A family bond can be a powerful thing. You have each other’s backs no matter the consequences, and this can put you into many awkward situations. If you know your family is in trouble, you’d stop at nothing to help them. This is the driving force behind Reverie Knights Tactics! It’s an amusing and touching tale told through a pixel art style.
Developed by 40 Giants Entertainment and published by 1C Online Games Limited, this is a turn-based tactical RPG. It’s brutally tough, requires a logical and strategic mindset, and will break the best players of this genre. Moreover, it wonderfully blends visual novel elements to help tell its linear plot.
Reverie Knights Tactics uses well-trodden mechanics.
The war between Elves and Goblins has raged for years! Yet, both parties thought that a ceasefire had been agreed upon. Unbeknown to the Elven people, an evil plan was being concocted underneath their noses. Without warning, the Goblins struck and ransacked the beautiful city of Lennorien. Panic ensued and the remaining Elves fled, leaving behind their homes and their lives. Years later, a group of scholars begin an expedition to find this beautiful city, but trouble strikes and they go missing. Aurora, the daughter of the lead scholar, must take on a dangerous journey to uncover the mystery of her father’s disappearance. Can she find the lost city and the missing expedition, or will it be too late?
This story and its core mechanics are familiar and, sadly, offer nothing new. However, the delivery of the plot, its order and chaos system, and challenging battle elements make it stand out. Every decision you make has consequences, and this appears as order or chaos. Will you be calm, methodical, and reasonable? If so, you will follow the order pathway. On the other hand, people who gamble, take risks or are irrational lean towards chaos. Each route influences your character traits, unlockable skills, and how others interact with you. It was a wonderfully simple twist to the gameplay that adds longevity and many unique encounters.
The gameplay revolves around two key elements: the node-based world map and the isometric battlegrounds. Neither of these is new to the genre, but they are well-designed, full of surprises, and add to the tactical moments.
The world map comprises the main storyline that branches to multiple nodes. Here you will uncover the mysteries of the story, take on side quests, encounter random events, and find locked chests. Navigating the vast map is easy, though many of the missions are shrouded in mystery. This surprise element makes planning your approach extremely tough, and this makes a hard game a little more challenging. Players may become frustrated as the ability to plan each task becomes increasingly difficult.
This is compounded further thanks to the unforgiving battle scenarios. Each event has a direct impact on another. So, if your party is injured or lacks mana, this is how you start the next fight. Furthermore, items and potions to refill your stats are sparse on the ground and this makes it tougher again. You’ll have to be methodical in your approach, contemplate future tasks, and hope to get lucky. If all these things happen, you may be victorious.
The isometric battlegrounds are familiar, as are the combat mechanics. Your team has limited energy to move, and AP (action points) influences your ability to attack and consume items. You can utilise the environment to your advantage by destroying plants that shoot out poison or knocking over columns to block paths. The game offers tactical advantages that must be exploited if you wish to win.
This goes one step further as objectives are added to each encounter. You will be asked to complete certain tasks to gain more XP and Congi. You can, of course, ignore these goals, but that will make the end game so much harder.
I loved how every minor layer was beautifully intertwined to make you think about every move you made. Reverie Knights Tactics doesn’t allow you to rush in blind and hope for the best. No, it demands that you contemplate the smallest of moves or face the consequences. This, of course, has its downside, and that is that it is unbelievably challenging. Its gameplay feels brutally unfair, and this can stagnate your progress.
It’s all about the fellowship.
Your party of heroes starts small and eventually expands to 4 unique warriors. You control an ice wielding mage, a tough shield bearing tank, a nimble fighter, and a kind-hearted healer. Each character is essential to your success, and balancing their skills and stats is key to victory. As you win each battle, you are awarded XP and Cogni. The XP is self-explanatory as it levels your characters and unlocks new abilities. In the customisation screen, you can then choose which skills you wish to use that best suit your style.
The Cogni allows you to unlock tomes that enhance your skills and make each player stronger. Like the special abilities, three tomes can be added to each hero. Therefore, you must be wise and savvy when it comes to selecting each one. A battle can be won or lost on the smallest of margins, and getting your tactics right is a must.
Reverie Knights Tactics uses a classic style.
Pixel art and turn-based games go hand in hand. Consequently, I wasn’t surprised when Reverie Knights Tactics utilised the style throughout. The combination of classic sprites and vivid colours makes tackling each battle thoroughly enjoyable. What’s more, the isometric viewpoint and clean world map allow you to navigate the key moments with ease. Furthermore, I loved the visual novel approach during each cutscene. The simple use of animation and striking images brings the characters to life. It was an unusual but likeable twist to what was otherwise a very safe and familiar title.
The fantasy setting was complemented by a folksy and uplifting soundtrack. The blend of fun songs and serious tunes added drama and depth to the action. Whenever the heroes were larking about or relaxing, the music was always jovial. However, when danger was looming, or a battle was on the horizon, the audio was much more sinister. This was further supported thanks to the simple but effective sound effects. The aesthetics work in perfect harmony to create a whimsical but magical world to explore. I loved what the developers had created, and it harks back to some of the earlier titles in the genre.
Unbelievably easy to control.
I’ve played an array of tactics games and I never know what to expect. Some have been overly complicated and frustrating to play. Whereas others have been too simple and have bored me to tears. Luckily, however, Reverie Knights Tactics gets the balance just right! Thanks to its excellent UI and simple controls, you will have this mastered extremely quickly. This straightforward approach was essential as it allows you to focus on the tactics.
The challenging gameplay, blend of order and chaos, and the combination of skills and tomes, adds to the replay value. Though I found the difficulty to be particularly off-putting, I couldn’t help but be addicted to it. Consequently, its brutal ways and requirement for perfection will get under your skin. Unfortunately, though, the linear approach and relatively short game time may put some players off. Moreover, its lack of multiple endings was frustrating and disappointing.
Reverie Knights Tactics is testing from the off.
I like a tough game, but I feel that Reverie Knights Tactics is too challenging. It doesn’t balance its gameplay enough and this will deter a lot of players. If the developers had incorporated the ability to buy items or replay missions, then it would have been fairer. Sadly, this didn’t happen and therefore, this will appeal to a niche audience. Despite my complaints, I recommend you to buy it here! It’s a title that will test the hardiest of fans! Can you find the missing expedition and the lost Elven City? Plan every move and hope that luck is on your side.