THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE TACTICS / DEVELOPER: BONUSXP / PUBLISHER: ENMASSE ENTERTAINMENT / PLATFORM: PC, PS4, SWITCH (REVIEWED), XBOX ONE
If you ever wondered what the definition of “niche” was, this game is surely it - a game aimed at a tiny audience who fall into the middle of a venn diagram of people who love the new Netflix Dark Crystal series and people who love tactical turn-based games.
You take control of the Gelflings and their friends, and must save Thra from the Darkening. Initially you start out with Deet and Rian, but as time goes you'll amass 14 characters to choose from. If you've ever played Disgaea or, to a lesser extent, Fire Emblem, you'll know what to expect. You select a small number of characters from your team and take turns moving them around a grid like a game of chess. Each character can move and is then able to use one of their abilities such as attack, heal or some kind of buff.
Outside of the battles you have a world map where you can select main or side missions. You're also able to buy and equip weapons and armour as well as up to three skills per character to use in battle. Available skills are dictated by what level that character is in their current class. Initially a character will be either a mender, soldier or scout. As you progress, you're able to choose more advanced classes.
The art style is unique, clearly attempting to recreate the design of its source material. The animations initially start out pretty dull, but as you amass better powers and abilities the visuals become a bit more appealing and diverse. We did unfortunately experience some animation slowdown in battles with lots of characters, in both docked and handheld modes.
The use of different height advantages adds an additional layer of strategy, however most of the maps lack any charm and distinction and don't do a good job of recreating the fantastical world of which the game is set.
Age of Resistance is a decent but unspectacular tactics game that fans of both the show and the gameplay genre will no doubt love. If you're a fan of one but not the other maybe it's the gateway drug you need to get started.