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Wednesday - August 19, 2015

CRPG Addict - Review Roundup (Part Ten)

by Arhu, 08:27

Kicking off the tenth batch of reviews by CRPG Addict with one of the meatier CRPGs from 1988:

Might & Magic II: Gates to Another World (1988)

Quests. The Might & Magic series continues to shine here. It remains the only series in this era with a strong selection of side quests as well as a compelling, multi-stage main quest. The main quest was slow to reveal itself, just like in the first game, but it was one of the more interesting main quests of the CRPGs I've played, and it fit well with the game's back story. (..)

The final score is 58. That's two points lower than I ranked Might & Magic I. If you want to howl in protest, believe me, I understand. From a purely objective standpoint, it seems like II should be better than I--if only for the graphics alone! But, to be perfectly honest, I enjoyed the first game a little bit more. I think the quests had a little more depth, the game was better balanced, and the plot was more original back then. It's still the second-highest ranked game in my blog, though, and I did have a lot of fun playing it.

  1. Game 53: Might & Magic II: Gates to Another World (1988)
  2. Packed with Stuff
  3. An Urban Tour
  4. Anatomy of Combat
  5. Touring the Countryside
  6. Castles and Quests
  7. Castles and Quests, Part II
  8. The Land Explored
  9. Mazes and Monsters
  10. On the Main Quest
  11. Stuck in a Bog
  12. Magic
  13. Won!
  14. Final Rating

Moraff's Revenge (1988)

In short, Moraff's Revenge is a single-character, permanent-death dungeon crawl with limited tactics and almost no story, but with some decent programming innovations.

  1. Game 54: Moraff's Revenge (1988)

Omega (1988)

Omega allows a fascinating type of character creation in which you can "play yourself," answering questions about your own lifestyle and attributes to generate your character. Naturally, there is a temptation to lie during this process (warning: the game notes the most outrageous ones), but it's still exceedingly clever, and the most original system this side of Ultima IV. (..)

The final score of 53 ties it with Starflight and Ultima IV in third place of all the games I've reviewed so far. Only the time factor keeps me from launching into a new game with different guild choices. (..) I'm sure I haven't even scratched the surface of what's possible in this game, especially as regards the religious system.

  1. Game 55: Omega (1988)
  2. Rich Game World
  3. Succumbed to Cheating
  4. Everything is a Reference
  5. Low Expectations, High Satisfaction
  6. Sort-of Won!
  7. Final Rating

Paladin (1988)

The game would be more interesting if the quest were unified under some kind of general theme. Fractured as they are, playable in just about any order, some of them not particularly chivalrous, the game doesn't have a very good overall game world (..)

The final score of 21 puts it on the lower tier of games, but of course I'm rating it as a CRPG, not as a strategy game, which is closer to its correct category.

  1. Game 56: Paladin (1988)
  2. Two Quests Down (with Final Rating)


Explanation of the the final rating: The GIMLET.

CRPG Addict


InSomnia - Camping, Shelter and Transportation System

by Hiddenx, 08:26

In Kickstarter update #36 we learn about camping, shelter and the transportation system of InSomnia:

Let's camp together

Camping is something you can do almost always and everywhere: during your global map adventures, while exploring specific locations etc. You will have a separate button in UI for this purpose:

Building a camp gives you an opportunity to craft items, manage inventory of your character and NPCs, have some food and water (yes, you will have to do that to survive), heal your wounds and rest to reduce the overall level of exhaustion. 

Note that you won't be able to camp while being in combat mode or in company of any hostile creatures sniffing nearby. Some missions you might take won't give you an opportunity to rest until you finish, along with certain locations which are generally considered to be too dangerous to stay there for too long.

You should also remember that camping in abandoned corners of the station will likely get your party an unwanted company.  

Your shelter

Each lost soul should have a place to call its own and you are not an exception. Your shelter is located on the territory of one of the station's military bases. Basically this location will offer you the same advantages as any other camp you build throughout the game. However the amount of features you'll be able to make a use of here is going to be slightly... bigger:

Here you will also find a special locker for everything you are too in love with to throw out, all your loyal companions you ever had in your party, a few merchants to suit your medical and technical needs etc. And of course what home it would be without workbenches of all sorts? You will definitely like this place.

Delivery terminals and instant transportation system

Station is a gigantic space ship so you can't always count on being around your shelter. This is when delivery terminals come to the rescue. This special tech can be found all over the place being connected with the help of complicated system of shafts.

By using these terminals you will be able to exchange items with the locker from your shelter. It will take some in-game time and you should be ready to wait even more if you find yourself too far from home.

To access the terminals you will need special cards which are rare. Also do not expect that all existing terminals will be perfectly functional  - some of them will require extensive repair and other manipulations before you can actually use them.

You will be able to travel using a similar transportation system yourself:


Thanks for reading this update and until next time!



SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Steampunk
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


Fig - a new funding platform for games

by Silver, 01:06

Justin Bailey the former Double Fine COO has started a new crowdfunding platform focused on games. This platform called Fig also allows equity crowdfunding; from the article below.

Fig is built from its very foundations to offer maximum value to developers, pledgers and investors, rather than relying on an architecture built to serve cat cafes, smart watches and YouTube channels equally.

