Minicritique: “Runespell: Overture”

In 10 words: Innovative, poorly written RPG that uses poker hands for combat.

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There is something curious going on in the land of Indie Games. People like Extra Credits and Mr. Molyneux and systems like Kickstarter and RocketHub are making a massive push towards selling and publishing independent games through innovation – which is a really, really cool thing. How many industries can say that small unknown people can make money simply by being creative? Not much. Of course, this is just an ideal still – you see one in a million of these Creative Games actually making it big – but that Innovative Ideal is everywhere in Runespell: Overture. 

So that’s the best thing I can say about it. It is “Interesting”. Written about as well as a fantasy role playing manual from the 60s, if you can somehow muscle through the writing, the menus are nice and quick and the visuals are pleasing but not stunning. The joy of it is in the gameplay: the pacing is a little borked so it can get exhausting quick, but it’s deep and intricate while amazingly refreshing and new.

Make poker hands, build up magic points by doing damage, execute spells that change the face of the battlefield. It’s snappy, understandable, and a well of interesting things can come of it. What DOESN’T come of it, though, is a pleasant upgrade system. Each spell has a number of ‘charges’ you need to upkeep that gets exhausting, and for some reason they insist on increasing your health and magic via ‘passive’ magic spells that just sit there and take up space. 

In summation: Grab the demo on Steam and play for 30 minutes, just to see the combat system in action. Then, if you love the combat, play through the full thing. It’s not super long, combat keeps it’s intensity, and it’s clearly leading up to a sequel.

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