On Stream:http://store.steampowered.com/app/436290/Children_of_Zodiarcs/

About This Game

Children of Zodiarcs is a story-driven, tactical RPG set in the fantasy realm of Lumus; a world divided by affluence and poverty. Take control of Nahmi and her fellow outcasts, utilising a brand new deck and dice based combat system to strike a blow to the noble Lords’ and Ladies’ unquenchable thirst for profit.

Story
Professional thieves on the trail of an ancient relic, the group infiltrates the glittering halls of a corrupt noble’s private chambers in pursuit of their target, narrowly escaping the wrath of the city guards at every turn. Desperate to find an escape, they seek refuge in the city’s seamy slums and brave the sunless pits of the underworld. Out to get them are heavily armed city guards, rival gangs and psychotic families of subterranean cannibals. Abandoned by the system and used by selfish criminals, these young companions will be forced to come to terms with their own reality. But be warned – in the world of Children of Zodiarcs, no one escapes unscathed!

KEY FEATURES:
Combat Cards
Each of your party members’ attacks & abilities are bound to combat cards. Drawing different cards during battle provides you with ever changing combat possibilities every time you fight!

Empower Cards through Dice
Once you’ve chosen your attack, physics based dice allow you to roll for bonuses! Favoring symbols over numbers, these dice deliver attack, defence, healing, and special ability modifiers.

Influencing Lady Luck
To add yet more layers of stratagem to Children of Zodiarcs, you can craft dice to favour your play style, and re-roll up to two dice every time you throw. You need not fear being at Lady Luck’s mercy!

A World Full of Characters
Along the way you’ll come to learn about Nahmi – stolen from her homeland as a child, Brice – forced to survive on the mean streets of Torus; Zirchhoff – a charismatic bandit leader who employs young orphans to do his bidding: as well as many more mischief makers.

Building Decks
Each playable character comes with their own customisable deck. This allows you to tailor their skillset to the types of attacks and abilities you want to have in your hand during the heat of combat.

A Fully Orchestrated Score
Children of Zodiarcs’ music captures the feel of tactical RPG classics with its fully orchestrated soundtrack composed by the award winning team at Vibe Avenue.

Join Nahmi and her team in a harrowing tale of the downtrodden’s struggle for survival in a world where mystical forces are overlooked; and the people in power are solely concerned with profit. Do you have what it takes to overthrow a corrupt system?
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (32-bit or above)
    • Processor: Pentium G4400 /AMD Phenom II X2-550
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GT 630 /AMD HD R7 250
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
Children of Zodiarcs-0
Children of Zodiarcs-1
Children of Zodiarcs-2
Children of Zodiarcs-3
Children of Zodiarcs-4
Children of Zodiarcs-5
Children of Zodiarcs-6
Children of Zodiarcs-7
Children of Zodiarcs-8
Children of Zodiarcs-9
Children of Zodiarcs-10
Children of Zodiarcs-11
Children of Zodiarcs-0
Children of Zodiarcs-1
Children of Zodiarcs-2
Children of Zodiarcs-3
Children of Zodiarcs-4
Children of Zodiarcs-5
Children of Zodiarcs-6
Children of Zodiarcs-7
Children of Zodiarcs-8
Children of Zodiarcs-9
Children of Zodiarcs-10
Children of Zodiarcs-11

FluffyFoxxie

Posted: February 24, 2018
Children of the Zodiarcs had a lot of potential.

I heard about this game via "Games You Might Not Have Tried Yet" by Extra Credits, a game developer focused Youtube series. It had appeared to be hitting a lot of high notes for me. I love tactical RPGs, Final Fantasy Tactics being one of my all-time favorite games. I also love deckbuilding and dice games, as a good number of board games I own play with those elements, such as Dominion and Quarriors. Despite this, the game has a lot of issues and falls flat in several areas.

Pros:
  • Beautiful orchestrated soundtrack. Seriously good stuff, the music that plays during the final battle is memorable to me.
  • Great artwork. Character portraits, the painted stills and scenes, character models, and environments all look great and were a pleasure to see and experience.
  • Interesting design. The game mixes some very novel ideas for a wholly unique gameplay experience.

