t go far wrong.
The next game to come out is more directly tied to Dragon Age: Inquisition and is called The Last Court. Created by Failbetter games in coordination with Bioware this game takes place in a small but strategic province of Orlais that has fallen on bad times you are the noble who has been appointed Marquis of Serault and you are preparing for the Divine to visit your capital city. A text adventure it makes interesting use of a card mechanic as well as a countdown to keep the action moving.
You have a series of associates ranging from an advisor, a body guard, a confident and (as a Bioware based game) of course a lover. As you pull cards your energy decreases but you are able to purchase energy to refill your counter or you can use this special purchased energy to garuntee a hand full of special cards your next draw. When you play special cards these will always offer the opportunity for better rewards but also count down a “Market Day” with only 7 market days before the Divine arrives you want to be careful to make sure you don’t run out before you’ve appropriately prepared.
If you haven’t had a chance to try out either of these entries, I highly suggest it. They may not be critical to the game but they can add some fun and flavor and remind you a bit about the world you will be playing in during your explorations of Dragon Age: Inquisition.