Better get your strategic head on.
Reverie Knights Tactics may look fun and colourful based on its exterior, but underneath its delightfully cartoonish art style lurks a tough-as-nails turn-based combat game that really wants to test your mettle. If you’re a fan of strategic battles, however, you’ll find a lot to love here.
There’s a nice story running through the heart of Reverie Knights Tactics that centres around your protagonist, Aurora. She’s a natural-born thinker, but she’s going to have to use her brain for more than reading. Members of her clan have gone missing, and it’s fallen on her shoulders to rescue them; she’s to set out on a dangerous expedition to find the lost elven city of Lennórien to bring them home.
Aurora won’t be by herself; very quickly she picks up a second party member, and as you make your way through Reverie Knights Tactics, more able fighters will join your noble cause. Each member of your party has their own signature skills and abilities, and you’ll learn more as you progress through the game. Aurora, for example, uses ice-based attacks to freeze and damage enemies. Teammate Fren wields a two-bladed weapon that can inflict bleed, and he also has the ability to charm the opposition to have them fight on your side for a while. Brigadine, on the other hand, with her huge, spiked sword, excels in offering team support and pushing enemies back.
Being a turn-based tactical RPG, battles are of course a major part of Reverie Knights Tactics. As you’d expect, they play out on an isometric grid and, as is the norm for games of this type, each party member can make up to two moves per turn. Typically, that means moving up to four squares at a time, and planting an attack. If you can attack from where you’re stood, you may be able to get two attacks in.
Of course, this isn’t just about swinging a weapon and hoping for the best. Each of your moves needs to be carefully thought out. Rush into battle, and you’ll soon find yourself staring at a ‘game over’ screen. You’ll need to anticipate enemy attacks, consider your placement on the battlefield, and make use of the environment. A neat touch is that each battlefield contains numerous obstacles that can be used to your advantage. Hitting a certain type of plant, for example, fires poisonous needles that hit and damage any enemy in its path. You could also knock over a pillar, dealing heavy damage to a foe standing next to it. Making use of everything at your disposal is the key to success in Reverie Knights Tactics.
You’ll also have to be cautious about what skills and abilities you use. Aside from a party member’s basic attack, each ability costs MP. The amount of MP you have to use is relatively low, and so you can’t simply spam magical attacks forever. But with basic attacks requiring most party members to get up-close-and-personal to enemies, thereby leaving them open for attack, you’ll have to think carefully about the best cause of action.
Getting it right truly feels like a victory in Reverie Knights Tactics; you have to work hard for each win, and they don’t come easy. Thankfully, you can restart a battle without losing any overall game progress if things aren’t going your way. It’s vital early on as you’re still learning tactics and how each character and enemy type moves. And, along with simply emerging victorious, each battle has additional goals to achieve, scoring you extra experience points and ‘Cogni’, the in-game currency used to buy equipment.
Those additional goals include things like killing enemies with a team attack, using an environmental obstacle to cause damage, or picking up a treasure chest that’s on the battlefield. Completing most of these goals involve extra consideration, so if you plan to achieve full marks on each battle, you’ll need to plan for them from the get-go. Chests, for example, are usually on the periphery of the battle area, and so you’ll need to move out of your way to pick them up. It’s worth doing, though, as they can contain very useful items.
Of course, there’s more to Reverie Knights Tactics than just battle, even if it is the main focus. There’s some exploration to be done; out on the field you’ll move from marker to marker, some having additional battles to contend with but others housing treasure or events. Back at your camp you can craft items to heal or buff you, or simply chat with the rather standoffish captain. It’s worth examining the environments, too; there are often clickable items like mushrooms and plants which can be collected and used to make healing items.
Outside of combat you can engage in conversation with your teammates and other non-playable characters, enriching the story and building your bond with them. You’ll even have some dialogue choices to make from time to time, which can shape the outcome of the narrative. Depending on the decisions you make, Aurora’s personality will change to reflect it. Will she be obedient, or will she be impulsive? It’s not an entirely necessary mechanic, but it adds a nice twist to the narrative, giving players a reason to get a little more invested in the tale.
Punishing but rewarding, Reverie Knights Tactics provides an enjoyable challenge for any fan of strategic turn-based combat. Battles may not offer much in the way of a unique twist, but it’s the game’s art style that truly makes it stand out. Reverie Knights Tactics‘ colourful, hand-drawn visuals are simply beautiful – and even if you’re getting pummelled on the battlefield, at least you’ll enjoy the view.
Reverie Knights Tactics Review – GameSpew’s Score