Urquhart, Fargo, and Schafer have also pledged to use Fig to fund future titles from their studios Obsidian Entertainment, inXile Entertainment and Double Fine Productions.

If you want to check out Fig head here.




Tuesday - August 18, 2015

RPGWatch Feature - Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor Gamescom Preview

by Myrthos, 22:02

With a very long game title, Warhammer 40.000: Inquisitor - Martyr, Neocore announced before Gamescom that they would bring us an action-RPG in the Warhammer 40K universe, with a playable part of the game to show for it. So, I visited them at Gamescom, played the game and listened to what they had to say, resulting in amongst others:

Inquisitor has two game modes, a story mode that is narratively driven and single player only and the inquisitorial campaign, an open world sandbox persistent mode, in which you have your own ship and all the freedom you to do what you want to do, but actually also has its own storyline based on the decisions of individual players.

The missions in the inquisitorial campaign are randomly generated, so you never get to see the same mission twice. There is just one sector, which has sub-sectors, but a sector in Warhammer 40K has hundreds of star systems and thousands of planets, so it is big enough to potentially last for a long time. These sub-sectors will gradually be made available to the players over time. The levels of your opponents in these sub-sectors do not progress in relation to your level, so at the start of a new sub-sector many of the enemies will be too strong for you and you need to level up first in order to progress into that new sub-sector. In the inquisitorial campaign you are given an Inquisitor fortress, a safe haven, where you can store your loot. It gives you resources and it also has your followers that you can level up over time. There can also be other people playing the game, but there is no direct PvP action between inquisitors. Instead you can attack each other's fortresses. The winning party can take the loot from the losing party.

Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


Bloom - Development Update

by Myrthos, 13:27

In a new development update for Bloom: Memories we are informed about the status with animations, tools and the design.

Since development of a game like this takes so much time, we tend to think a lot about where things are headed. Originally (before even this kickstarter) Bloom was going to be a hack and slash game. But, along the way, bit by bit, that design goal was chipped away as we wanted to inject more and more meaning into the game. We always wanted players to have the option to rampage through the game if they want, but also wanted to create a deeper experience for those interested. 

The last few months has seen even more of that evolution as we rethought the place of creatures in the game. Sure, there will still be aggressive creatures...but we have rethought the need to have the majority of them that way. Instead, we want creatures to behave more naturally (and instantly attacking the player for no reason doesn't really seem to fit).

It is no secret that one of the big goals we have had for a while is to create an emotion (and needs / wants) system that will steer that behaviour. We will be talking about that more later, but basically it frees up the design of the world to emphasis exploration not only in the world...but also the creatures around the player (what they want, why they are reacting the way they do, and what that means about the world / place they are found). 

This also lets us emphasize the "enemy" robots a lot more. Design wise, it will let us go wild boosting the strength of patrols and create a larger sense of danger (along with the high and low type of game-play it naturally creates as you explore). 

Anyhow, now that the revamped engine is almost back to where we were before and we have most of the world / creatures done (with animations!), the next step is going to be tackling some of these deeper systems and bringing everything together. You all know by now it has never been about making "a_game" ....we want to make something new. Expect things to get a bit more interesting :)


SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


Masquerada - Gameplay Trailer

by Myrthos, 13:20

Witching Hour have released a gameplay trailer of Masquerada: Songs and Shadows and invite you to visit them at PAX.

Come to PAX Prime - Booth 6708 - and play the new alpha demo of Masquerada, the isometric RPG that promises to be a tour de force of pauseable tactical combat and narrative intrigue!

In the Venetian-inspired fantasy city of Ombre, masks unearthed from the ancient world give destructive magical powers to an elite few. As civil war rages between the elitist Masquerada and the working-class Contadani, fey creatures start to spread mysteriously throughout the city, paving the way to a darker conspiracy...

A gripping narrative, fully voiced by the likes of Matthew Mercer (Fire Emblem: Awakening), Jennifer Hale (Mass Effect series), Dave Fennoy (The Walking Dead) and more incredible talents, awaits those who delve into the troubled hearts of the Masquerada and the politics which burden them so.

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is intended for release on PC, Mac and consoles (TBC) in spring 2016.



SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


CRPG Addict - Review Roundup (Part Nine)

by Arhu, 08:41

It's 1988 and what else is there to do besides playing CRPGs? Rhetorical question, of course, so here's another part of CRPG Addict's ventures into the past.

The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate (1988)

Leveling is unrewarding. You're expected to bring in characters from The Bard's Tale II who are already at around Level 30-40, and if you don't have them, there's a starter dungeon to get you there. At that point, you have all your abilities and spells and there's nowhere else to develop except to add a few more hit points and spell points to your pool. (..) [Gameplay is] linear, repetitive, non-replayable, too difficult at the beginning and too easy after that, and far, far too long. (..)

Final Rating: 33. This puts it 3 points lower than II and 4 points lower than I, keeping with my belief that the series got worse as it progressed. The developments the story and dimensions was offset by repetitiveness and boredom.