Cons:
  • Plot is very shallow. Played through the entire game hoping something was going to twist my expectations, but everything fell into place fairly predictably.
  • The world is very two-dimensional. The game paints a narrative of well off nobles versus desperate street gangs and does little to change that narrative or give any depth to any of the groups in the world. Nobles/guards have no personality aside from wanting to stay rich and maintain the status quo. Cultists just want to murder people and worship Zodiarcs. Gangs just want to steal. None of the sides really seem relatable or try to connect or understand one another. There is a few moments where characters express sympathy, but it is immediately swept under the rug, and it’s back to killing everyone goes.
  • Characters are uninteresting and unlikable. I found myself questioning repeatedly why nothing important seems to shape these characters, the main character has no interesting development and continues to be a bloodthirsty vagabond from the moment you meet her. Even when something interesting does happen, its effects seem brief and swept aside.
  • Character progression is uninteresting. You gain experience to level up, granting you a small bump in stats. You occasionally unlock new cards or upgrades to existing cards. You occasionally unlock new dice slots to equip more dice. That’s it. There is no equipment system, no skill trees, no job/class system, or anything like that. Your Nahmi will be identical to another player’s Nahmi at the same level, with the exceptions of which cards and dice either player choose to take.
  • Deckbuilding is limited. You don’t collect or upgrade cards on your own. They’re given to you at regular level-up intervals. Cards are unique on a per-character basis, so you’re limited to that character’s card pool. Being able to collect, find, and craft unique cards/effects would have been a decent way to expand this game’s systems.
  • Dicebuilding is limited. The only rewards one gets for battles is new dice. You equip the dice to characters, and you can reforge some of the faces on the dice you have equipped by consuming other dice. The dice themselves are really generic, the only effects being "deal x more damage/healing" "prevent x damage on counter" "draw one card", etc. The more interesting dice faces, the Star and Lightning bolt, manipulate a card’s special activated powers, or grant a free turn, respectively.

Overall, this game was interesting for what it was, but could have been so much more. I can’t say I recommend it, but I still appreciated the the game and the learning experience it has provided to me.

.:|NADS|Catalyst|:.

Posted: July 25, 2017
What is this game?
Children of Zodiarcs is a turn-based isometric strategy game reminiscent of the Final Fantasy Tactics series. This game distinguishes itself by incorporating unique deck-building and dice-crafting elements into its combat system. Essentially, each character has a deck of cards that serves as their "abilities", while their dice can modify these abilities and affect RNG (such as damage dealt). It sounds complicated, but the system is very easy to learn.

You Should Buy This Game If:
  • You’re looking to scratch that Tactics itch and want a game that is easy to pick-up
  • You like Tactics gameplay more than story (Zodiarcs’ story is very straightforward)
  • You like deck-building and theorycrafting

You Should Skip This Game If:
  • You are expecting the depth and content of Final Fantasy Tactics (this is a much simpler game)
  • You like squad-building (squad growth in Zodiarcs is entirely linear and only customizable via deck-building)
  • You want a long and engaging story (main story takes around 10 hours)

My Personal Opinion (Recommendation Reflects This)
As a quick disclaimer, I am a HUGE Final Fantasy Tactics fan and have sunk hundreds of hours into 100%ing Tactics Advance and Tactics A2. With the latter having come out a whopping ten years ago, I have been dying for another FFT experience. When Zodiacs released, I bought it instantly in hopes of filling this void.

As a result of this, I can’t help but feel disappointed in Zodiarcs. It isn’t a bad game; I played for a solid 12 hours at my own free will and completed its story. However, Zodiarcs seemed to lack the depth I was looking for. For starters, there are very few playable characters, and most of them are around for only one or two missions. The party size is strangely set to three, which really limits what you can accomplish during each turn. There is no job system, no equipment, and your character grows linearly when leveling up, leaving very little room for squad building/customizing.

I am well aware that complexity doesn’t equal better. Zodiarcs doesn’t need all of this extraneous stuff if the core game is satisfying without it. However, each character has an extremely limited ability set (something like 10 if you unlock them all, which I didn’t even accomplish in my full playthrough), and character abilities seem redundant to each other. For example, the main character, Nahmi, has multiple skills that target a single adjacent enemy, with virtually no ranged or AOE whatsoever. This type of kit design really pigeonholes the role of each character in your party. No matter how you construct your deck, Nahmi will always be single-target physical damage, and many (though not all) of your other characters fall in the same boat. This really stifles player creativity and can make the core gameplay a bit stale.

