Ember
Genre: Adventure, Indie, RPG, Strategy
Developer: N-Fusion Interactive
Publisher: 505 Games
Release Date: Sep 9, 2016

The Hype: Ember is an isometric role-playing game developed by N-Fusion Interactive and published by 505 Games. The backstory is that the world of Domus was once on the verge of collapse, as it was a pitch black with no sun. Due to the blackness, the skies opened up and falling stars rained down on the world. This caught the attention of a group of druids called the “Lightbringers”. They moved throughout the lands performing rituals to bring light back to the embers. With light restored, the embers became recognized as a magical flame with the power of light and life. Therefore, the Lightbringers suddenly found themselves in a war with others who too wanted to posses such power.

In Reality: For those who long for the days of classic RPGs, you’ll be right at home here with Ember. Playing as a Lightbringer, you’ll have over 70 different quests to complete while enjoying a deep story. Inspired by such games as Baldur’s Gate and Ultima VII: The Black Gate, Ember will be an acquired taste for those looking for a traditional, albeit dated experience. Now dated doesn’t necessarily mean a negative experience, as the developers surely were not looking to provide you the sophistication of a modern RPG like The Witcher series. Instead, they’ve poured their souls into a tightly packaged classic RPG, which has a straight forward upgrade system for skills and weapons. Crafting, looting, and trading can all be found within Ember as well.

ember_02_gamersinbetaGameplay: Due to the inspiration factors and the classic genre, don’t expect this game to be played with a controller. Instead it can be played entirely with a mouse or you can mix in some keyboard shortcuts as well. You can click the mouse to an intended location and you character will move there or you can click-and-drag your character and it will follow as well. This can slow things down at times but overall the speed in which your character moves is beyond satisfactory. The combat system is in real time but you can pause the game by going into your inventory or by unleashing certain commands. The game has various difficulty settings but we noticed even on Easy, certain battles were challenging.

Again with over 70 different quests, gameplay is supposed to be around 30 hours long. Ember is an open-world experience and therefore you can carve our your own path. As you travel and encounter new location and enemies, you will have a partner with you who can be leveled up as well. Sadly, we didn’t find this character as useful as we would’ve liked and often found ourselves healing him or dolling out resources to keep him alive.

ember_03_gamersinbetaConclusion: If you were a fan of classic RPG titles like Baldur’s Gate, then this is the game for you. You’ll find yourself immersed into the world of Domus, where new adventures and characters are just a few mouse clicks away. While we’ve grown accustomed to more action oriented RPGs, it is great to turn back time every now and then to indulge on a slice of nostalgic gaming. With a very reasonable price tag of $10.00 and deep story, Ember is worthy of your attention. For mobile gamers, look for Ember on your iOS devices as well.