Stygian - RPG Codex Review
Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones has been reviewed by RPG Codex.
The first controversial decision you'll notice is that there is no manual saving; only ten rolling autosaves and save-and-quit (which are also part of the roll, so they can be lost). There also aren't any save profiles, meaning if you want to try out another character before finishing, all your progress is lost. The developers have promised to patch this out, but as it is now, it's not so bad (other than the lack of profiles). Areas are small enough so that saves are frequent, and there's never more than one combat encounter per map. I lived with my bad substance-addiction rolls and some of my less-than-ideal decisions and made it to the end.
The second is the bane of numerous RPG players: time limits. If you go without rations, you'll go hungry, get stat penalties, and eventually starve to death. If you go without sleep, you'll get fatigued and eventually end up with heavier stat penalties, and resting is never free, requiring either money or camping supplies (which are rarely found in the world itself). Making matters worse, the passage of time is opaque to the player, though the developers claim the meters remain paused during dialogue, menu screens, and combat. A few hours in, you'll find yourself rolling in enough money that these will be mere nuisance mechanics, but I don't believe they belong here to begin with. Why make any player feel rushed? First, this has a relatively short length for a role-playing game. Second, it isn't a hardcore dungeon crawl or survival game. Third, there are a lot of text descriptions in the world one can read that a time limit will make one want to avoid entirely. It's like tacking on a day/night cycle and a periodically-draining blood meter to Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines; just obnoxious. It's also not like there are a lack of strategic gameplay elements; the management of health and sanity meters is sufficient.