Thea: The Awakening Gets Free And Big Giant DLC

Turn-based not-a-4X Thea: The Awakening [official site] is better than good; it’s interesting. A novel mixture of mechanics that arguably breathes new life into a stagnant genre even if those same mechanics fail individually. It’s the sort of game that’s ripe for a sequel. In the meantime, I’ll settle for this big bit of free DLC that offers a bunch of improvements, including an in-game editor, localisation, English voice over, and giants.

There’s a full list of what the DLC adds at the developer’s site. The standout to me is the ‘Story Events Editor’, which allows players to create their own snippets of fiction and drop it into the world. The standout to you might be the ability to play the game German, Polish, Russian and French translation, the ability to compare items via the Equipment screen (the game’s original UI leaves something to be desired), or heck, maybe you want to fight the titular giants.

I say Thea ‘arguably’ breathes new life into the 4X, because I also say that it’s a not-a-4X. Thea’s first twist on a familiar format is that you do not expand your territory beyond your initial starting town. Instead you expand your reach from that starting point by crafting materials, birthing new villagers, and forming your villagers into expedition parties that explore the world via interactive fiction and fight monsters via card battles. Here’s what Rob said about it in his above linked review:

When I started playing Thea: The Awakening, I was excited for its possibilities. I’d love to play the game that I thought, in those early hours, that I was playing. If the card battle system were better and less predictable, if there was more stuff to do with your village and a greater tension between exploration and protecting your home, if failure weren’t quite so punishing or random at times… Thea breaks the mold by doing a lot of different things at once. It just needs to do all of them better.

Which sounds negative, and is negative, but is often the kind of game I enjoy playing most. What’s the point in playing something perfect, that I know I already like, that is complete without me? Bring me your six out of tens.

Here’s a trailer for the DLC:

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  1. dbemont says:

    Exciting update. In my opinion, this was already one of the more enjoyable games to come out in the past couple years — I am surprised at your rather restrained praise of it. Eventually it got old, I suppose… but that was after 150 hours of so of gameplay. :)

  2. frogulox says:

    Im yet to play this game but it rings my bells heavily. And i think a part of that is aomething youve articulated toward the end graham – some of my most engaging game experiences have been with obscure, janky, or half baked titles that people have never heard of. Or hated.

  3. SnowCrash says:

    I played it some, its kind of a fun one. Its a bit slow but thats always the thing with the turn based things. Your tech reserch is fairly slow, only thing i do not like is how you unlock new factions

  4. csbear says:

    I really enjoyed this game and am thinking of going back because of the DLC. Yes, it is a strategy game first, but it oozes immersion due to its narrative based mechanics. For a game that went somewhat under the radar and has its quirks, I think MuHa did an overall great job.

    • csbear says:

      Although Stellaris is going to put a hold on all my other gaming when it is out ;)

  5. fearandloathing says:

    I think a game like this needs a thriving modding community to… well, thrive. A bit like Mount and Blade in that regard, initially it was also lacking in every aspect (from quests to mechanics, to combat etc.) but modding support and modding community made it into something like a cult game, and it is clear that m&b 2 will be a success, both quality & commercial wise. Let’s hope the same for Thea

  6. Aninhumer says:

    I really wish Thea would let you build new towns.

    I find the mechanics lead you to create permanent camps near key resources anyway, and this process is far more organic than the expansion for the sake of expansion in most 4X games. It would be great to go the next step and have my mining camp grow into a fully fledged town.

    Also it would be really useful to establish automatic resource convoys between locations.