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Stolen Realm Review

Stolen Realm Review

Stolen Realm is a co-op tactical turn-based dungeon-crawling RPG (Steam page, not me) developed by Burst2Flame Entertainment. This game tells the tale of up to six adventurers and their journey in this high-fantasy, low-poly world. Boasting an innovative combat system, is this going to be something to play on your game nights with friends, or is this better off as a solo journey? Well, let’s check this out.

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Create your hero (must be human)

The story is that you are an adventurer, looking for your father. After taking back his journal from a gang of thieves, you follow in his footsteps in hopes of finding him, which may lead to an encounter with the tyrant of the realms and discovering the secrets behind it. Essentially, this game is a Dungeons & Dragons-like campaign you can play with five other people. Heck, it’s even voice acted, which really sells the feeling that you’re playing with your friends and that the game itself is the GM. While I do find the story interesting, it feels secondary to just diving in and getting into a fight. It’s great if you just want to get into the good stuff, but not great for learning the deeper systems or getting into the world. However, this only really matters if you’re just playing the campaign. There is a roguelike mode that rips all the story out so you can focus on the gameplay and create builds that are not possible in the standard campaign. If you aren’t too interested in roleplaying, this is the mode for you.

But before diving into this world, let’s create a character. There’s a decent variety of options available to you with different hairstyles, makeup, and eyebrows, but it would’ve been nice to have some more choices, such as races or different body types. However, what it lacks in looks, it makes up in build customisation. While there are starting classes, you can easily create your own builds depending on the skills you select and how you spend your attribute points as you level up. For example, I had a party member that I initially had as a straight support and healer, but as time went on, I gave them a few skills from the Nature skill tree so they’re also a summoner as well, able to swarm the battlefield with various animals. Also, anyone is able to equip whichever weapon and equipment you want from the loot you obtain from your adventures, from swords and bows to battle axes and guns. Whatever playstyle you might have, the game is able to accommodate you quite easily, and if you decide you don’t like your build, just reset your skill points in town.

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Out of everything I could choose, I made my main character "guy with sword".

Now let's test these abilities on an adventure. After entering the town portal, you then select whether you want to tackle the main quest, go for a side mission, or check out another town for its shops. Don’t worry about overleveling as quests scale to your party’s level so you’re never unchallenged unless you pick the lowest difficulty. Once you choose your quest, it essentially plays out similarly to a roguelike, going from one encounter to another until you either die or beat the boss at the end. Since this is a party system, you are expected to vote together for your path forward on various things such as how you should deal with an event. You’re supposed to work as a team, even when playing by yourself, which helps the roleplaying aspect.

However, no adventure in these lands is truly peaceful, so let’s talk about fights. Even the looks of the world, it all takes place on a hexagonal grid. Before every battle, barrels of various elements and shrines that can help or hinder you will spawn around you, as well as enemies. You start every encounter by selecting where your party members go, as your position is really important. Once you’re in, it’s a turn-based affair, using your weapons and abilities to take everyone out. If you’re in co-op, however, every player’s turn takes place at the same time. Communication is key here as while it can lead to masterfully crafted battles, it can also end in disaster. A single bad decision or misclick can spell doom to parties at higher difficulties. And god forbid you decide it would be a good idea to turn on permadeath. This is actually fairly fun. Playing mostly solo for this review, I liked planning out how my attacks would play out, but when playing with friends it definitely helps keep the pacing up and allows everyone to do something instead of waiting around. It’s really nice.

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So, how do we do this?

Onto technical performance, due to the low-poly nature of the game, it ran perfectly with no issue and I ran into no glitches, with the only thing of note is sometimes when characters ragdoll, their limbs jitter a little. However, I encountered quite a few annoyances: when you pick something, you aren’t given a chance to back out or reverse the decision. While it does encourage thorough thought and planning, it also punishes genuine mistakes like a misclick. I’ve blown myself up with barrels so many times when I wanted to move them next to enemies. Also, weirdly, you can't use consumables outside of battle. It might be for balancing reasons, but due to the fact how long it took to unlock the ability to use consumables, it kinda sucks. Also, all my characters’ clothes turn orange for some reason every time I load up my game. Now, I was playing a pre-release version of the game, so it may be a bonus, but I just wanted to put this down in case it is a glitch.

Stolen Realm is a fun RPG to play with friends and by yourself, especially if you don’t have the time or resources to set up an entire campaign. Its battle system makes sure you are never left waiting and you can create any character and build you want. That being said, you have to be decisive. There are no second chances here and your choices will affect your journey so make sure you think before you act.

8.00/10 8

Stolen Realm (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Stolen Realm is a fun RPG to play with friends and by yourself, especially if you don’t have the time or resources to set an entire campaign. Make sure you know what you’re doing and you’ll come out fine.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Dylan Pamintuan

Dylan Pamintuan

Staff Writer

An Australian-born guy whose trying to show everyone why games are awesome.

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Thejakman - 10:13am, 12th March 2024

What an interesting idea and going straight onto my co-op list. Did you find the classes felt different enough from each other or was there considerable overlap? Sir Guy-With-Sword is my idol.

UknownHero - 10:23am, 12th March 2024 Author

There aren't really classes here, but a collection of abilities from different skill trees you can mix and match with. For example, I had a character that was a thief, but I also gave her lightning skills. There wasn't really any overlap here as each tree has vastly different active and passive abilities to spent your skills points in.

Thejakman - 11:01am, 12th March 2024

Ah right! So a build-your-own-hero deal. Thanks! That seems a like a good whole.