Twist of Destiny by Oneshark
In my experience, an RPG needs either interesting quests or fantastic combat in order for me to keep playing it. There is nothing quite like getting sucked into an RPG with a world I can get lost in for hours on end. Twist of Destiny by Oneshark is a fantasy RPG in development that tries to keep you engaged, but sadly falls short in a number of ways.
2D Cartoon Art, 1D Action
Twist of Destiny is not a typical turn-based RPG. Mechanically it’s familiar, but stylistically it offers something different. When I first started playing it, it felt like a unique experience, thanks to the odd, cartoon-y art style. The art is vibrant and executes the wacky tone it’s aiming for. There are wacky characters like mutant tomatoes and frogs wearing boxing gloves. Many characters are stylized similarly to the cartoons in the 1930s but with more of a mature edge.
The game also doesn’t take itself too seriously, which helps makes a more entertaining tone. The art style alone was the sole reason pushing me forward, because I wanted to see what wacky things I would encounter next. But once that novelty started to wear off, the game’s issues start to become more glaring.
Everything else surrounding the game is mediocre. The combat is not challenging and very repetitive. Most fights require little to no strategy. It almost feels like an easy mobile management game. When you enter combat areas, they become wave-based scenes. The game moves you automatically through the area while you choose which attacks to use. The same tropes you’d come to expect from RPGs are here – like SP bars, healing items, and equip-able loot. Mechanically it all feels familiar, and for the most part it’s serviceable.
Quest for Plot
Quests are a big issue with this game, because they are mostly all fetch quests, and they don’t contain interesting stories to go along with them. Quests revolve around finding items not by exploring the game’s world, but by going into areas and killing enemies who drop quest items. Think of the generic quests you’d find in MMORPGs, like “find 10 wolf pelts.” The game even forces you through the small combat areas a handful of times because quest items don’t show up as loot until the quests are activated.
This wouldn’t be much of an issue if you could accept all quests in a NPC safe zone, but quests and areas of the map unlock after you’ve completed certain quests; so expect to see the same areas over and over again until new ones unlock. This is an odd design choice, because quests are the only thing you have to do in this game. There is no exploration or loot outside combat areas. The game is also missing a main quest-line that you can cling onto from the beginning. Instead, when you first launch the game you are just dropped down into the game’s starting area with little direction or purpose.
Do the Twist?
My main problem with the game at this state of development is that there is nothing compelling me to keep playing. You do gain useful loot for your characters, but it’s not exciting or varied enough to be a big draw. Leveling up is not rewarding, and characters skills you unlock from leveling are standard fare. It all feels incomplete, which is no surprise since it’s still in Early access, but these missing core aspects are important foundations for an engaging RPG.
Ultimately, the interesting, unique art style and presentation is great, but everything else is lacking. I feel like the game still needs a lot more work to feel like a complete experience. There is a decent foundation for a good game, thanks to the combat and the unique world. I hope the developers continue working on Twist of Destiny, but it’s looking unlikely, especially since they are advertising a new game that they are currently working on. In any case, Twist of Destiny is lacking in a number of ways, which is way I’m hesitant to recommend it in its current state.
Twist of Destiny is available in Early Access via Steam.
Watch the official trailer for Twist of Destiny below: