About This GameChildren 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.
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!
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.
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?
- 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-RELOADED.iso [downace.com]
 Children.of.Zodiarcs-RELOADED.Torrent [1fichier.com]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
+ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.