Heroes of Might and Magic III Review | The Quintessential Turn Based Strategy Game

What is up my brothers and sisters? Zenishira here, and today I will be covering a cult classic, a gem of a game that defined my childhood and that I still enjoy playing to comfort myself and to forget about the stress of modern life. A tactical game, set in in the fantasy world of Erathia, a land filled with Dragons and Titans, Goblins and Pixies, where you command an army of such Creatures and lead them to glory. I’m talking of course about…

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Heroes of Might and Magic III is a turn-based strategy game developed by New World Computing in 1999. As its name suggests, it is the third installment of the Heroes of Might and Magic series, which itself is a spin-off from the RPG series “Might and Magic”.

However, unlike its predecessors, Heroes of Might and Magic III managed to surpass its predecessors in every way, shape and form.

From the astounding hand spirited graphics that make the game look good even to this day, to the otherworldly soundtrack composed by none other than Paul Romero himself. This man managed to get an entire orchestra to play so that the player would feel immersed just by listening to the themes of their respective towns. Have a listen!

You can play as nine different factions, each with their own town, heroes, buildings, troops and gimmicks. By capturing other players’ towns, you can use their units as well. Each town can produce seven different tiers of units, and they replenish at the start of each week. These can range from lowly tier 1 troglodytes to powerful tier 7 Dragons.

The order in which you build your constructions also matters a lot, as you cannot get a high tier unit before building all the prerequisite dwellings or by lacking materials, you do know how to manage materials, do you? Just look at this map, there’s plenty of stuff on the ground, such as wood, gold, rocks, crystals, sulfur, and also sawmills and mines (unfortunately no sapphire mines)

Heroes® of Might & Magic® III - HD Edition on Steam

Each turn counts as a day, and every day you have a limited amount of distance that your hero can travel to with their horse, this distance can be increased if one chooses to invest in the logistics skill. Heroes can hold 7 stacks of troops in their arsenal, the number near each stack represents “how much” of a given unit is within that said stack. This is important to take in mind, when we’re talking about combat.

Initiating combat is as easy as clicking on any monster, player, or building that would otherwise prompt a battle. Every monster on the battlefield on each side gets a turn to move, attack, use abilities, wait or defend. While the heroes themselves do not engage directly in battle, their stats transfer (attack, defense) transfer unto their units as multipliers. Also, heroes can cast spells multiple times per turn, meaning that in a single turn, one could cast a spell to make their units faster, then another to make their opponent’s troops slower and weaker.

Heroes III: Final Fight of the Wayfarer - YouTube

Speaking of spells, each towns gets access to a Mages Guild, where they can research new spells with each level. Sometimes, you get spells that are nigh useless, such as Hypnotize, other times you get spells that can cause massive destruction, such as Armageddon.

Considering that some units are Magically Immune, you can imagine a scenario where your friend would simply come with a few Black Dragons and spam Armageddon until you lose.

There’s also the issue of Overworld Spells such as Fly or Dimension Door, which allow for easy transport across the map. Enemy right at your gate? Just cast Dimension Door while he is still in front of your door, waiting for the next turn.

16 new spells for Heroes 3 Complete - New Spells Plugin - Heroes 3.5: In the Wake of Gods Portal

Sounds broken, right? That’s because it is, it’s a game from the 90’s, what would you expect? Game Balancing theory wasn’t that developed back then. Some players from community lobbies might choose to set rules such as banning the use of certain spells, certain skills (such as Diplomacy, which straight up has you play a weird version of Undertale by “allying” with your enemies), and most notably certain towns.

You heard me right, there are two towns in this game that are almost unanimously agreed to be broken, I will tell you the reasons why people hate those towns in short. First, we have Necropolis, a town made of undead creatures such as Skeletons and Zombies.

Necropolis’ main gimmick is that they raise their own dead enemies as skeletons after fighting them using their Necromancy Skill, thus easily increasing the size of their armies. However, if they assemble the Cloak of the Undead King, then they can summon Liches.

Liches are strong ranged units that can target multiple targets. If your opponent is a Necropolis player, and they just so happen to have around 1000 Liches, leave, uninstall, quit. That’s all I can say.


Secondly, we have the Conflux. And the reason why they absolutely break the game is because of their dreaded Phoenixes.

They are the fastest unit in the game, meaning that whoever owns a Phoenix will always start the battle first. Also, if you so happen to cast Expert Air Magic Haste spell on a Phoenix, then you can travel all the way up to the enemy team and burn their units. Bye, bye shooters!

Oh, did I also mention that 8 out of 9 towns only get one tier 7 unit per week? Guess who the town is who says, “Well I am not like the other girls!” while flaunting their 2 Phoenixes.


Either way, don’t let those apparent “flaws” anger you, veer you away or ruin your enjoyment of the game. Instead, learn to appreciate them as they are. If you do want to play a more “balanced” version there are community patches such as Wake of  Gods that fix multiple issues the original game has, while adding more content such as a new pirate themed town called the Cove.

I feel as if I cannot do this game justice by reviewing it like I do. To truly enjoy Heroes III, one must experience it for themselves. The game is available on GOG, as a Complete Edition, full of both the Armageddon’s Blade and the Shadow of Death expansions. I hope my post has drawn attention to this masterpiece of a game, and I will see you in the next game review. Peace!

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