It isn’t often that you’re treated to decent voice acting in an indie title. Telepath RPG: Servants of God, by Sinister Design, breaks this mold in a pleasant fashion. With a lengthy text based story, the game aims to keep your attention by letting you listen rather than read. The voice acting is performed superbly, especially for the character Arman, but that will do little for the gamer who isn’t going to invest in the story. This game requires player immersion to appreciate all it has to offer.
The top-down camera style is upheld throughout and supported by excellent hand-drawn watercolor pictures. Character animations seem basic both in and out of battle, but the environments, accompanied by pleasant music, are lush with detail when combined with appealing flash-style graphics. I was highly entertained by traversing in a world akin to Disney’s Aladdin… if only I could have found a magic flying carpet!
If the story doesn’t appeal to you, the gameplay may not either. The battles are a puzzle/tactical hybrid containing tutorial-like sequences until about an hour or so in. There are plenty of skills, magic orbs, and character customizations to acquire. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t expect to see even a small bit of that until after ten battles or so.
Another barrier occurs during installation. The process is clumsy and requires third party software. Granted, this program is Adobe AIR and not a hidden magic lamp, but for the price I’d expect the installation to be easier than making a wish to a big blue genie. If you have a dire need for tactical RPGs, dig up the earlier titles in the Telepath series first. They’re mostly available for free and playable within your browser.
If you enjoy reading, perhaps you are the type of player this game appeals to. For $25, you get an epic novel set within a video game; conversely, you could always go get a slew of other titles for less. The story takes shape like a “choose your own adventure” book and the ending is driven by your own actions. This is somewhat difficult to follow, however, because there is little indication of which path you are currently on.
What Telepath RPG has to offer is really quite fun and interesting; unfortunately, Sinister Design chose to half-pack it in a clumsy installer and layer it with an hour of tutorials and foreshadowing. Once I got into the game, I enjoyed it, but it is difficult to recommend spending more than you would pay for many AAA games. Considering the monetary and time investment required, one must be a fan to warrant a purchase. The rewards are there, it just takes a bit to get to them. There is no instant gratification here. This one is heavy on the “R” and light on the “P”. For my money, it would be worth waiting until the price drops to get your hands on this “G”.
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