Stolen Realm Preview – Skillful Fantasy Tactics (Early Access)

Stolen Realm Preview – Skillful Fantasy Tactics (Early Access)
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Platforms: Windows PC, Steam

Game Name: Stolen Realm

Publisher: Burst2Flame Entertainment

Developer: Burst2Flame Entertainment

Genre: Adventure, RPG, Strategy

Release Date: October 14th, 2021 (Early Access)

Stolen Realm by Burst2Flame Entertainment

Stolen Realm is a tactical, turn-based RPG featuring hex-grid combat, procedurally generated levels, a selection of playable classes, and a sizeable assortment of loot to gather. Offering a rich tactical experience coupled with the potential for a vast variety of character builds, Stolen Realm combines surprisingly fast-paced turn-by-turn combat with the chance to develop custom characters across a lengthy adventure.

Scads of Skills

I spent a fair while designing characters for Stolen Realm before I even got started with its many tactical challenges. The customization system is reasonably rich, thanks to its openness to cross-class skill choices.

When I finally got to starting an adventure Stolen Realm threw me straight into action with a brief string of combat encounters. These serve to set up a threat in the narrative while also providing a basic tutorial. Stolen Realm is easy to get to grips with but provides a high skill ceiling with its tactical options.

The aforementioned skill system is perhaps the core of Stolen Realm’s variety and depth. Each character can freely choose basic skills from a broad selection of archetypes ranging from magical elements (fire, lightning, and cold, in this case) to melee, ranged, summoning, healing, and more. A certain number of points must be spent in each tree to unlock new tiers, but otherwise, this is a delightfully open system. I found it satisfying to draw from the “Ranger” and “Shadow” trees to build strong summoner characters that could field a wide array of buffed minions to do the work for them.

Battles and Boss Fights

Adventures are launched from a map with a selection of locations slowly becoming available as each is completed. An adventure is made up of randomly generated hex worlds with a branching path to select after each encounter. Some paths lead to battles, while others go to shops or events. At the end of each adventure, a challenging boss encounter awaits.

The combat itself is satisfying and varied. Each map is peppered with hazards like exploding barrels and shrines that provide various buffs or debuffs.

Enemies are also diverse, with many drawing on the same class skill selection as the player characters. Developing and applying class builds is very rewarding, and a well-constructed team can synergize effectively. I do wish there were more skills that set up out-of-turn actions such as “overwatch” or other reactive abilities, mostly for the melee classes, which I often leave dormant in the early stages of a battle while I setup buffs and an array of summons to hold one side of the field.

Stuff to Steal (or Craft)

All of this is supported by a robust selection of loot and a good system for crafting upgrades on items. Each adventure ends with a return to a hub area where shopping can be conducted and the party enhanced with potions, trinkets, and other equipment. An option is also available to respec skill points (for a fee, of course).

Stolen Realm is a solid tactical RPG with an enjoyable array of skills to explore and plenty of adventures to undertake. A simple aesthetic and some catchy tracks help to back up a varied world featuring forests, mountains, snowy biomes, and more. The combat could benefit from a little more variety of action economy options, but overall Stolen Realm is a superb title for any fan of tactical RPGs.

Stolen Realm is available via Steam Early Access.

Watch the trailer for Stolen Realm below:

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