Trulon: The Shadow Engine – HCF Videogame Review

KYY Games – Out Now on iOS, Android, Steam and Xbox One (version tested)

Trulon is a turn based RPG that harks back to the 16/32-bit era where this style of game was at its pinnacle. The story is quite similar to about 90% of RPG’s, in that monsters have started appearing, which you need to get to the bottom of, and on the way you gradually have more characters join your quest to save everyone, with twists and turns along the way.The gameplay is addictive, and battles can be quite tough at times, especially further on in the game. It can be quite difficult to grind your levels, as random battles are few and far between on the overworld, and when in towns/villages, there’s no random battles, and once you’ve killed any enemies in these areas, they do not regenerate. On the one hand, this is a relief as it gives you uninterrupted exploration time, but on the other, your exp doesn’t get any bigger. While it’s not a great deal, there’s a turning point in the game where the difficulty spikes tenfold, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Once you get used to the card/battle system, it does make things a little easier, so you do require a bit of tactical nous. Throughout the game you collect cards that have different attacks or moves, such as healing or status altering effects. These cards are allocated to each individual player, and a few are drawn randomly for you to choose from. Some can be allocated to any member of the party, while others are character specific. Your party consists of characters with different traits, such as soldier, hunter and mage.

The game’s visuals are a cross between pre-rendered backgrounds, polygons and 16-bit style sprites, all with a HD gloss. The environments are great with an overworld map as well as villages and towns you can enter. It can be a bit jarring at first as the character animation almost feels as if they’re floating above the ground. It’s something you soon get used to as you progress. Fans of 90’s Final Fantasy games, or just JRPG’s in general from that era, should find this an enjoyable game. Everything from the level design to the music will ring familiar. The score sounds like a hybrid of Nobuo Uematsu and Grant Kirkhope, and is just as much an earworm as any of their works. It’s a great game, which is surprisingly self-contained and small scale for the genre, which is quite welcome if you’re in the mood for an RPG but don’t quite want to put 100 hours of your time in. This should clock up around 6-8 hours depending on if you decide to explore every avenue. If a quick fix of JRPG is what you’re after, you need not look anywhere else.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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