I also wish the enemies were a little more inspired. Most of the time you’re killing generic baddies, with an occasional random boss that has no backstory. The enemies have really bland attacks that either just do damage or debuff you, and these debuffs are often trivial and can be ignored (at least on Normal difficulty).

Simply put, if you like Tactics games in general and want to play something with unique, easy-to-learn mechanics, maybe give this one a try. But for those expecting the depth and content provided in Final Fantasy Tactics, Zodiarcs will likely leave you wanting more.

Lord Shaftesbury

Posted: March 29
This game is broken on a technical level. I’m unable to continue the game, as a bug causes the game to get stuck on character level up. As this is an rpg that is very frequent. Which is very disappointing, I actually thought mechanically this game was good. But given that I am unable to play the game, I must recommend against buying this.

pdub

Posted: October 17, 2017
If you’re looking for FFT / Tactics Ogre / classical ‘tactics rpg’, this isn’t it. There is little to no squad building, character development is linear, and customization is limited. Your party appears to be limited to 3 characters which is fairly small in srpg terms.

While interesting ideas on paper, I personally am not a fan of the dice or the cards system. Personally I find rolling the dice more of an annoyance than anything else. I am aware there is an auto-roll option, which I have turned on. The main reason I find it annoying is that it slows down the speed of battles in a genre where the speed of battles is already very slow paced. Especially annoying is staring at the enemies dice roll for 5 seconds before they do their ability animation; there should be an option to speed that up or skip it altogether. I don’t care what dice the enemy rolls; just let me get on with the battle. When a battle takes 13 turns, and there are 5 enemies, you end up spending 5 * 13 * 5 seconds (6 minutes) staring at enemy dice rolls waiting for them to do their ability. I think the dice are an interesting twist on the RNG formula, but I think the implementation just gets in the way and needs some work. I don’t care about the dice at all… get the dice out of my face and let me play the game faster please.

When it comes to the cards system, I’m not a big fan either. The cards system replaces a traditional "mana" or "mp" based resource system, and your cards in your hand dictate which skills are available to use. I have two issues with this system. First of all is that my character has abilities that sometimes I am unable to use. In a strategy rpg, I would prefer to have my skills available to use as long as I have sufficient resources. Pretty much all of the "strategy" in strategy RPGs is making the decision of which ability to use. The second issue is that it slows down the pace of battles, since drawing cards requires a unit’s turn. I think you start with 4 cards in your hand, and you draw 2 cards at a time. So basically after 2 or 3 turns you have to spend a turn just to draw 2 more cards.

The cards and dice systems kind of remind me of the "laws" in final fantasy tactics advance. It was an annoying game mechanic that is not enjoyable at all, you just have to put up with it.

I would agree with the sentiment of many other reviewers who have mentioned the pace of battle is way too slow. In my opinion this is a pain point for strategy RPGs in general. I think the card and dice mechanics in this game made the battles even slower.

The game is lacking reward schedules. Usually your core loop in a strategy rpg is battle, gain exp + loot (reward), squad management & character customization (reward), progress through story (reward), rinse and repeat. Since there is no equipment, very little squad management & character customization, and character stats development is linear, the main "rewards" of a typical strategy rpg are nonexistant in this game. Making an addicting / enjoyable game is all about reward schedules, and there’s just not much in this game that I find rewarding.

No offense but the writing style / humor in this game doesn’t really mesh well with the game. A lot of the dialog sounds very immature and childish to me, its almost never serious, always joking around, like I’m hanging out with a gang of little kids. The main character has this ebonics thing going on, which gives me a headache. There was some other character with a southern sounding accent that didn’t work at all either. I’m pretty much skipping the dialog at this point because i know it’s not going to get any better.

I will still recommend this game, I kickstarted the game, I understand an indie team of about 6 people made it. I don’t think they misrepresented the game they were developing. I knew from the start they were doing the cards/dice systems and I wanted to try it. I totally understand the limitations and constraints when working on a small indie team. So even if my review sounded negative, my intention was for it to be constructive criticism and help other gamers decide whether or not they would like this game.

