If Kingsway was too experimental for you and Cosmic Star Heroine still too reliant on old JRPG systems, then Cardboard Utopia‘s Children of Zodiarcs might be the answer to your turn-based strategy RPG cravings.
Storywise, the game doesn’t tread new ground, following the adventures of a group of thieves who want to steal a priceless relic and instead are hunted down by city guards and other rival bandits. However, considering that the alumni of the newly formed company have had experience with games like Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, the Assassin’s Creed and FarCry series, there should be more than meets the eye at first glance. With a cast including Nahmi who was stolen from her homeland as a child, Brice who was forced to survive on the streets, and Zirchhoff who employs young orphans for his deeds, in addition to others, there’s enough potential to care for what is happening.
The battle system is a refreshing departure from what one is used to in turn-based strategy games, as it involves cards and dice rolling. Building decks with different character cards or winning them through battle as well as figuring out when to use one or two dices is as important as being aware of attack, defence, healing, and special ability modifiers. Inspirations like Final Fantasy Tactics, Shining Force or Magic: The Gathering are obvious, while the graphical style is quite beautiful, which is also true for the orchestral soundtrack. It’s no surprise that the involvement of Square Enix Collective which supports new developers further helped to bring this early access and Kickstarter project to life.
The game is now available on PC as well as on PS4 with a 10% discount that will last until July 25, 5 PM UTC. One can also buy the collector’s edition that includes the game’s digital soundtrack and a PDF artbook.
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