  1. Game 47: The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate (1988)
  2. Just What I Needed
  3. More Complaints, Mostly
  4. Brief Break
  5. Don't Make Me Do This. Please.
  6. The Age of Aggression is Just About Done
  7. Swan Song

Demon's Winter (1988)

The world of Ymros itself is nothing special: a standard high fantasy realm populated with interchangeable towns and temples. The back story of an imprisoned demon seeking to wreak havoc on the land is also nothing new. (..) Nonetheless, it's done well, the game is one of the only ones from this era (or indeed any era) to measurably change the game world as the plot moves forward. (..)

Anyway, final score of 5 on gameplay for a final rating of 45. This is reasonably high; my median right now is 34.5. The game is strong on story but weak in logistics. I do recommend it, and if I didn't seem to enjoy it more while I was playing, it's probably because unrelated life stuff was creeping into the tone of my postings.

  1. Game 48: Demon's Winter (1988)
  2. Miscellaneous Stuff in Bulleted Form
  3. A Slight Thaw
  4. Exploration
  5. The Main Quest At Last
  6. A Plot Twist You Won't Believe
  7. Won!
  8. Final Rating

Evets: The Ultimate Adventure (1988)

The economy is (..) quite good for a roguelike. There are many things to spend money on, including equipment, identification of found equipment, healing, resurrection, and changing classes, and you never feel like you have too much money (..)

Final Rating: 27. Not too bad for a shareware rogulike title. Please chime in if you know more about the game than I do.

  1. Game 49: Evets: The Ultimate Adventure (1988)
  2. A Surprising Second Posting
  3. Enod

War in Middle Earth (1988, Non-CRPG)

I've decided that the game doesn't meet the criteria I outlined at the beginning of the posting because combat is not based on attributes. The only thing it has going for it is an inventory--you find potions and weapons and such along the route--which isn't enough.

  1. Game 50: War in Middle Earth (1988)

Journey: the Quest Begins (1988, Non-CRPG)

This isn't even remotely a CRPG, so I have no idea why I played it as long as I did. The writing was good and the story decent and the puzzles were interesting, but a good game gives you more options for solving them and is less obnoxious about ensuring that an extra spell cast in the first five minutes keeps you from winning in the last five.

  1. Game 51: Journey: the Quest Begins (1988)
  2. The Quest Ends

MAG: A Dungeon Adventuring Game (1988)

I really have to hand it to Mike Teixeira. This would be a great game to introduce players to the concept of roguelikes without being as punishingly difficult as Rogue or as complicated as NetHack. (..)

The final rating of 26 puts it slightly higher than Rogue but not extremely high. It would be tough for most roguelikes to achieve a particularly high score on my GIMLET scale because they often lack elements of CRPGs, like NPCs and stores. (NetHack is an exception, obviously, as are some modern roguelikes.)

  1. Game 52: MAG: A Dungeon Adventuring Game (1988)


Explanation of the the final rating: The GIMLET.

CRPG Addict


Runic Games - New game 'Hob' announced

by Hiddenx, 07:21

Runic Games's new game has been announced: it is called Hob:

Runic Games Announces 'Hob'

We are excited to announce our new title “Hob”, an original IP for PC and console.

Hob is set on a beautiful and dangerous unknown world, with buzzing life above and the whirrs of mysterious machinery below. The more players delve into the world’s design, the more they uncover a planet in peril. Players must learn to survive, understand their true purpose through acquiring skills, and ultimately transform the nature of the world itself.

Hob is presented without text or dialogue. Narrative is revealed as players explore and interact with their mysterious planet, and the strange life forms that inhabit it. Hob features smooth controller gameplay, multi-layered puzzles, and striking visuals

The official Hob website,, is live today with screenshots, concept art, and the first teaser trailer. Gaming news outlet Polygon has the exclusive first interview with President Marsh Lefler, CEO Max Schaefer, Level Designers Patrick Blank and Rick Lesley, and Concept Artist Kyle Cornelius.

Go hands-on with Hob during PAX Prime in Seattle, August 28 through August 31. Come see us and try the game at booth #6602 – see the map below. We also have a very special Official Pinny Arcade pin! Find us at PAX and collect our limited edition Sprite pin on your pinquest.

Runic Games


RPGWatch - Windows 10 is not compatible with SafeDisc and SecuRom games

by Hiddenx, 06:57

Rock, Paper, Shotgun and other sources are reporting that Windows 10 cannot run games with DRM methods like SafeDisc and SecuRom:

This is a quote from a Rocket Beans TV interview at Gamescom 2015 with Microsoft’s Boris Schneider-Johne:

Everything that ran in Windows 7 should also run in Windows 10. There are just two silly exceptions: antivirus software and stuff that’s deeply embedded into the system needs updating – but the developers are on it already – and then there are old games on CD-Rom that have DRM. This DRM stuff is also deeply embedded in your system, and that’s where Windows 10 says “sorry, we cannot allow that, because that would be a possible loophole for computer viruses.” That’s why there are a couple of games from 2003-2008 with Securom, etc. that simply don’t run without a no-CD patch or some such. We can just not support that if it’s a possible danger for our users. There are a couple of patches from developers already, and there is stuff like GOG where you’ll find versions of those games that work.

Non-RPG General News

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Unknown
Genre: Unknown
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development


Monday - August 17, 2015

Underworld Ascendant - Breaking Free of Fantasy Tropes

by Myrthos, 23:32

The devs of the Ultima Underworld remake, Underworld Ascendant, updated the site with an editorial on fantasy tropes.

