Earthlock: Festival of Magic (Xbox One) Review

By Noah Fatale 28.10.2016

Review for Earthlock: Festival of Magic on Xbox One

Back in 2011, development started on a game simply known as Festival of Magic, with the trailer being released in 2013 under that name. In November of that same year, the game was placed on Kickstarter with a goal of $250,000, but was lost in the holiday season, so it was taken down and put back up in March 2014, with a goal of $150,000. It ended up raising $178,000, and the game was put on track. Earthlock: Festival of Magic was released for Xbox One on September 1st, 2016, and the PC/Mac version followed on September 27th. With versions still on the way to PlayStation 4 and Wii U, Cubed3 checks out the Xbox One edition.

From the start, Earthlock: Festival of Magic is a beautiful game with wonderful character design and an amazing soundtrack. This doesn't fade away through the game as the developers didn't just throw in background characters as much as many other games. It is a stunning game to play.

This is one of the better games of this decade, mixing RPG-like gameplay, a wonderful soundtrack, impeccable character design, and a kind of minimalistic cartoonish visual. The game starts with Amon Barros, a desert scavenger with an iron will and a taste for adventure. Along the adventure, new characters come into play, including Gnart Tigermouth, a young hogbunny, Olia Alagbato, a mysterious lone wanderer, and Ive Lavender, a general's daughter. Earthlock takes place in the world of Umbra, a diverse land with many different creatures, some friendly, others not so much. The world stopped spinning for some reason thousands of years ago, giving it a very slightly post-apocalyptic feel.

Screenshot for Earthlock: Festival of Magic on Xbox One

Eventually, a settlement building feature is unlocked. This allows the player to build their own village on a remote island, bringing features such as harvesting and character levelling. The island is accessed through portals found throughout Umbra. Over the course of the adventure, new shops and items are added, which add things like potion brewing and weapon upgrades. Gardening is a very important feature on this island, as magical plants can be grown that perform a myriad of actions. This island is the "home base" throughout the game.

Earthlock uses a JRPG sort of battle system, with each character taking their turns against each other, and the ability to substitute attacks for items or powers. The soundtrack is absolutely beautiful, with an orchestra playing the entire time, and songs hardly ever being used twice. Aside from the battle system alone, the game doesn't use a random encounter system, unlike most JRPGs. Enemies spawn in a fixed location each time, and they reset every time the room is entered. This means that the player can defeat an enemy guarding a door, leave the room, then come back in and face the enemy again. This leads to some aggravating moments when lost in an area, constantly dying to an enemy that has already died. However, this is made up for using the "feign death" option, where if all but one of the party is dead, the survivor can fake their death and escape enemies, remaining invisible for a short time.

Screenshot for Earthlock: Festival of Magic on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Earthlock is a beautiful and exciting RPG, being one of the best this decade. It combines aspects that make a game great, like a very well-written story, a beautifully composed soundtrack, and characters that stand out. However, the gameplay is sort of lacking, with most of it being battles. The game also loses its lustre fairly quickly after starting, as nothing really interesting happens until later.

Developer

Snowcastle

Publisher

Snowcastle

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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