I think the main reason for mixed reviews is that lots of people just want someone to make a modernized classical strategy rpg. If you come into this expecting a classical strategy rpg like FFT or Tactics Ogre, you’ll probably be disappointed. If you market your game and compare it to FFT, i guess prepare to expect lots of disappointed people.

Lady Dawn

Posted: September 8, 2017
Children of Zodiarcs (CoZ) is a tactical, turn-based RPG featuring a motley crew of young thieves who find themselves caught up in a dark conspiracy involving ancient powers and spoiled nobles. Take these underdogs to the top of the food chain with a unique mix of card and dice mechanics and overcome overwhelming odds.

Kickstarter backer here.

The hierarchy is immediately made evident in CoZ–and more importantly the fact that you’re somewhere near the bottom of it. The game does a good job of explaining the fantasy world it’s sent in without bogging you down with irrelevant details and names, building atmosphere and immersing you in it. Yours is a dark and dismal world where violence us a constant and meals are not guaranteed, but somehow the battlefields still manage to be interesting to look at with little details and particle effects to add a layer of realism.

Combat in CoZ is a bit slow paced, though in response to complaints the developer, Cardboard Utopia, added a fast forward function. In typical turn-based fashion, you and the enemy have your own phases during which you’ll move your units and use abilities. Abilities are tied to the card system: you select the skill you want to use, after which you’re taken to the dice roll screen where you essentially affect the effectiveness of your attack. Dice dictate which end of the range–shown when you highlight an enemy to attack it–your damage will fall into and also what additional buffs/snuffs will be applied. There are a few different markings on your dice: crystals add power, stars activate the special effect listed denoted on the card, shields protect you from counter attack damage, if applicable, and hearts recuperate health. You can reroll up to two dice should you not agree with the outcome of your initial roll.

CoZ is combat-focused, meaning there’s no over world to explore and you’ll never have control of your characters outside of a combat situation. This means that you’ll be fighting back to back battles and learning the story through dialogue exchanges before, during, and after combat. There are also quiet moments after you’ve cleared a battle node where you can view an oftentimes humorous discussion between your party members.

In lieu of equipment, your party management boils down to crafting and equipping dice sets and deck building. Each dice set has six dice and the ones that aren’t marked with a lock icon can be upgraded or traded out for a different one if you so choose to.

Crafting is a matter of consolidation. Depending on what die you want to craft, you need to select sets to meet an icon threshold. Please note that the entire set of the dice used to craft will be destroyed, so this is a good way to get rid of low level or cursed dice sets. Sets with cursed red dice can be totally reborn by crafting to replace the negatively effected die.

I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’ll just comment on the quality of the writing. The story is a bit cliched in some parts, but the exchanges between characters are believable and oftentimes humorous. The narrative is delivered via character dialogue on and off the battlefield with a few still images–hand drawn, by the look of it–sprinkled in. The music is orchestral and suited to the atmosphere, bouncing between quieter, more melancholic tunes and lively, adventurous scores.

.Pros.
  • Battle precision. There’s no lucky critical hits because you control (to a degree) exactly how much damage you do to the enemy.

  • The writing is very good, which I feel is important to an RPG.

  • Character design. From your ragtag group of heroes to the elaborate armour the elites’ guard dogs wear, every outfit is a detailed, not to mention cool, affair.

  • Deck and dice management are unique and allow for tailoring your gameplay experience.

  • Regular developer support. Cardboard Utopia hears feedback and uses it to make the game better, which is always a huge plus.

.Cons.

  • Long battles. The "us against the world" thing gets old very quickly when it makes battles take longer than they should.

    For battles that don’t require you to kill all enemies, you’ll be running from point A to point B. This feels far less tactical and more of a headlong rush/lash ditch effort.

  • The grind. I’m no slouch at tactical games, but I still had to go back to the skirmish battles and level up more often than I would have liked because the enemy overpowered me. There’s an easier difficulty for those who just want to enjoy the story, but the difficulty wasn’t the issue, just the balance between story battles.

.Bottom Line.

Children of Zodiarcs is a solid strategy RPG with unique gameplay elements and an interesting story. It isn’t perfect, but with continued support from the developer, it’s getting better and better every patch. Personally, I would have liked for there to be more to do between battles, even if it meant going to a battle field and searching for points of interest using the same turn-bases formula, sans enemies, but the game is still fun in short sessions. I recommend this to fans of the genre, though those who aren’t as enthusiastic about it may find themselves losing interest.

