Aw man another Kickstarter game that I missed out on…
EarthLock – Nintendo Switch – Released: 3/8/18 – $29.90
Short Review (Review copy provided by Snowcastle Games)
RPGs are one of my favorite genres so to see a Kickstarter RPG game finally make its way to the Switch I had to check it out. While Earthlock doesn’t do anything ground breaking, it is interesting to know that this game went from no budget to produced in 5 years with less than 20 people. I remember seeing this Kickstarter but passed on it because the Wii U was already doing poorly and at the time I didn’t have a PS4 or Xbox One. Finally being able to play this game and it hits you hard that this is a Kickstarter RPG game. Earthlock suffers for a massive flaw… characters aren’t well developed and dialogue between characters is lacking. Considering this game revolves around all of these characters coming together, it is a shame that so little of their backgrounds are really covered. Besides the story the game plays out like a standard turn based RPG ala old school Final Fantasy. You will use spells, special attacks, items, and equipment throughout your adventure. There will be big bosses to take down and mysteries in the land to figure out. Earthlock is an interesting game to look at from a Kickstarter produced standpoint. They dreamed big but didn’t quite make it to the moon. I do have to say this is a very great starting point for Snowcastle Games as they produced something very big with a small budget. I would give Earthlock a 7 out of 10!
The story is rather interesting as you find yourself in a world that had a world disaster, a magic core has been broken. The people before the disaster called the Umbra used the power of the core in the form of magic called Amri. When an uprising occurred the Umbra used the power to shake the ground and halt but the core broke. This caused the magically energy to leak out over the world. Causing good and evil to spread while the Umbra stayed calm and develop a new civilization. The world from old whispers dark energies today. You take control of multiple characters and journey to find other characters to find out the source of the mysterious energy.
Like in the short review the game plays out in a standard RPG form with characters taking turns attacking. For the majority of the game this is all you will be doing but it is more of a puzzle element than fighting. Since characters are always changing you will need to understand who is good for what fights and can’t go into things blindly. This makes the game fairly cool but this is mainly exclusive to the boss fights as they can be tough if you just attack over and over again without using other abilities.
Earthlock is a game that is a great starting point for a new developer. It has an interesting story that isn’t fleshed out far enough, characters that are likely but again not fleshed out. It is a shame that this game isn’t as polished as it should be but amazing that it was even produced. Even though Earthlock isn’t the best RPG on the Switch, it is definitely the best Kickstarted RPG for the Switch. I really look forward to what Snowcastle has plans for next and if they do end up Kickstarting another project, I know I’ll be there to back it.
Earthlock tried its best to be just like the other big RPGs but needed to take a step back and focus on certain aspects. When telling a good story it is key to make sure everyone gets their fair share in the limelight. I would have loved to learn more about certain characters and see their origins, certainly Gnart, the pig character front and center on the icon. He is one of the stars that returns to the party a lot but by the end I really didn’t know much about him. Earthlock is a good Kickstarter project that went all out and it shows but instead of going for a big world with big stories to tell it should have went smaller. I would give Earthlock a 7 out of 10! While the game is average I do recommend people to check it out. The game is fairly short for an RPG at around 20-30 hours but short enough that it doesn’t feel like a chore while completing.
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