As we've mentioned in our previous update, the team at OtherSide has been feverishly working on our latest demo. While we'd love to give you peeks at all the recent progress, we'd rather hold off for a bit and until it's ready for the full reveal.

In the meantime, we thought we'd share further details on how we're approaching Underworld Ascendant's world building and story.

Part of the challenge in tackling the fantasy genre is there are a few high watermarks that are extremely influential, and a bevy of well-worn tropes. That leads to questions such as, how do you present races like dwarves in new and interesting ways?

I find a good way to start this process is figuring out interesting creative challenges. If you can come up with an idea that you find so compelling that it requires your absolute best work to pull off, then it'll motivate you to give it your all throughout the long, sometimes exhaustive, development cycle. The thinking is also, if you're engaged, your audience will hopefully be as well.

Another key part of the process is research. The old maxim of "write what you know" is spot-on but incomplete, since it leaves out the part where you can actually learn new information.

One of the things I learned from working on Irrational's BioShock series is that research is absolutely essential to good world-building. It's also incredibly fun. By digging through primary historical sources, you get a real sense of how people spoke, thought, went through their daily lives, and more. You pick up little details that make a world feel real, which then in turn helps make the fantastical elements of your setting seem more believable.

We also learn that the $900K stretch goal has been unlocked.

Thanks Christoph.

Underworld Ascendant

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


Exoplanet: First Contact - Kickstarter Update #3

by Myrthos, 23:24

Here is the third Kickstarter update for Exoplanet: First Contact about the discovery of K'Tharsis and Jackpot Town.

Three hundred years before Mister Sharp set foot on the surface of this dangerous planet, no one knew or cared much about the remote double star system named in charts, Tharsis-831. It was situated deep in the poorly explored territory, which will be named Rogue Worlds a couple of hundred years later, after the devastating Human-Orha war. For most of the space travelers Tharsis-831 was just an ordinary binary white and red dwarf star system, the type that rarely gives birth to any life on its planets and contains enough valuable resources to risk one’s neck exploring it. The system was neglected and avoided by prospectors, merchants and even outlaws on the run because it was situated too far from contemporary trade paths and too close to the Orha autocracy space, to the home space of the race that was always overprotective when it comes to trespassing their borders, even potential threats. In short – this system was an ass-end of the galaxy and would have stayed like that if not for the laziness of one very irresponsible smuggler captain. Ironically, the first town on the planet was named in his honor, if being connected to this particular town that way could do any honor at all.

Exoplanet: First Contact

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Technofantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


CivCraft - AMA and Stealth

by Myrthos, 23:17

The Kickstarter for Civcraft has seen two new updates. The first is about the Reddit Ask Me Anything of yesterday, which covered something about their name:

Although we covered many questions and remarks, the AMA became incoherent when a community claiming for CivCraft's name started "trolling" us. We don't think there's any point in fueling that discussion, except for clarifying the fact that we're not trying to use the name CivCraft for anything other than a cool name, and that we've been around for the same time as any other community or mod, and even have a WIPO Trademark on our name. We're not trying to pick a fight and hope that they will move on.

And on nicer news, there is an update on how stealth in the game works.

Whenever you are in a dangerous area, you may enter a "Sneak mode" and try to evade your enemies. The sneak mode is affected by your skills, so the higher perception your enemies will have, the harder it will be to sneak past them.

Stealth is not a simple thing to master, as you will have to use your surroundings with great care. To successfully pass through entire armies towards your target, you will have to consider the following:

  • What you wear will greatly affect your stealth
  • Moving while in stealth mode will make noise
  • Moving in the shadows or darkness will boost your evasion
  • Hiding behind obstacles and foliage will hide you from most enemies
  • Some creatures has a keen sense of smell
But that's not all you can do, as a true stealth master will go where his enemies will never expect!

Another cool feature we've been working on is the ability to climb walls and obstacles. Depending on your climbing skill, a master of evasion will scale through walls, evade guards, open the gate and let an entire army pass through.



SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


RPGWatch Feature - ELEX Gamescom First Look

by Myrthos, 22:59

Piranha Bytes has a new game in the works, based on a new IP, named ELEX. Given the history of Piranha Bytes, I was obviously interested and scheduled a meeting with them to find out more. Unfortunately there was not a hands-off demo , but there were some videos and I wrote a summary of what was told.

The story behind ELEX is that it takes place on a planet similar to Earth. At some point in time a big meteor crashed into de planet, wiping out most of its civilization with only a few groups surviving. With this meteor a new substance came to the planet, called Elex.
This substance integrated with everything on the planet, flora and fauna, and it mutated things as well, but can also be used to create powerful weapons and tools.
Furthermore it can be consumed as a drug, which will give the consumer very magical powers, but will also degenerate them in the process, making them lose all of their human feelings and emotions and leaving them without any empathy for others.
The biggest part of the game will be about choosing between using Elex and gaining absolute power while becoming dehumanized or not using it and keeping your humanity.


SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: In development


Witcher 3 - Free Game+ DLC released

by Hiddenx, 18:27

Play it again Geralt - the Game+ DLC has been released.

