Myth Bearer a low res RPG-style game developed by JC Bailey. It features a large open world with simple combat mechanics and it creatively turns travelling around into a puzzle.
You start out the game locked in a cell. You can get your character to walk around and inspect or interact with things. Inspect by hovering the mouse over things and a tool tip will appear, telling you a little bit more information. You can interact with things by clicking on them when you are stood next to them. The game starts out with a little puzzle to teach you how to inspect and interact; you can’t leave through the door since you’re locked in, so you must find another way out.
Once you’ve made your escape, the world slowly reveals itself and you find you’re in a large open land full of enemies and items to collect. The enemies will not attack you unless you engage them in battle, so feel free to stand as close to them as you like.
The battle mechanics are simple; by clicking on an enemy, you attack first and they attack back. This all happens in an instant so there is no waiting around for the attacks to happen. If you hover over an enemy, it will tell you their HP, defense and attack strength. It also tells you how much HP they will lose when you attack and how much HP they will take from you when they attack back. You might need to do a little bit of maths in your head to work out if it’s worth attacking or not.
This is a very interesting way of handling combat because it makes the whole world into a puzzle. Enemies are not just there to harm you, they also form road blocks. You need to explore and level up enough in order to kill them to get them out of the way. So basically, the more you level up, the more the world will open up! Killing enemies will also open up shortcuts, which means the world becomes easier to traverse too.
You must carefully plan what items to use and what enemies to attack, but you needn’t worry too much, because if you die you get resurrected. This means if you use up all your HP potions then you’re not completely out of luck, and you can cheat a little bit at the level grinding. You should keep in mind that there might be some additional content for those who don’t die at all though.
The main story is divided into Chapters; in each chapter you have a task to accomplish, e.g. meet someone or slay someone. You will know when you’ve finished a chapter because the next one will display on screen. Usually I didn’t really know specifically where to go to complete each chapter, so I ended up wandering around fighting monsters until I got to the right place. There’s also some nice little bits of lore scattered around in the form of ‘mysterious glowy text’ that give you hints or little cryptic bits of story. You get to meet a pretty large cast of characters too, so the world is quite rich and fun to explore.
Whilst on your travels, you can pick up various items, like potions and gold (the gold is a bit hard to see because the game is very low res). You can spend the gold in shops to get more potions, better weaponry, armor or other gear. There’s the odd story related pickups too, you will need a city pass to enter the city, and there’s various things you pick up that are for later in the game.
There is quite a bit of strategy to how you play through this game. Choosing when to use health potions, what enemies to kill, what route to take and what gear to buy all determine how easy a time you will have getting through. When you’re close to leveling up, you can take more risks, because leveling up refills your health.
On my first play through I suffered pretty badly from poor planning. I got stuck on Chapter 3, having killed all the fodder enemies. I totally abused death respawning to kill enemies too tough for me to fight and ended up having no enemies I could kill to level up any further. I also didn’t have the gold for any better gear. Here’s my advice; get the best defense you can, then the weaker enemies don’t hurt you and you can farm them for experience. My second playthrough went much, much better and I breezed through the game (mostly) that time round. The previous attempt I was really struggling through, so it was definitely worth a retry!
I got absolutely hooked on this game. It has a great progression, every time you get a new piece of armour, a new weapon, or level up, it opens up the world more! There’s some good twists in the gameplay too which keeps the world alive and interesting. Although the game is quite light on the story, your quest still does have a purpose and there’s plenty of characters you can meet and talk to and plenty of little bits of lore scattered around.
Once you’ve finished the game there’s a Start+ mode and you’re free to wander about the lands at your leisure! Myth Bearer is available on itch.io for $2.99 or there is a free demo to try it out.