Turn-based strategy RPGs are some of the most rewarding games and Reverie Knights Tactics is here to offer something a little different.
As a long-time fan of SRPGs from classics like Tactics Ogre and Vandal Hearts to modern masterpieces like Divinity: Original Sin II and Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark, I couldn't wait to see what Reverie Knights Tactics was all about. Now that I've played it, I must say that it's an intriguing concoction that I was not expecting. Specifically, whereas many games in the genre have you begin each battle with full health, Reverie Knights Tactics opts to keep you on your toes because HP and MP can be in scarce supply if you're not careful. v1d30chumz 34-231-247-88
Between battles, you can craft healing items and levelling up completely fills your gauges but aside from these elements, all you can do is try not to take damage. Thankfully, there is an easy difficulty for those who'd rather experience the story but honestly, this survival aspect is worth the challenge and will end up being impressively rewarding if you stick with it so I highly recommend playing on normal mode. To compound the difficulty, you also can't grind because battles are one-time events. I imagine that genre purists may initially be put off by this unforgiving campaign structure but give it some time and you'll be glad that you did; trust me. 😊
With all of that out of the way, Reverie Knights Tactics has you play as a hero named Aurora who's trying to reach the ancient city of Lennorien in the hopes of saving those close to her. Unfortunately, the continent is being overrun by goblins but on the bright side, you'll meet a few companions along the way such as the bubbly shield knight Brigandine (is that a reference to the game of the same name?), the cocky ranger elf Fren, and a living artifact named Hellaron. Each character has a strong personality and you'll select many choices as the story progresses; some of which can alter your chaos / order affiliation which will affect some sequences so it would be interesting to play through the campaign twice. I chose to align with order in my playthrough because Aurora seems like a stand-up gal. 🤓
When it comes to combat, Reverie Knights Tactics has a heavy reliance on traps and abilities that involve more than merely attacking your foes one at a time. In fact, if you play it like a traditional SRPG then you likely won't do well. For some examples, you can strike certain plants that will shoot spikes in 4 directions, gang up on an opponent to perform a team attack, and even push foes into spiked walls. There are also bombs to craft which can turn the tide of battle if you use them effectively, especially ones that behave like landmines. Anyway, at the start of each turn, every ally can use a couple of action points as they move or deploy a selection of skills which range from straightforward attacks to tricky blockades, etc. Meanwhile, their focus gauge will let you use a devastating move once full.
The tricky combat takes a while to get used to and on top of that, there are optional challenges to check off in each battle that reward you with extra experience and currency. Of course, you'll want to master every encounter because you can't re-play them once you move on and doing so can sometimes be brutally challenging. Unfortunately, setting up your party isn't all that involving since all you do is assign points to base stats upon levelling up and equip a few accessories and skills. You can strategize with different loadouts a bit but there definitely isn't enough room for any substantial experimentation which ends up making mastering battles even more challenging.
As a long-time fan of SRPGs, I've never played anything quite like Reverie Knights Tactics before and I'm glad that I did. It can be a punishing and trying experience at times but once your strategies pay off; holy hot darn, is it rewarding stuff!
- + Challenging SRPG gameplay with plenty of nifty mechanics and traps
- + Great cast with strong personalities
- + Perfecting battles is super-rewarding
- - Not everyone will appreciate the unforgiving campaign structure
- - Lack of in-depth character customization