If roguelikes, strategy RPGs, and Magic the Gathering deck-building sound appealing to you, Abalon might be for you. Abalon is a roguelike developed by D20Studios, LLC, and published by WhisperGames that offers plenty of content, engaging gameplay, and well-developed lore. Despite the hideous art style, this is a very enjoyable game with great depth that will keep you engaged for hours.
Guide Your Way To Victory
Abalon doesn’t have a story, instead, the stories are what you create through your adventure. You play as a guide, essentially a voice from the heavens. As a guide, you must guide your summoner through dangerous lands and defeat three bosses. Along the way, you will find cards that your summoner can use to cast spells and summon creatures. Furthermore, you may find characters willing to act as guardians along your travels and expand your party further. On top of all this, you may even find hidden lore, which tells you more about the world of Abalon and may also give you hints about the boss’s weaknesses and other enemies.
While Abalon is seemingly lacking in story, it is designed to be played multiple times, with content unlocking as you play more and more of the game. As such, it’s great that there isn’t much story as it means you won’t have to reread story cutscenes whenever you want to start a new adventure. Moreover, the hidden lore is a great way to build the world while providing hints to the player. Overall, I like how this game handled the story as it is non-intrusive.
Goblins, Golems, And Dragons
As stated earlier, the gameplay in Abalon is a mix between Roguelike, Strategy RPG, and Magic The Gathering. However, before beginning your adventure you will need to choose a difficulty and a summoner. Due to the limited difficulty options, I found myself craving a feature where I could customize these options. However, the available options work well enough to make the game as welcoming as possible. Regardless, on your adventure you will encounter random events, like walking into a goblin birthday party or saving a monster. Unfortunately, these events tend to repeat. There were multiple instances where I would run across the same few events. Thankfully, these random events are only a small fraction of the game and would never detract from the actual battles.
When you encounter an enemy in Abalon, the map turns into a grid-based one, similar to the likes of Fire Emblem and Advanced Wars. It is here, where you will take turns using your characters to fight the enemy in a style that is like the aforementioned games. However, unlike those games, in Abalon you can also use cards to summon more allies or even cast spells that deal magic damage. These cards work similarly to how they would in Magic The Gathering where each card has a mana cost. I enjoyed this gameplay style. It’s fun building decks and changing companions to adapt to different circumstances. As a result of the large catalog of cards, this system has a lot of depth, making repeat playthroughs just as enjoyable.
A Face Only A Guide Could Love
Abalon looks awful. While the animations and environments look fine enough, the character designs are atrocious. This is because of the garbage art style that looks cheap. I understand that it is an indie game with a smaller budget however, I feel like this could have been handled better. Fortunately, the art style isn’t ugly enough to stop me from enjoying this game. However, that doesn’t excuse the presentation being the weakest element of this game. This is evident in the soundtrack, which sounds like very generic fantasy music. As stated before though, the weak presentation didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the game.
A Summoners Fate
Abalon is a fantastic game that is worth checking out. It has incredibly fun gameplay with plenty of depth to keep you hooked for hours. It also has a fantastic setting with beautifully written lore. Underneath the awful art style is a great game with content that will keep you playing. I strongly recommend giving this game a chance if it at all sounds interesting to you as I think it is a great game.