Stolen Realm Logo
Stolen Realm Icon
Stolen Realm

Developer: Burst2Flame Games

Co-Op Multiplayer
  • Price: $19.99
  • Release Date: Mar 8, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1 - 6
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: T [Teen]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    While it has a cool sense of visual style and could be a good sandbox tactical RPG for the right crowd, it has issues

    One of the elements I consistently appreciate in the indie space is the willingness to take existing genres and styles and recombine them in different ways to create games that are familiar, but can offer some pleasant surprises. Stolen Realm manages to do that in my eyes, by taking a tactical RPG core and infusing it with a lighter and quicker feel overall, especially if you’re playing with others. The thing is, on some of the fundamentals it also makes some odd choices, so not everything quite works.

    While it offers a typical array of classes for you to compose your team with, I also appreciate the pretty open-ended nature of what you’re allowed to do. Letting you set up your initial party however you choose, and then generally allowing you to take each character down any upgrade path you wish as they level up, helps to give the game more of a sandbox feel than normal, and that’s a plus. Visually I’d say it’s a mixed bag, with some areas and creatures you face looking pretty cool in their low-poly glory and others far less inspiring. Where combat is concerned, there are some cool and effective spells and abilities you’ll be able to have on tap, and with a diverse party you’re absolutely able to do some damage. When you are able to play with others this is amplified a bit further as players can make their moves in parallel, rather than waiting on one another, which can make battles feel more chaotic and exciting.

    While all of those elements are nice, that isn’t to say there aren’t some downsides. First among them is the fact that I’d consider the console controller implementation to be less than ideal for a variety of reasons. For the most part the issue is that they feel geared to the PC, forcing you to use a reticle and odd buttons, all making for a more cumbersome setup than normal. I also had issues where the game would get confused when I was trying to choose a spell and instead switch to another character because of where my reticle happened to be pointing at the time, or it would weirdly let you alter your spells mid-battle as well, which doesn’t make much sense. Adding to that is the fact that while I appreciate the procedurally-generated areas on a general level, they also don’t always feel like they work out well in execution. Some battlefields, and the way things play out, feel random to the point where it can be a detriment. Throw in balancing that feels a bit off and there’s definitely some bad in with the good here.

    Putting the pieces together, it’s hard to say precisely where my feelings lie. On the one hand I really like how much control you have over how you choose to play. There’s a freedom to it that feels fresh, even if that could likely contribute to some of the game’s balancing issues. On the other hand, there are obviously some real issues that prevent it from being the experience it should be, at least on a console system using a controller. It’s a game that took some big swings, insisting on trying to be different, and I respect that. Just hoping that either with some patching or perhaps a sequel they can iron some things out and improve the overall experience.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Fair [6.8]

Nindie Spotlight

. All rights reserved