Witcher 3

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released


Seven - Announced

by Hiddenx, 17:23

The Witcher devs strike again - a new isometric Thief RPG - Seven - has been announced today:

Seven is a Thief-inspired, 3D isometric RPG, in which you take on a role of a lone traveller. You’re going to explore a nonlinear, sandbox world - Empire of Vetrall.
Classic isometric gameplay is going to be redefined with parkour climbing system that gives you the ability of free-traversing obstacles on any height horizontally and vertically.
Quest line set in a „beyond post-apocalyptic” environment is created by minds behind The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. You can expect branching choices with moral consequences.


Developer & Publisher:
IMGN.PRO and Fool’s Theory







In Seven you’ll play a role of a lone traveler roaming the world of Empire of Vetrall, who’s
constantly facing it's cruelty and confronting it's dual nature. The Apocalypse that took place many centuries ago didn't wiped out all. Humanity or what's left of it, has slowly recovered, but the shape and condition of this new world is far from what it used to be. In this new reality Dark Ages are constantly interwinding with the ancient advanced technology. And in doesn't make it any easier for those who were lucky or unlucky enough to survive.

Seven is a Thief-inspired, 3D isometric RPG in which players will get a chance to freely explore the sandbox world of Vetrall Empire. Set in a 'beyond post-apocalyptic' environment the title will redefine the isometric RPG genre. The classic gameplay is totally reinvented by the protagonist’s ability of free-traversing obstacles on any height, both horizontally and vertically, thanks to his parkour skills.


  • Thief-inspired, 3D isometric RPG.
  • Set in a grim, dangerous, post-apocalyptic environment.
  • Nonlinear story build around dual game world being a mix of Dark Ages and ultra-advanced
  • technology.
  • Parkour climbing system completely re-defining the genre.
  • From the former CD Projekt RED developers – the creators of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
  • High quality graphics powered by Unreal Engine 4.

IMGN.PRO is a Polish, independent development studio and company offering wide scope of services in gaming industry. It consists of the team, which has more than 7 years of experience in the field of business consulting, licensing and distribution services.

Established in 2015 and consisting of AAA veterans who decided to take a break from huge productions and find refuge in the mountains of southern Poland. In the past they’ve contributed their skills to critical and commercial successes of games such as: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Ancient Space, Hard West, Kholat and many more smaller indie titles.


SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


Geneforge - A Fluent Giveaway

by Fluent, 14:36

Hey folks! Laughing

I am giving away a free copy of the Geneforge Saga on Steam. It's a Steam Gift, so feel free to use it yourself or pass it along to a friend! All you have to do to enter is post in the sign-up thread on my Steam Group. That's it! The contest will run for 7 days and a winner will be picked next Monday. 

Good luck to all who enter!


To enter, just post in this thread -

Good luck!!


SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released


CRPG Addict - Review Roundup (Part Eight)

by Arhu, 12:24

Wrapping up PC/DOS CRPGs from 1987, including several games that were apparently misclassified, here's part eight of our review roundup. In the meantime CRPG Addict decided that he's going to play CRPGs released for other personal computer systems as well, so we'll revisit the earlier years at some point.


Phantasie III: The Wrath of Nikademus (1987)

Battle tactics redeem some of the bad elements of the game. Since you can only rest and heal in towns, you have to take care in every encounter, especially in dungeons. (..) Carefully planning battles is the only way to win, and with its multiple attack, defense, and spell options, the game gives you a lot of planning to do. (..)

The final score of 39 matches the original Phantasie exactly. Although III suffers from being a retread, its tactical combat system, which I probably didn't spend enough time on, makes up those lost points. I'm not sad that there isn't a Phantasie IV*, and that SSI would soon move on to cooler things.

  1. Game 39: Phantasie III: The Wrath of Nikademus (1987)
  2. A Hard Start
  3. Over the Hump
  4. Overdose
  5. Nikademus Wins
  6. Final Rating

Pirates! (1987)

The gameplay is really the best element of Pirates! It is completely non-linear, allowing you to do whatever you want whenever you want. Much of the fun in the game comes from strategizing next actions, since time is so precious. (..) Pirates! allows for considerable role-playing, and in that role-playing comes enormous replayability.

The final score of 48 seems awfully low given how much I enjoyed the game, but of course I'm ranking it as a CRPG rather than a strategy game or simulator. For its real category, I would invent another kind of GIMLET scale.

  1. Pirates! (1987)
  2. The Career of Captain Gatomalo, Part 1
  3. The Career of Captain Gatomalo, Part 2
  4. Final Rating

The Seven Spirits of Ra (1987)

I can't really see this as a CRPG. I have to stop accepting MobyGames's word for such things. There appears to be no attributes, character development, or leveling, and combat is all action-based. It is, at best, an "adventure game."

  1. The Seven Spirits of Ra (1987)

Sorcerian (1987)

The game world is undistinguished fantasy fare. It combines so many themes from literature, mythology, and fairy tales, it really doesn't seem to know what it's about. (..)

The final score of 28 seems about right. I liked it marginally more than Mission: Mainframe, but not enough to keep playing when there was no way to "win."

