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Children of Zordiarcs -Review-

I wanted to call this article "The Culmination of a Journey" but, in game development, the release of a game is just a next chapter; the beginning of greater and more challenging adventures.

We first encountered this project through Square Enix Collective. An initiative like other major gaming companies have taken to support independent development. Back then, it was called War of Zodiarcs and it was but a mere pitch accompanied by astonishing artwork and great gameplay ideas by the team of Cardboard Utopia

In Children of Zodiarcs, you follow the adventures of Nahmi, Pester and Brice. Three children living in The Shambles; the place where poverty dwells within the realm of Lumus. 

As part of Zirchoff's gang, "the family", their mission is to help him steal the Zodiarc Relics; powerful artifacts of old. Though the purpose of their collection is unclear to them, their loyalty to their gang guides their biding while battling the nobles' guardsmen, rival gangs and other perils.

This is a title that is very close to my heart. For one, it gave me one of my first undertakings on creating content about the games and endeavours that I believed in. After 3 years of following it's development closely, I was not disappointed with the end result. 
Story-based, strategy, decision making, risk management; dice and cards. A perfect combination of mechanics tied up in a game that is complex in its battle system but so easy to learn, it immediately becomes second nature to the player, so you can focus on the intellectual aspects of the game (just lke a good board game).

In a moment of reminiscence of previous turn-based strategy experiences (Final Fantasy Tactics, XCOM, Shadowrun Returns, among others), Children of Zodiarcs is in comparisson on the friendlier side of the spectrum, ideal for diving into the genre for the first time. This is thanks to the level of commitment the development team had with incorporating a strong board game feel to the game. With all the information accessible at any point in time as you would with a game manual. 

The art aspect of the game is impecable, simple and vibrant, giving you a clear picture of the realm of Lumus and the difference between its many regions and inhabitants. 

Character development truly shines not in the art, but in the witty and unapologetic dialogue of its main characterS, who are able to have meaningful and emotional discussions, as well as pointless fights and just flat out ridiculous exchanges. Like real people would.

Children Of Zodiarcs is a game with a lot of heart and soul, a great title to get into the turn-base strategy mojo. You can buy it on Steam for only 9.99 USD. 

Played the game already? Make sure you share your experience in the comments section!

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