Legio was one of those games that I'd never heard a thing about until it was assigned to me for review. While it downloaded I checked out the game's trailer to see what I was in for, and when the very first line of voiceover introduced the kingdom of "Bela Lugosia" I knew that Legio would either be Game Of The Year or a total disaster. When your game is set in a place named after a meth-addled B-movie actor there can be no in between. Imagine my disappointment upon reading the manual and discovering it was actually "Bella Lagucia." Dull, difficult-to-review mediocrity was a real possibility after all.

Legio is just barely a PC game. It would be more accurate to approach it as a board game that you play with a mouse, and if you're getting déjà vu it's because I said the same thing about Solium Infernum a few months back.

A game of Legio is very much like the combat from Final Fantasy Tactics or Battle For Wesnoth, just without any story, persistence, or progression. In those story-driven turn-based strategy games you control characters that level up and acquire equipment over the course of the campaign. Legio has no campaign, just one-off games, and to find any reference to story you have to go outside the game to its manual or website.

At the start of a game you're presented with a gridded board and a choice of pieces to deploy on it. The options are Archer, Assassin, Captain, Giant, Magician, Priest, Warrabbit, and Warrior and they have varying strengths and weaknesses but with no tutorial and no mouseover tooltips to tell you what the icons and numbers mean you'll have to consult the manual before you can do anything constructive. Maybe that's a petty thing to whine about but an in-game tutorial - even a single screen of "Here's what you do..." exposition - is such a basic requirement for games released in the 21st century. Back in the day I used to love reading a manual on the way back from my local game shop but in the digital age does anyone read the instructions before playing?

*Sigh* Anyway, turn by turn you have your pieces attack your opponent's pieces with swords, arrows, and magic until one player's pieces have all been defeated. That's your game. Thank you for playing Legio.

I was stunned. Surely there had to be more to the game than that. The option of playing against an easy, normal, or hard AI opponent is as deep as it gets - either way your game is over in 10 minutes and you've seen everything Legio has to offer. There's multiplayer of course but I've seen just one player in the lobby over the four days I've been looking at this game.

You could rightly point out that Legio only costs £7.95 and suggest that I shouldn't expect too much from it at that price but Battle For Wesnoth is a similar but infinitely deeper and far better game and it's completely free! To put it blunty, I just can't figure out why Legio exists. It's not like Paradox Interactive had a turn-based strategy-shaped hole in their catalogue because they already publish Elven Legacy. I didn't enjoy EL very much either but it's certainly a deeper game than Legio!

With a lot more development Legio might have something to offer but right now I'm afraid it isn't worth anyone's money or time.