Some might tell you that taking a badger to a gun fight is poor tactics, but when the badger also has a gun, as he does in new RPG Grimshade, it’s genius. Released today, it’s a JRPG-ish steampunk fantasy adventure with turn-based tactical combat, and a menagerie of human and furry characters, including mustelid sniper Charlie. I’ve had the chance to play a little of it so far, and some purple prose (admittedly delivered by an overly dramatic villain) aside, it seems like an interesting little romp, and a solid debut from new studio Talerock. See the launch trailer below.
Set in a bespoke fantasy world named Ree’fah (which admittedly is good for punning in English), what I’ve seen so far paints an interesting picture. Walled cities, shadow-monsters and alchemy in place of traditional magic. Mad science meets mysticism, with the villain apparently having a thing for sticking test subjects in vats of mysterious goo, hooked up to crackling Tesla coils. The heroes seem a mismatched bunch, jockeying for position under the spotlight – they remind me a bit of people’s tabletop RPG characters, each one larger than life and hamming up their role.
Mechanically, I’m too early on to really get a feel for how Grimshade works, but the character development appears entirely gear-based, with some interesting potential for build variety. While wandering around the 2D overworld is at a fixed isometric angle, you can zoom and move the camera as you please in the turn-based battles. Good, as I quite like some of the monster designs, although the human characters look a little gaunt compared to their anthropomorphic animal counterparts. There’s also mention of the story branching around player choice, though I’ve not had a chance to test that for myself.
If there’s one concern I have for the game, it’s the quality of the translation. While mostly fine, there are a few typos, and it does have a slightly dry edge to it so far – understandable considering Talerock are a Russian studio. Aside from that, I’m looking forward to digging a little deeper into the game over the weekend, and see how well Talerock worked around the limitations inherent in their Kickstarter only raising the bare minimum to get the game developed. It’s good to see yet another studio on the scene, and making a good first impression.