If you found this review helpful, please give it a thumbs-up. For more reviews like this one follow the NeedtoKnow Gaming Curator page <3

Leyno

Posted: October 3, 2018
As a big fan of tactical games like FFT, Fire Emblem and Shining Force, as well as card games like Baten Kaitos and Lost Kingdoms. This game was a dream come true, unfortunately it has it’s flaws.

+ Tactical battles with cards and dice
+ Decent amount of different cards
+ Dice crafting

– Very linear
– No character choice

Despite the flaws it was still a very enjoyable game.

ERICdb

Posted: November 9, 2017
Reached mission 10 in hard mode, 2 lvl 13 as it should be. Reset 3 times due to bad draws, but no luck. Done a few skirimishes to lvl up and see if it works. Find out that enemies actually scale with you, and that the new recruit stays at lvl 13, while i’m 18 and 17 and enemies are 19. Tries 10 times more, I even manage to clear first wave and a soldier. Party dies to double aoe from boss. No possibility to improve DICES unless i do more skirimishes and increase even more the level gap between the robot and the enemies. Despair.

Overleveling enemies is a fast and insidious killer.

I don’t recomend this until they at least make that your new recruit is at least your lvl.

Franka_Scythe

Posted: May 15, 2018
Product received for free

I backed this game hoping to get a Final Fantasy Tactics experience, spiced up with deck building and dice collecting. Unfortunately, the end result plays nothing like FF:T, and is instead one long test of your luck.

It’s a story of a group (or at least one or two) of orphans lead by a scum of the earth type of character, who rise against the oh-so-evil nobles while also fighting off the over the top evil cannibals. You move from one city sector to the next, fighting through puzzle like maps and groups of enemies, losing when RNGesus goes against you and thwarts even the best laid plans. Sometimes you take some time off to grind some levels and do some dice crafting so you can lessen the impact of poor luck.

It doesn’t take very long for fatigue and familiarity to set in, not helped by the poorly told story, with its silly and sudden twists. After that, you may force yourself through to the end, only to be met by the most disheartening letdown of an open ending that brings no conclusion at all to the rickety story you just forced yourself to finish.

This game felt ambitious, but also like the developers bit over far more than they could chew, and the end product suffers heavily from not quite getting where they wanted to go with this. Not worth it.

worddealer

Posted: November 4, 2017
Children of Zodiarcs is an SRPG with gameplay that combines elements of the tactics genre with dice rolling and card deck building. Because of this, the mechanics are truly unique and feature a good amount of depth, making these systems the high point to the game. You’ll find yourself experimenting with different abilities and decks, switching strategies depending on the battle and enemies you are facing. The game is challenging and can get overwhelming towards the end, since your measly party of three becomes grossly outnumbered and the battles become longer.

The art and music are always beautiful, evoking the atmosphere of games like Final Fantasy Tactics. However, unlike FFTactics, the story is extremely scarce. I definitely wanted more fleshing out of the game’s world and characters, just as other reviewers have noted. I do wish there were more customization options, but that probably would’ve been outside the scope of this relatively small game. In the end, however, I do think Children of Zodiarcs is worth your time and money. I definitely don’t regret supporting it on Kickstarter and look forward to seeing what this team has in store for us in the future.

Niz

Posted: July 19, 2017
Seems more like a mobile game than a PC or console game. The depth of games like FFT and Disgaea will not be found here. It is a simpler game, to say the least. Unfortunately that is a huge problem for a tactical turn based RPG, as that is a main attraction for players of those games.

The game has no classes/jobs, skill or attribute points, weapons and other equipment, items, etc. There are cards, and sets of dice. As you level, you unlock or upgrade them automatically, and your few base stats are auto-upgraded.

This is a first impression as of now, I just couldn’t sit on it because I had to respond to the people claiming this is a successor of FFT and various things like that. Those comments convinced me to buy this, and I feel like I have to leave this for other people like me who are swayed by those reviews.

So far, I don’t recommned this for anyone who finds the issues I mentioned to be valid. Otherwise, have at it.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here