Welcome along indie games fans to our Thea: The Awakening Early Access Impressions, myself and Respawn Rossco have been playing a very cool early access game from MuHa Games and very much enjoying ourselves.
In this piece we will both look at Thea: The Awakening, an RPG Strategy game that launched onto early access on steam on Monday 28 September 2015. Keep on MGL for more on Thea since, coming later this week, we have the pleasure bringing you an Interview from when we met Muha Games’ Game Designer, Yuuki at the recent EGX event.
About the Game
Thea: The Awakening is a turn based strategic survival game inspired by Slavic mythology and folklore which is set in the dark, postapocalyptic fantasy world of Thea. You can have a look at this title now on Steam early access.
You take on the role of a god, a patron of a small group of survivors, hopelessly trying to lead your flock through the many risks and dangers that plague Thea. Only your skill and judgement will determine whether you can save mankind from eternal Darkness.
There are five key elements to gameplay in Thea: Village Management & Crafting, Resource Gathering, Card Minigame, Story Driven Events and Exploration.
- A survival game in a Fantasy setting with hexagonal, turn-based strategic gameplay!
- Rich world inspired by Slavic Mythology with over 90 creatures roaming Thea!
- Over 200 non-linear dynamic events that can grant you riches or claim all you have!
- Exciting card mini game used to resolve not only combat, but even diplomacy/disease/curses and more!
- A procedural world with large world maps to explore, and 50 different world resources!
- Over 4000 items, all with an ability to either gather/harvest them in the world or craft from what you have collected!
- Multiple endings depending on game choices
- Rewards and unlocks that carry on to the next playthrough, encouraging replayability
- Opportunity to become one of 8 Slavic God/Goddess, each with unique bonuses, and decide the fate of Thea!
- Procedural creature instances – each creature, even in a swarm of spiders, has its own skills and stats!
- Dynamic weather and day/night system influencing gameplay
Growing up playing Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, I was very interested in the idea of card based combat in Thea:The Awakening.
I’m a few hours into my early access game and you can call me intrigued. After what would be your typical turn based start: learn how to gather, move your followers, go and have a look at this and that, and a few fights thrown in for good measure. Events start occurring and a story begins to take shape.
At the time of writing, a strange event has just appeared and one that would require investigation. I liked the timing of this event. You’ve had enough time to learn what you are doing and just with this event happening when it did I felt further drawn into the game.
Feeling the need to investigate the strange occurrence I fired up Thea again. Muha games have already improved the map, gathering options and menus. Also a nice little touch on the upgrade to the Camp. These alterations have added to the fullness of Thea, it has been very encouraging to see these updates continually take place.
Without giving any story away of the event I have just finished, Thea is progressively becoming more in depth and offers you different options to deal with such events that will alter the outcome.
The Card Mini game works very well, I was pleased to see that your deck is split into 2, combat and tactics. Your deck will rotate through these two providing you with different people to attack with and a variety of different tactics to stack in the fight such as Confuse, Protect Ally and Get Closer, also provided in a recent update is the ability to reshuffle your pack once before the commencement of combat. Your pack consists of 5 cards, each fight can have 2 phases in which you play your cards and then at the end of the phase the fight begins. The outcome is determined based upon your cards attack and defensive ability and also any tactical cards that have been played.
For early access I feel that Thea is most certainly on the right path. I’ve enjoyed playing it and have become more engrossed and intrigued about what the possible outcome of Thea: The Awakening maybe. Ive certainly not be disappointed thus far.
Did someone mention Turn Based RPG? Well MuHa did and no sooner than I saw the game did I get on it, and as a BIG fan of the genre I was very pleased to actually see the game in action and be playing it.
With them missing out on a Kickstarter target I was worried this promising game may well not see the light of day. But because of MuHa’s hard work and dedication to this title, plus a wonderful campaign with Greenlight, we are now seeing the potential this game has realised in a number of areas, while some still need to be developed as they launch in Early Access.
With a turn based combat/actions system, procedural design and non-linear gameplay it’s safe to call Thea: The Awakening a more Roguelike-RPG than anything else. The world is nicely constructed to suit this gameplay and, even in the early stages of the game it’s clear there are a number of procedural rules that make for some fun encounters as you explore.
As Gav has spoken about above, the card game is particularly fun but I really enjoy the fact that this is not just used for combat. The fact more diplomatic encounters and solved in this manner as well, is a very nice touch and adds a sense of challenge to everything that is going on, rather than just combat.
I also like the building and crafting mechanic so far too, you find resources on your adventures to create better settlements, which in turn lets you find more advanced resources… Very addictive!
Of course this is a non-linear RPG game so getting into adventures and finding hidden crypts and ancient ruins is cool, especially when given the setting of a Slavic world built on this rich mythology which leads to some pretty dark ideas and themes. There is a certain Pillars of Eternity quality at times with the way things are told in the story, and while the various updates will no doubt bring in richer scripting and more depth to certain areas of the methodology utilised, there is still a lot to enjoy now.
I need to spend more time with this game and on first impressions I will be. The world and itself is something you will want to explore given it’s rich Slavic themes. Some things of course need fleshing out, the crafting system for one needs more depth to it as does some of the clashes but it’s more a case of adding richness and depth at this stage rather than fixing anything at the games core.
As early access releases go there is not only a lot of promise here, it’s already a very enjoyable RPG as it stands. Well done guys!