There are certain things that make a good RPG. For me, at least, these boil down to a gripping story to keep you hooked, non-linear exploration so you have a ton of things to do, and a pinch of mystery to weave it all together. After this, it’s all down to graphical choice. Personally, I prefer the isometric approach to the first person one but this is very much going to be a case of to each their own. As always, this little ramble is leading somewhere and the game we’ll be looking at today is Phoenotopia: Awakening, which has just become available globally on Steam.
Phoenotopia: Awakening has already garnered some acclaim from its Switch release so you should be fairly safe in the knowledge quite a lot of people out there already like it. This RPG from the folks over at Cape Cosmic is interesting because it blends genres. Aside from its RPG elements, this is being classed as an action-adventure, puzzle-platformer inspired by classics of the genre.
In Phoenotopia: Awakening, you will join Gail, a simple villager who must heed the call to adventure when a great starship appears in the night sky and abducts all the adults. As the new oldest member of her community, she must set out to solve the mystery. She doesn’t know the level of the threat when she sets out for her adventure, or the crucial role she is about to play in preserving the very existence of Earth.
Phoenotopia: Awakening uses two primary gameplay elements. These include top-down world exploration, and side-scrolling zones within towns, cities, caves, and other key areas. This all revolves around a freely traversable map with those of you who cut your teeth on the JRPGs of old should be happily familiar.
This is all well and good, but are you going to have a decent amount of bang for your hard-earned buck? Put very simply, the answer appears to be yes. The story-driven campaign is massive at 30 hours for a competent run-though or 50 for the completionists amongst you. To aid you on your journey you’ll be given 10 weapons and tools with which to slay monsters and complete puzzles including rocket boots and the old RPG favorite, the bomb (who doesn’t love a good explosion?).
Don’t expect this little adventure to be a pushover. The enemies you’ll face in Phoenotopia: Awakening are as varied as they are mean. Expect to pit your wits against a pool of 50 assorted bad guys and an impressive 12 boss battles. That should be plenty to keep you on your toes and fighting for your life.
If you love a good secret, there should be plenty here on this front for you, too. As I’ve just said, there is quite a bit here for the completionists amongst you. In Phoenotopia: Awakening, you’ll be hunting down 33 energy gems, 55 heart pieces, and 111 moonstones. You can guarantee these won’t all just be sitting out in the open, so you’ll need to keep those eyes peeled.
Phoenotopia: Awakening is certainly giving you a good amount for your money and it’s not wickedly expensive. If you fancy picking this title up over on the Steam store it’ll set you back £14.99, which isn’t bad. If you’re smart and get in quick, though, there’s a 10% launch discount available until January 28th, meaning you’ll get quite a lot of game for £13.49. For a 30 plus hour RPG, this is surely a steal for anyone’s money.
Hailing from Southport England, Alex started his gaming career in the late 80s on a Commodore 64. Since that time he's either owned or played on virtually every console released. Alex happens to...