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Acaratus is a turnbased tactical RPG set in a medieval steampunk world where you build and fight with your mechanized battle suits to help Adina free the people enslaved by the emperor Helios, their oppressor.
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Nodbrim Interactive have developed a fantasy-steampunk graphic, animated adventure that delivers on beauty and simplicity.

The tunnel system of the labyrinths is created from a network of metal steam pipes with T-joints, Right-Angled bends that either run through or end in rooms that contain goodies or metallic monsters.

Characters battle-suits can be equipped with additional and better weapons and upgraded armour as and when it is discovered, plus they can use Action cards to enhance their performance in the battle arenas.


Basically this is a combat game which is turn based with player's pitting their characters against opposing mech-types. The arena floor is designed as whatever ground suits the situation until it is a player's Turn, then a green squared grid is overlaid to show the extent of the character's movement possibilities. Standing in an adjacent square to an opponent and clicking on the opponent causes the player's character to strike, damage numbers float from the attacked mech; visually this is slow and uninspiring and belies the fact that there is a reasonable game to be found here. I personally wouldn't call this a Role-Play Game (RPG), I would call it a Story-telling combat game more than a strategic role-playing game, but I agree it is tactical to a point, and it does have a degree of strategy because when you first enter into a combat you get to see the strength of the opposition and are given the opportunity to Fight or Flee - if your combat strength isn't within range of the prospective opponent's strength value then you are best fleeing because when the combat is two who are stronger than you versus one, you are almost certainly going to lose.


As ACARATUS is in it's Early Access Phase and still somewhat under development it probably isn't fair to fully judge it yet. I love the artwork and the campaign storyline but I am not particularly keen on the combat mechanic, and even the introduction of Action cards does little to remedy the non-exciting-event that is a battle. I understand that many players like this genre of game and for them this is a perfect example of the game type. If you like the buzz of adrenaline an ensuing battle provides ACARATUS isn't going to provide it for you, at least it doesn't for me.

It is a no-nonsense game. It is not filled with amusing side-stories or comically named characters, instead it shows public hangings and dark depression in a world that is stark and unforgiving .







© Chris Baylis 2011-2015