I'm very much used to seeing roguelikes with ASCII art, but an RPG? That's quite different! After around five years in development, Stone Story RPG enters Early Access. Note: Key provided by the developer.
A very strange experience this, with no direct control of your character it initially feels a bit like a clicker. You pick a location and watch as your ASCII character travels across the screen gathering resources, fighting and more. However, the game gradually expands and opens up, turning it into a very unique adventure. It's also very weirdly relaxing.
Since it's an RPG, you do have to equip your character with the right tools for the right job.
What happens during your travels through each area, will often depend on what items you have equipped. You can also pause whilst exploring, to mix up your items if you spot something interesting or enemies that need dealing with. The areas you explore will also get progressively harder with each run through and you might find some unexpected treasures on multiple runs.
As you progress, the game will start to show more of itself. You can eventually upgrade items, gain experience and more.
- Stunning ASCII animation and gorgeous music
- Robust player A.I. that combines with other game systems to offer a unique experience for gamers of all types
- 8 unique Locations, each with their own meticulously detailed environments and intense boss fights
- Simple, but deep crafting system
- Dozens of items that can be combined to facilitate new strategies
- A rich fantasy world with eccentric enemies, amusing NPC encounters and engaging lore
- 8+ hours of main story gameplay, in addition to procedurally generated content
- Plenty of secrets!
There's also boss battles, every good RPG has boss battles right? How about a big scary looking tree with a big ol' freaky face? I'll be honest here, it kicked my (‿|‿).
What really gets you is the atmosphere, for an ASCII game that has such seemingly basic presentation it's honestly amazing. Thanks to some really clever animation work, along with equally great sound effects I've found myself loving it.
It should run on mostly anything, with it being "Potatoware friendly" the developer said. The current plan is for it to remain in Early Access for about a year, to continue adding content to make the game longer including more difficulty levels, an expanded quest system, more items and so on.
Far better than I expected, truly worth spending some time with. I hope this one is a success, as I want it to keep playing this for some time.
Find it on Steam.