Anuchard Preview

With a gradually increased difficulty, puzzles look fun and inviting. The game not only provides a cozy and intimate atmosphere, but also kinetic functions are crafted with care to be engaging.

Developer stellarNull, working with publisher Freedom Games, has been hard at work on its newest action-adventure RPG Anuchard.  RPGamer was able to experience a hands-off preview showing how the game has been polishing up.  Sitting down with developer member Rico Lemba, and publishing team member Benjamin for a thirty minute presentation it was a treat to find out more about the game.  The focus is on more details of player character the Bellweilder and the story, as well as kinetic functionality are key components to the game.  Taking key inspiration from the Quintet Trilogy and Act Raiser from the SNES, and adding mechanics similar to Breakout, Anuchard will hit quite a few nostalgic buttons, while separating itself to be seen as a fun experience in its own right.

The game is scheduled to be separated into chapters with each dungeon in the middle of an introductory and ending story beat.  Anuchard is taking a much more relaxed and intimate approach to its story, with a village teetering on the brink of ruin.  The Bellweilder is chosen to help restore the village.  Restoration will come at a price as problems crop up in the ecosystem, with the environment being the main adversary for this story.  The Bellweilder is just a member of the village who has the talent to use the bell to survive dungeons in ways the regular villagers are unable to.  The Bellweilder enters dungeons to rescue members of the village that have gone in to search for resources to grow their crops and maintain their fields.

As the Bellweilder delves in dungeons players send the villagers back home and find resources to restore the village.  Villagers express through emojis, which detail how they feel as they speak with the Bellweilder while they go about their day or night activities. Some of these villagers include the Chef and the Farmer.  They provide key skills the Bellweilder will make use of in the recipe system.  Recipes are the bulk of customization for the Bellweilder and involve various two-ingredient recipes that will improve stats.  These stat modifiers evolve and improve through upgrades to the kitchen.  For those that enjoy sprucing up the neighbourhood, there will also be cosmetic upgrades for the village as well to unlock to mark the village’s growth.  All of these upgrades are a fun addition to the game and provide variety, but are not going to be tied to any plot progression.

While exploring there are plenty of hidden nooks and crannies to uncover, finding additional item drops to reward the player for exploring each biome.  Exploration will not be a tiresome prospect either as each dungeon is crafted to be a slowly expanding experience.  Players with only a half-hour to an hour to play a day will easily find themselves able to complete a dungeon a day and enjoy the unique puzzle solving mechanics Anuchard offers.  Players that have only a day or two a week to play the game can easily catch themselves up with the in-game bulletin board that recaps the game’s story in a helpful summary to get the player back on track.  Backtracking will not be necessary either as the game is set to be linear, with jumping in to previous dungeons only to find extra items.  The whole game is looking to clock in at around fifteen hours.

Every dungeon will provide an increasingly challenging mix of enemies to fight, with environmental puzzles to solve to make it to the dungeon’s boss.  Puzzles will grow in difficulty as the game progresses, focusing primarily on kinetic problems.  The Bellweilder’s bell has the ability to create balls of energy that can pass through barriers and form from platforms in the ground.  The Bellweilder then can manipulate the direction of the energy by swinging the bell into them pushing them around the map.  These balls of energy were shown to shut off switches to allow for further progression into the dungeon.  The bell also has the ability to affect environments and enemies in a kinetic manner, by pushing boulders into enemies, or knocking a lead combatant into a group, or off of a wall.  Any enemy that hits an object, including destructible pots in a corner, will take extra damage, so positioning enemies and bouncing them around is not only fun, but also useful.  This makes the game seem like an action-adventure game of baseball at times, and enemies flailing around the screen make for an enjoyable sight.  Planning which enemy to strike first is also important as hitting certain enemies, dictated by a number overhead, will cause more enemies to spawn.  Puzzles in the later game will combine energy ball manipulation mechanics with rebounding, and having accurate strikes hit areas in succession to open a path for striking an enemy or clear a path for the Bellweilder to walk through.

Over the course of a dungeon the Bellweilder will get injured, and this is where a very interesting mechanic comes into play.  The Bellweilder will have access to a beacon.  This beacon has plenty of uses; functioning as a portable healing pulse, additional features, such as adding a defensive turret to the beacon that attack enemies or provides the player with extra shields, can be unlocked.  This beacon can be used any time, as long as the player has their essence bar-filled up to place it.  Essence can be found by knocking down bushes or pots in the area.  The strategy involved with placement based on how strict essence drops as well as if they are allowed in boss-rooms makes this a cool mechanic to watch as the game progresses.

Anuchard is starting to shape up into a fun action-adventure with plenty of as the game advances, players will not find themselves bored easily.  With a gradually increased difficulty, puzzles look fun and inviting. The game not only provides a cozy and intimate atmosphere, but also kinetic functions are crafted with care to be engaging.  Currently aiming for a fall release on X-Box platforms as well as PC, the game has been shaping up nicely and will be interesting to see how it evolves in the future.

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