The Indie Games are back where they belong: safely ensconced within the passing trade of the Xbox Live Games Marketplace. It's business as usual, folks- and to celebrate, this week has heralded one of the closest battles for first place we've ever had.
The Strategy Role Playing Game (SRPG to its mates) is a niche genre that doesn't really fare too well over here. The likes of Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics and Metal Gear Ac!d have all provided us with unforgettable game experiences- yet tend to repel the mainstream audience with a bewildering array of numbers, stats and modifiers. Storybook Tactics, on the other hand, provides engaging and accessible tactical fun without compromising depth. Oh, and it costs less than a single British quid.
The first thing you'll notice about Storybook Tactics are the visuals. Rather than an overly fussy presentation, the art style has plumped for a charming retro vibe. The cuboid characters work well with the grid-based maps, allowing players to size up the battlefield at a glance without being distracted by needless paraphernalia. The combat itself is fast and deceptively nuanced: requiring an expenditure of Ability Points to pull off attacks and a range of moves/skills mapped effortlessly to the controller face buttons. "Easy to play, hard to master" is undeniably a cliche, but it's never been more appropriate.
Storybook Tactics also packs an astonishing amount of value into its tiny file allowance. 25 unique unlockable classes with different abilities provides enormous tactical potential- and 20 different levels deliver impressive play time. Once that's over and done with, the Hard Mode will tax armchair generals to the limit!Click here to discover more of this week's Indie gems!