  1. Game 42: Sorcerian (1987)
  2. Sorcerian: Three More Quests, Final Rating

Star Saga: One - Beyond the Boundary (1987)

The game is a weird, possibly unique, hybrid of computer and board game. It originally came in a three-pound box with several floppy disks and a dense package of character booklets, instructions, tokens, a game map, and 888 passages of text. (..) This is fundamentally not a computer game. (..) The long text entries are very well-written and interesting, but I don't have any sense that I'm really playing anything.

  1. Game 43: Star Saga: One - Beyond the Boundary (1987)

Wizard Warz (1987)

Wizard Warz is not remotely a CRPG. (..) No character creation, no development except the acquisition of an occasional new spell, no inventory (okay, no player-controlled inventory), action-based combat rather than tactical combat, no NPCs, and so on.

  1. Game 44: Wizard Warz (1987)

The Ancient Land of Ys (1987)

Gameplay is mostly linear, given the limited game world, and there would be no reason to replay it. The boss fights do add a satisfying level of challenge, and the game doesn't overstay its welcome. (..)

The final score of 35 seems about right. I wouldn't have wanted to play it for much longer, and the score would have been much lower without the challenge and tactics of the seven or eight boss fights, but it was an acceptable way to pass a couple of CRPG sessions.

  1. Game 45: The Ancient Land of Ys (1987)
  2. Won! (and Final Rating)

Zeliard (1987)

Gameplay is of the side-scrolling platform variety, and in between slashing at creatures, I have to navigate mazes and jumping puzzles. (..)

The final score of 36 isn't too bad for a game that really isn't a CRPG. But seriously: this is the seventh game in a row whose CRPG creds are a little fishy. Time to cross into 1988 and try one that no one doubts.

  1. Game 46: Zeliard (1987)
  2. Not Enough Dexterity

CRPG Addict


HeroQuest - Review @ CRPG Addict

by Arhu, 12:05

CRPG Addict played through HeroQuest, an isometric dungeon crawler from 1991 based on the board game with the same name. He was fairly disappointed with the game's CRPG elements:

MobyGames codes [HeroQuest] as both a role-playing game and a strategy game, but it really is neither. There's no character development to qualify it as an RPG, and no actual strategy to qualify it as a strategy game. (..) 

[Gameplay] gets 2 for being non-linear in the approach to its missions and 1 point for some slight replayability with different classes. But it's far, far too easy, and even in the short amount of time I played it, it seemed too long. (..)

The final score is 19. Throughout the past year, we've learned that gamebooks don't work well when translated literally to the computer. Now we learn that the same is true of board games.

  1. Game 198: HeroQuest (1991)


SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released


XCOM 2 - Base Building details

by Silver, 10:22

This interview examines the 'strategic' half of the game. Base building, research, engineering & the geoscape. There's a whole lot of new XCOM 2 details here.



SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


Dark Souls III - Hands-On Preview @ Birth.Movies.Death.

by Hiddenx, 08:13

Alex Riviello (Birth.Movies.Death.) has explored the new Dark Souls III battle arts system, dragons, and death:

Listen, I only died seven times in an hour.

Bandai Namco stopped by NYC this week to show off an early playable demo of Dark Souls 3, the grand return of Hidetaka Miyazaki to the series after he sidestepped the second installment to focus on Bloodborne. Like Bloodborne, this game is a next-gen only affair, coming to the Xbox One, PS4, and PC early next year, and it’s all the more gorgeous for it.

The first thing you need to know is that the game is absolutely beautiful, full of stunning vistas and creatures. The second? It’s just as relentlessly brutal. It’s been months since I’ve laid hands on a Souls game and my rustiness led me to die time and time again, by everything from knights to dogs to a pissed-off religious acolyte.

Playing the game with an audience is an interesting thing. The pressure of knowing another person is waiting in line can make you do silly things, as it did to the writer in front of me who, after whittling down a boss to a hair of health in an impressive display, handed the controller to me after thinking he had perished in an attack. He hadn’t. I handed it back and he scrambled to save his life but that moment of hesitation cost him his life, for real that time.

Dark Souls would be the ultimate arcade game, really, sucking up everyone’s quarters and attracting a whole crowd of gawkers. The small group of writers gathered talked together about rumors they had heard as we played - there was a shortcut to unlock, and a dragon to find, and wasn’t there some sort of frost giant mini-boss, maybe down to the left? It was the game’s messaging system turned into real life, just the perfect example of how deep and satisfying these games are.

Exploring the medieval castle I found the dragon for myself, which wasn’t hard. It envelopes the top of a number of buildings completely, occasionally leaning over to breathe (incredible-looking) fire at a corridor, a real Demon’s Souls throwback. You need to run through the area quickly to make it through unscathed, and can even lure enemies into the area for some quick kills. Along the way I kept finding these crazed worshippers that ignored me unless I attacked them, which I managed to do until one on the top of a roof splurted some sort of tentacle and smacked me right off of it. [...]

Dark Souls III

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


Umbra - Prototype Released

by Hiddenx, 08:00

A new prototype for the crowdfunded Umbra has been released. All backers (with an high enough tier) got this email:

In this prototype you can experiment the basics of the gameplay, have access to various spells, and kill some monsters in randomly generated dungeons.

In the beginning, follow the main path and walk over the bridge. Go to see the human with a "!" above his head and click on "Start bounty" in the menu in order to create a portal to a randomized level.

