Earthlock: Festival of Magic is a Kickstarter funded video game coming to Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, OS X, Linux and PC. There isn’t an actual release date for the upcoming game, but we are currently expecting it to launch by the end of this year. It’s a turn-based RPG created by a small developer named Snowcastle Games.
Say Hello To Snowcastle Games and Earthlock: Festival of Magic
It’s not common for a video game to launch on every console these days, so it was surprising to hear that Earthlock: Festival of Magic is coming to six different platforms. It’s also shocking to find that Snowcastle only had eight staff members until recently. In an interview with GamingBolt, Game Director Bendik Stang mentioned they’re looking for an experienced 3D modeler to join the team, and he also mentioned how they’re bringing on another experienced member. If they hired the 3D modeler and the other experience person mentioned in that interview, then they have ten members by now.
Anyways, I mention how the team is small because many folks are wondering why it’s taking so long for them to develop the game. After all, they began working on Earthlock: Festival of Magic in the beginning of 2011. Snowcastle Games revealed it to the public in May 2013 with a trailer, and then in November 2013 they launched a Kickstarter campaign to get some funding.
Their first Kickstarter campaign was not a success, but they launched another campaign in March 2014 and by April 2014 they reached their goal. So, here we are with a preview and the latest updates on the upcoming game that’s finally getting released this year.
The Plot: What We Know So Far…
Earthlock: Festival of Magic has a plot written by Magnus Aspli, a comic book writer. Even though the pictures you may see look bright and feature a beautiful environment, this game is set a long time after an apocalypse. Yeah, you will take control of a player named Amon, who is a scavenger located in the magical land of Umbra.
Basically, a long time ago the planet stopped spinning for reasons unknown. When the planet stopped spinning, the world became chaotic. We’re talking about oceans drowning the land as Volcanoes split the world apart.
Before the planet stopped turning and everything got destroyed, there was a magical race that ruled Umbra. After the destruction, the Suvian empire rises, and dark forces are ready to go to war for power over the land. Of course, the magical race that used to rule Umbra is still alive, just in the shadows. So naturally, people are whispering about the race, and this brings up more questions than answers.
Amon starts his journey when his hometown gets destroyed, and no, he doesn’t go at it solo. It appears that Amon gets teamed up with a group of strangers who are after the same thing… answers.
Amon is the main character of Earthlock, but there are five other characters we know about at this point in time. Gnart is a strange character, with the ears of a rabbit and the nose of a pig, he is only teamed up with Amon so he can be reunited with his true love. Ive is the daughter of General Lavender, and a student of the Suvian military academy. It appears that Ive wants to prove herself as both a pilot and capable woman during this adventure. Ive does not come alone, as she is protected by her dog, Taika. Taika was rescued by Ive as a puppy and it doesn’t look like they plan on getting separated.
Olia is another member of the Amon’s team, and she’s currently struggling to find her purpose. Hopefully, their adventure will help Olia discover her meaning in life, as she looks like a capable warrior in the pictures. Finally, there is Pat, which is Olia’s mechanical companion.
In the interview, Stang spoke on the visuals, saying the characters “are colourful in who they are, so the visuals should reflect that!” As you can see in the screenshots, the visuals are bright, colorful and look like some sort of Disney meets Nintendo hybrid. It’s a clean look, and it’s surprising to know such a small development team is responsible for creating it.
Earthlock: Festival of Magic isn’t going to have all the same features as a traditional turn-based role-playing game. Remember those annoying random encounters that pop up without any warning? Well, Earthlock will not have those. Instead, you will get to see the enemy and sneak around them if you want to avoid them. The point of leaving out the random encounter is to promote exploration, and enable the player to have more control over the game.
Festival of Magic might be a single-player only video game, but the non-linear story is what makes it appealing. Almost every story-driven RPG features a linear story, putting the player on a path without room to explore the world around them and go through the game at their own pace.
In the interview with Gaming Bolt, Stang also spoke on random encounters, saying “we think that random encounters are less fun than seeing the enemy and allowing the player some chance of maneuvering past should they want to just get on to where they’re going. This is just a personal thing, of course, but I feel random encounters often becomes tedious when I don’t want to fight.”
Turn-based Combat: Friendship Abilities and More…
It seems that Earthlock: Festival of Magic will have many cool features not seen in other turn-based role-playing games. For example, there are special abilities that you can unlock when all the characters are teamed up, and they call them “friendship abilities”.
Stang spoke on the combat pairs in the game, saying its one of the most “unique elements of our combat system”. Players will be able to unlock new perks and abilities for their team, but they can only use these specific abilities when the team is in active combat together. There is also something called “friendship energy”, and of course this builds up when you’re team is in combat. When the energy is built up enough, the player will “be able to unleash pretty awesome combo attacks based on who is teamed up with who”. From what Stang told Gaming Bolt, we know the gameplay is more dynamic than most turn-based combat games.
When in combat you will use resources as you attack the enemy, with friendship energy being the only unique resource to the game. Ammo, mana, stamina and consumable items like healing items are what you can use during combat. It’s not as simple as just buying a health potion either, as you will be able to farm and harvest resources at your home base.
If you’re looking for a new role-playing game to play then you have many reasons to look forward to the release of Earthlock: Festival of Magic. Almost everyone will be able to play it, since it’s getting released on Xbox One, PS4, PC, Linux, Mac OS X and Wii U. Right now there is not an official release date, but we will keep you updated when Snowcastle Games gives us a date.
Here’s an official gameplay trailer, check it out…