Eon Altar is a cooperative turn based RPG where the players use their phones as controllers. You might be thinking. “Eh? What the point of that?” And what a great question that is you beautiful bastard. The addition of the smart phone into your standard co-op RPG is that every player has their own screen in which to do handle all their business. All the inventory management, all the leveling up can be handled without interrupting your fellow players. Now you’re probably thinkin’, “Oy, we’ve had games that’ve done that ‘afore!” And you would be right, you paragon of justice.
What makes Eon Altar especially interesting is how it uses this second screen for narrative purposes.
During cut scenes all the characters are fully voice acted outside of the player characters. Instead the game expects you to voice your own characters. It’s not technically required but your fellow players will be missing out on lots of the world building if you just kinda skip over the dialogue. But it’s best when you have friends who don’t mind getting into character. It ends up feeling like a light tabletop RPG experience.
The thing that initially drew me to this game on the PAX floor was the concept that your character’s can have a personal objective separate from the party’s main goal. So at some point there could be conflict within the party as one’s personal objective clashes with the party’s. I haven’t put enough time into the game to see how the mechanic works when fully fleshed out but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t insanely interested in finding out.
Last but not least is the concept of player choice. While certainly not a new idea by any means, seeing it in a cooperative game is very interesting. You might make a decision that heads towards your personal objective, or you do something evil for more a greater reward. I can only imagine the fights that might erupt because of that.
On the topic of fighting. This game forces the players to sort out all the loot drops. And there are even opportunities where a player might notice some treasure another one does not.
I’m not sure how these mechanics will hold up for multiple playthoughs but the first seems like it’ll be a crazy ride. Expect a full review somewhere down the road. My first impressions of about 2 hours say this has the potential be a contender for GOTY 2016.
If this seems like somethin’ you’d be interested, in Eon Altar: Episode 1 is available on Steam fresh outta early access for $5.59 USD until June 29. $6.99 USD normally, or you can pick up the Season pass for $14.99 USD.