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Celestian Tales: Old North

Celestian Tales: Old North is a game released on Steam last month.  I picked it up in a sale.

Old North is the start of a three-part series from Ekuator Games.  It was funded on Kickstarter, a campaign which I managed to miss although I certainly intend to throw some cash at them for the next one!

Old North is a JRPG-style game.  Fairly short - my first playthough was 7:46 - and easy.  Battles are turn-based, and your characters have stamina points which build up each turn to allow you to use skills.

The most interesting thing about the game is the six main characters.  You can play through as any one of them (and get an achievement for finishing the game as all six).  While the main plot remains the same, each character has a unique viewpoint, with their own scenes and knowledge.  Camille, for example, learns something very important from her brother near the end of the game which the other five characters remain totally unaware of, while Aria, the dogmatic Paladin, seems a lot more human when you see her defying her father and struggling with honouring a dead soldier of another religion.

The overarching plot is that of these six characters becoming Squires, and taking part in a war and various political events which shape their world.  As the game is the first chapter of three, it ends of something of a cliffhanger.  Throughout the game you make choices - such as letting a group of bandits go to trial or be hanged by the villagers - which, in theory, will change the shape of the future games in the series.

The game is short and simple enough - with one hidden boss to beat and some weapons to upgrade as side-plots - that playing through it six times only feels like a bit of a chore, especially with the added intrigue of new scenes.  This game has seven short chapters and a maximum level of 30.

I like that, of the six main squires, four are women.  I like that those women are dressed practically and not to titillate.  And I like the subtleties and moral ambiguities present in the game.

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