October 7, 2013 7:00 AM | Anthony Swinnich
While they're a bit more difficult to come by these days, good turn-based RPGs can still catch a lot of attention. One look at The Amber Throne was all it took to know that there's the potential here for something special. We had the chance to chat with developer The Biggest Missile Ever about the game and came away more intrigued than before.
Things start strong with the story. Long ago, the Amber God saw a prophetic vision of his death during a rebellion and knew the power of the throne couldn't fall into the wrong hands. He raised his kingdom into the sky and encased it in an impenetrable cloud. His vision came to pass and the rebellion claimed his life. Sealed away, the uprising died where it began. However, before he removed his realm off from the land of mortals, he hid his sleeping daughter away with the hopes that she would someday awake and destroy the throne. His daughter is named Arra, the game's main character, and your time with her begins as she wakes up in an unfamiliar era. Her goal is to finish her father's work and destroy the Amber Throne.
As your journey begins, you experience everything for the first time just the same as Arra. Your progress through this strange world is somewhat guided through messages from your father, who wrote them before he died. You'll meet all manners of beings on your quest, from humanoid birds to reptilian soldiers. Some may even join your party. As should be expected, you'll eventually find that there are powers that scheme to use the Amber Throne for their own ambitions, providing an opposing force for you to contend with.
Battles are not randomly generated. Instead they are triggered when you collide with enemies in the overworld. Combat is rooted in the turn-based style we all know so well, but there are some differences to consider. The game makes great use of physical weaknesses. You may find that you deal more damage to an enemy if you can knock them over. Armored enemies will take more damage if you use weapons with the ability to pierce instead those that are blunt. The ultimate goal is to showcase these weaknesses visually, foregoing the need for some sort of status-reading spell. Attack properties can be modified as the game goes on, though characters are normally assigned a value by their weapon. Some characters may make use of a sword, while others may make use of guns. This means that some can slash and stab, while others can shoot or use explosives.
The actual geography of the world's four provinces has been warped over time by previous Amber Gods. While there are forests and deserts, there is a floating mountain chained to the earth beneath it, lest it drift away. These areas contain dungeons for you to explore, and while their purpose currently remains a mystery, each of them will have some sort of theme. One of the earliest dungeons focuses on the manipulation of time. We're told that careless players may find themselves repeating battles they've already won if they aren't careful. While specific details weren't revealed, puzzles will have a strong connection to battles. Dungeons are being put together in a way that require more than pushing blocks or throwing switches.
Development is about half finished and a Windows release is planned for Winter. New screenshots are being posted bi-weekly on the developer's Imgur page.