Once you accomplish the mission, go talk to the character that opened the portal to get a reward.

In the main menu, you can click the "Help the Devs" button : By clicking this button, you will connect your game session to our server. This will allow us to gather some gameplay related info, for us to test our metric system. It will really help us in the game development process, so please click this button! You will have to click this every time you start the game.


  • [left click] Move and "weapon attack"
  • [middle click] Turn the camera
  • [1,2,3,4, right click] Use spells
  • [I] Open/close Inventory. Drag and drop item to equip them.
  • [S] Open/close Active skill menu
  • [T] Teleport (to use at the end of the dungeon)
  • [A,S,D] Use the potion on your belt

You can zoom in/out with the wheel.

System Requirements

Operating System
Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7, Windows 8.

Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz, AMD Athlon 64 X2 2GHz or better (multi-core processor is strongly recommended).

4 GB RAM (8 GB recommended).

Video Card
NVIDIA series 400, Radeon HD 6000 Series or better (DirectX 11 minimum)

You may have to install the windows VCRedist, two .exe installer are in the 'VCRedist' folder at root. Please install all vcredist, x86 and 64, for 2010, 2012 and 2013 version !

This is an early prototype and does not represent the final quality of the game. You may encounter bugs and crashes, we are working on it. Not every feature is included in this prototype.



SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: In development


Underrail - Development Update

by Hiddenx, 07:40

Don't miss this Underrail development update from Styg:

Hey guys, while the rest of the team is working on wrapping up the remaining content (a few obligatory teaser screenshot included below), I took the time to work on some of the last game mechanic stuff to be implemented.

Most importantly, I implemented a noise system so the player will now have to consider more than just visual perception when handling a hostile area. This system works in a simple manner - certain actions, mostly relate to combat, such as firing weapons, grenade explosions, etc now emit a certain level of noise that travels through the map, with walls and other obstacles dampening their propagation (with certain thick walls doing so drastically). This will cause certain weapons - crossbows, knives and silenced pistols (and to lesser extent sledgehammers), will now have an edge over other weapon types when doing a stealth assassination.

In addition to this, a lot of NPCs will now holler for help on their turn if they are not stunned or incapacitated, so it's important to dispose of them quickly and silently if you want to avoid fighting the whole camp.

These changes will undoubtedly make some encounters more difficult so we will go through most problematic of them to make sure they are not too ridiculous. [...]


SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


Sunday - August 16, 2015

Demise - Ascension: Try it for two more weeks

by Hiddenx, 22:58

The famous Dungeon Crawler Demise Ascension can be tried for two more weeks:

You can download the time limited version -> here.


SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Platform: PC
Release: Released


Valkyria Chronicles - 'Gallian Crossfire' Rebalance Mod

by Hiddenx, 22:06

For the tactical RPG Valkyria Chronicles is a new PC-rebalance mod 'Gallian Crossfire' available:


This mod for Valkyria Chronicles is a rebalance mod for the main game and the DLCs, making the game overall more challenging (aside from Selvaria DLC). This mod is made for a fresh new game (start New Game in the opening screen).

  • In this archive, you will find the following files:
  • "My VC Mod" directory: this is the mod itself, copy/paste all the files into your "Valkyria Chronicles" directory (it should be in Steam/SteamApps/common)
  • "Reset Extra DLCs" directory: containing a file named "sysdata.dat" which you can copy into your savedata folder to reset the Extra DLCs (as if you never played "Behind her Blue Flame" and "Enter the Edy Detachment" DLCs).
  • "Files Backup" directory: those are the original files, if you want to revert back to the vanilla version of the game.
  • "README" file: which contains informations about the mod.



The reason is, they are not leader anymore in this mod (they don't give a CP, thus you are not feeling forced to deploy them and can choose who you deploy more freely) and as a result they can be kicked out of squad 7 and can die permanently. It is not gamebreaking in itself except for Chapter 8a battle where Alicia is required to complete one of the victory conditions.

List of changes (overview)


  • A-Rank turn requirements have been changed accordingly due to the rebalance.
  • Rewarded cash and experience bonuses have also been changed. Overall if you A rank and kill all enemies, 50% of the reward is from the base cash/exp bonus, 25% is from the mission rank, and 25% is from killing key targets.
  • Edy Squad Skirmishes don't give any EXP/DCT reward anymore to prevent early-game grinding exploits and the weapons earned have been heavily altered.
  • Enemy stats have been increased so that their stats would be close to Squad 7 units at the same level. Before, enemies had pretty poor stats overall compared to Squad 7.
  • Critical (headshot) damage multiplier has been reduced to x2 damage. It was originally x3.5 in VC1. As another example, it was x2.5 in VC2 & VC3.
  • Damage reduction from evading has been reduced.
  • Defense bonus from camps has been increased.
  • Defense bonus from crawling is changed to be the same as crouching.

