I was unable to convince my coworkers to attend a cat café with me for lunch at Play NYC, so checking out indie, cat-centric RPG Kristala by Astral Clocktower Studios seemed like the next best thing. Plus, the logo looking like a Kingdom Hearts world icon didn’t hurt either—I’m a sucker for a pretty logo.
Kristala is a 3D action RPG that tells the story of the Purrsons, a world of anthropomorphic cats who can use magic due to the Shattering. Occurring many years ago, the Shattering of the Sacred Crystal that fell from the sky permeated the world with the magic from the shards of the crystal, forever altering the world and its inhabitants. Now, the populace is divided into six clans, each with an affinity for a different type of magic, with their own culture and customs.
Now, the Purrsons of the world are searching for a warrior to unite the clans and collect all of the pieces of the shattered crystal in order to defeat the forces of darkness and destruction that magic brought to life. Unsurprisingly, that warrior is the player character. When speaking to Alexis Brutman and Sarah Schaffstall, members of the development team and two of the co-owners of the studio, I found out that the feline inspiration came from two of the team members being veterinary technicians at the time when they started working on the game, and another team member being a crazy cat lover.
In development for the PC currently, with plans of being ported to the Nintendo Switch and potentially the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, Kristala is an interesting take on ARPGs. While I only got to play a short hands on demo, I got a pretty good feel for the basic combat system and the world that the game is in. The backgrounds are absolutely gorgeous, and the art was one of the first things that really stood out to me.
So far, the combat system in the demo that I played was pretty basic, but it’s definitely on the right path. There’s several options for your warrior to attack with, as well as standard defense. I wasn’t able to see the magic system unfortunately, as after talking to the developers I got the feeling that the magic system would be one of the core tenets of the world.
Overall, I was quite impressed with Kristala. I don’t tend to play ARPGs as much as turn based, but I enjoyed the combat system and found the art to be wonderful. The character models were surprisingly grounded in physics in terms of the movements and the enemies were fairly standard. It’s a game that I’d definitely be interested in checking up on in future to see how the development progresses and what the world and plot end up looking like.
Kristala is in development by Astral Clocktower Studios for PC and Nintendo Switch release.
What are your essential elements for an action RPG? Do you want more indie games on Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments below! Check out what else we saw at Play NYC by going to our <a href="https://techraptor.net/content/play-nyc-2019-coverage-hub">Play NYC 2019 Coverage Hub</a>.