Bump, Don’t Grind: Auro Quest

It’s a good time for fans of turn-based tactical games. Invisible, Inc is an instant classic, XCOM 2 is preparing for planetfall and Telepath Tactics is as extensive as any tactical RPG I can remember on PC. There’s also Auro: A Monster Bumping Adventure – or, to be more precise, it’s extended version The Auro Quest Expansion. The original Auro is a game that happens to be on mobile but would happily fit on PC. I’ve spent several flights and train journeys in its company recently, and am delighted to see the Quest Expansion preparing for PC release.

The main addition is the Quest Mode itself. The original game excelled at short-form tactical battling and the turn-based monster-bumping will still be the core of the game, but developers Dinofarm are adding an RPG metagame.

Quest Mode is kind of like an “Auro RPG”, wherein you can explore the underworld, find hidden treasures, learn about character backstories, uncover secrets, and much more – all while embracing what’s great about Auro’s core gameplay.

Central to the quest mode is a randomised map, with locations that add modifiers to the usual tactical play. There will also be item shops and story events so you can improve your character and learn about the world as you travel. Along with all of that, there will be new spells and monsters, although Dinofarm aren’t planning to throw hundreds of new anything into the mix. A handful of new things is the plan, along with the enormous addition of the Quest Mode itself. And that’s sensible because the core tactical experience is incredibly finely tuned.

For those who haven’t played the mobile version, here’s what that core tactical experience involves. You hop from tile to tile, bumping enemies off the edge of the map into the water that surrounds it. As you meet different monsters and unlock new abilities, every turn becomes fraught with risk. There are some similarities to the masterful Hoplite but Auro is very much its own game and one of the finer tactical experiences of the year so far.

The Quest Expansion is seeking funds on Kickstarter and the allocation of cash to artists and programmers is outlined in the pitch video. There is also a Steam Greenlight page to peruse.

7 Comments

  1. Adynod says:

    I’ve had Auro on Android for a few months now, it’s really quite a brilliant little game. I’ve been especially impressed with Dinofarm Games’ continuing efforts to improve it as it has seen significant updates to the UI and gameplay since release and is all the better for it. Looking forward to seeing Auro Quest and more of Dinofarm Games in general on PC!

  2. Kdansky says:

    It’s one of the games I always come back to. It doesn’t force me to read dozens of complicated spell descriptions, or memorize hundreds of items, yet it has more tactical depth to it than all but a few exceptions.

    It’s also on Greenlight now, by the way, so it’s coming to PC most definitely.

  3. Kitsunin says:

    It is indeed an excellent game, particularly for a mobile device.

    Can’t say I’m particularly cool with the way the pledge tier for a PC copy is $3 more than the mobile copy tier + mobile expansion tier, though.

  4. Gap Gen says:

    I dunno, it looks pretty pixelly

  5. grimdanfango says:

    Glad to see these guys getting some RPS attention. It sounded like they put their heart and soul into this, and had been met with a tiny amount of critial acclaim, and a large amount of not being noticed amid the mobile dross.

    I particularly liked the article they wrote on pixel art:
    link to dinofarmgames.com
    – which ultimately conceded that it was their own fault for expecting people to “get” the artistry of pixel art, rather than work in a medium people more readily appreciate. That said, I love their many and varied distinctions between good and bad art, so obviously indifferent of the technological limitations of the time. I particularly enjoyed the comparison between Grim Fandando and Goldeneye :-P

    I happen to think their pixel-art is beautifully done.
    …a bit pixelated though :-P

    • Haplo says:

      Yeah, that very post showed up on a recent Sunday Papers, in fact. It’s pretty fascinating.