Infantry, Structures:

  • All infantry got an AP increase except for Scouts and Engineers.
  • Alicia, Rosie and Largo are no longer leaders with an auto-assigned CP bonus. Also, you are no longer forced to deploy them on certain missions. The number of CPs you get per mission has been changed accordingly to make up for this.
  • Musaad, Lynn, Audrey, Knute and Emile are no longer hidden characters and can be added to the squad like anyone else.
  • Snipers and Anti-Tank Cannons can now fire interception rounds. Snipers have a small interception radius and turn more slowly than other units to face you when preparing to fire.
  • Shocktroopers have a wider interception radius.
  • Blast Armor (Lancer Armor) damage reduction to explosions has been reduced. Lancers can walk on a few mines, but can no longer clear a whole minefield by themselves.
  • Certain enemy units had their vsArmor statistic increased to damage your tanks with their interception fire (For example the Marberry turrets).
  • Enemy aces and bosses also have modified stats.
  • Most enemies now use black armor, while aces retain their red armor; purely aesthetic to make it easy to know that the mod is active.


  • Most weapon stats have been changed overall. As an example accuracy has been increased for most weapons to create less early-game frustration such as Lancers missing from point blank range.
  • Enemy weapon stats have been changed dramatically across the board.
  • Both Anti-Infantry and Anti-Tank mines do more damage.
  • The R&D has been revamped for several weapons to get rid of useless skill trees. For example, Sniper Rifles now have the skill trees "Anti-Infantry", "Anti-Tank", "Interception". Another example is with the Flamethrower skill trees being changed to "Anti-Infantry" and "Anti-Tank".
  • The "Aim" stat is now truer to the aiming reticle.
  • Engineers get their own anti-tank grenades upgrades.
  • Some rifles are Scout-only or Engineer-only now.


  • Enemy tanks' radiator resistance has been increased. Changed to be similar to VC2 and VC3 where killing a tank with a Scout is harder.
  • Edelweiss last weapon upgrade also increases its power and not just its range.
  • Shamrock's gatling can now intercept during enemy turn.
  • Tank parts have been changed to HP (body and tread), DEF (body and tread), Radiator, Accuracy and AP.
  • Tank parts are smaller and give a higher bonus.

    Orders & Potentials:

  • Certain Potentials and Orders have been removed or changed. Example Orders: Caution, Penetration. Example Potentials: Resist Crossfire, Invincible, Phoenix, Double Movement. Some Potentials were changed into a trade-off (for example, "Double Movement" became the "Second Wind" Potential which restores your AP on top of your HP when you use your Ragnaid).
  • Potential Effects and Activation Requirements were also changed overall. Example Potential: "Stealth" which increases Defense is completely useless when no one shoots at you so it was changed to give an Attack boost instead.
  • Potentials have a higher activation rate, many closer to 100%. Before, there were many Potentials that no one ever saw get activated because of their low activation probabilities.
  • Orders were altered overall in regards to effects and CP costs. For example, Defense Boost has been nerfed, and Aim Boost has been buffed.
  • Orders unlock requirements through leveling have been changed completely.
  • The old man at the graveyard can now give you any one of his 9 teachable Orders starting from chapter 4 unlike before where he would have a smaller pool of random orders that increased per chapter. Recon Request is still NG+ only.

Selvaria DLC:

  •     All imperials are now aces.
  •     All imperials are now leaders.
  •     All imperials have powerful weapons.
  •     All imperials have high stats.
  •     All Gallians shall die!


Valkyria Chronicles

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Historical
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released


Torment: Tides of Numenera - Alpha Preview

by Hiddenx, 21:26

GameHorder has previewed the alpha-version of Torment: Tides of Numenera:


Torment: Tides of Numenera

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development


Saturday - August 15, 2015

Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor - Martyr - In Depth Look @ Gamer Headlines

by Hiddenx, 09:10

Travis Patterson (Gamer Headlines) has put together the current information available for Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor - Martyr:

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr – In Depth Look

[...] For the first time ever, in the history of the Warhammer 40k gaming franchise, Neocore Games is attempting to create a game that has never been done before. Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr is designed to be an Action RPG much in the style of their Van Helsing games. Another great example of an Action RPG would be Blizzard’s Diablo III.

Now unlike other Action RPG’s this one will have a cover system, not just for the hero, but the AI can use it as well. In fact if you take cover, the AI will respond and take cover as well. Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr is taking not only the rules of this genre, but the rules of 40k, and incorporating the lore, to make something truly special and unique. Also Neocore Games has promised that it won’t be just a wave of hordes of enemies coming at you that you would find in a Diablo game. The game is designed to be very strategic, tactical, and the enemies, as well as the hero, are very powerful. I’m sure at some point, it might be possible to find a mission or two with a horde aspect, but this is not what the core game is going to be about.

The player will assume the role of an Inquisitor. There will be 3 classes, 1 will be a female class, and the other 2 will be male classes. A Crusader Tank style class has been confirmed, the other two have not. However, while going through the Pre-Alpha screenshots I noticed one of the Inquisitor’s was named Reborn Marauder. This very well could be a DPS class. At this moment though, it is only purely speculation.

There will be a wide arrange of weaponry from the Warhammer 40k franchise. I did watch the Gamescon 2015 footage, and in that footage they showed us a power sword, a bolter, a plasma gun heavy weapon, and talked about a chainsword in great detail. I imagine there will be several additional weapons, but it was nice to see early game play footage and a variety of weapons. It looked really good for a Pre-Alpha state. You can watch the Gamescon 2015 footage here. [...]

Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development