Aetheris is a Tactical RPG with Roguelite elements and a unique graphic style developed by Wild Wits for PC. It was available for quite some time in early access until its final release on November 7, 2023, on Steam. I’ve delved deeply into Aetheris, and now I’m here to share what it’s all about. Let’s go.
Journey with the Vazzards, humanoid lizards whose peaceful existence in their village is disrupted by the menacing Shade – an ominous force threatening to consume everything they hold dear. As if drawn from the pages of an ancient prophecy, the Vazzards learn of their destiny to reach the radiant white light on the horizon to avert the impending cataclysm.
Hope becomes their guiding beacon throughout these perilous escapades, a flickering flame that fuels their resolve to attain salvation from the imminent threat. The narrative unfolds in Aetheris, a tactical RPG that immerses players in challenging turn-based battles set against a vivid and immersive backdrop. The unforgiving Wilderness serves as the ultimate battleground, testing your decision-making skills and strategic prowess.
Whether braving the journey alone or assembling a formidable party of four, Aetheris promises an adventure teeming with suspense, emotion, and the thrill of survival. Make astute choices and devise cunning strategies to navigate this perilous world. The fate of the Vazzards hangs in the balance, and the radiant white light awaits as a beacon of hope—will you guide them to salvation? The adventure eagerly awaits, beckoning you to explore the depths of Aetheris’ captivating universe.
A key aspect of the gameplay in this intriguing adventure is incorporating roguelite elements, adding depth and strategy to each playthrough. Within each save file or village, a roster of 16 villagers is at your disposal, and for every run, you carefully select a party of 4. Each villager comes with slightly varied initial stats and skills, contributing to the unique dynamics of every playthrough.
What sets this game apart is the consequence of party member deaths—when a character falls, they transform into spirits. These spirits serve a dual purpose, providing a stat boost for subsequent party members and offering a lifeline, allowing you to cheat death once during combat.
The exploration aspect unfolds seven chapters, each comprising a sequence of events, enemy encounters, and camps. Time is of the essence, as you have a limited number of days before “the shade” catches up, though it’s not an immediate game over, but something unpleasant. Each event typically consumes a day, and decision-making is a collaborative effort, with each party member taking turns.
Events present players with four choices, each leading to different outcomes. Some decisions are labeled as risky, requiring a coin flip to determine success or failure. Events often provide temporary stat boosts or nerfs, as well as equipment, adding strategic depth to the narrative.
Including the events there are in Each chapter, a few camp points, and pivotal junctures in your journey, offer four choices
- Praying to regain SP (essential for certain abilities)
- Resting to heal (at the expense of losing a stat bonus)
- Keep Run – picking up the pace to extend the remaining days (before the shade catches up)
- Training to gain XP.
This dynamic decision-making process creates a Choose Your Own Adventure feel with branching paths, yet each chapter ultimately leads to the same boss encounter. Aetheris masterfully combines exploration and decision-making, offering players a nuanced and engaging narrative where every choice shapes the unfolding saga.
Dice System / Position
Turn-based combat system set on a hex-based map but also integrates an intriguing “initial deployment phase” at the onset of each battle, allowing players to position their units strategically. This thoughtful deployment adds an extra layer of strategy.
As the battle commences, the importance of understanding the capabilities of both your party and the enemies becomes evident, demanding careful planning and foresight
*Note – Players have the advantage of examining enemies to grasp their abilities and stats, empowering them to make informed decisions
Dice roll mechanic – injecting an element of luck and RNG into the proceedings. The numbers on the dice directly influence the order of attacks, with higher rolls allowing characters to strike first. While luck plays its part, players can influence their destiny by enhancing their villagers’ stats or utilizing equipment that boosts dice roll chances.
This harmonious blend of strategic planning, deployment considerations, and RNG elements creates a combat experience in Aetheris that is not only thrilling but also rewards both skillful decision-making and adaptability in the face of uncertainties.
Aetheris has this cool system where, as you level up, you get to pick and boost one of four traits: Brutality, Rationality, Empathy, or Mysticism. Each trait not only gives you a stat boost but also unlocks special skills just for that trait. You can go all-in on one trait or mix and match for different characters.
What’s interesting is they throw in some randomness with a card-drawing thing for skills. You draw two cards from a big collection of skills linked to your chosen trait and have to pick one. It adds a surprise element, making each playthrough unique. With a whopping 160 abilities in total – 40 for each trait, including 20 active and 20 passive skills—there are tons of ways to play and experiment, making the game super replayable.
In simple terms, you can create all sorts of playstyles, making the game more enjoyable every time you play. Some skills are specific or not that useful, but others can be super powerful in the right situations, making battles a breeze if you use them wisely. It’s all about finding what works for you and having a blast exploring the game in different ways!
Artful masterpiece that seamlessly weaves a vibrant world with breathtaking graphics, elevating the entire gaming experience to unprecedented heights. The world within Aetheris is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship of Wild Wits, where every detail is meticulously designed to bring the game to life.
Immerse yourself in a visually stunning realm, where each landscape is a canvas painted with meticulous detail and vivid colors. The graphics of Aetheris elevate the storytelling, breathing life into every corner of the Wilderness. From the quaint Vazzard village to the ominous presence of the Shade, the visual allure of the game captivates players, making the narrative even more immersive.
The attention to detail extends beyond mere aesthetics; it intricately enhances the storytelling. The graphics serve as a powerful narrative tool, effectively conveying the emotions and nuances of the unfolding saga. As the adventurers traverse through the diverse landscapes, the world comes alive with dynamic visuals, creating an atmosphere that resonates with the emotions of the characters.
Aetheris runs really well, with no crashes or annoying errors. It’s like a smooth ride through the game without any interruptions. This means you can fully enjoy the cool Vazzard story and the exciting gameplay without any technical troubles. The game feels reliable, giving you the freedom to get lost in the adventure without worrying about any annoying issues. Aetheris not only delivers an awesome gaming experience but also does it without any bumps in the road – just pure fun!
Aetheris stands as an extraordinary gaming experience, blending the captivating journey of humanoid lizards, the Vazzards, with the tactical brilliance of a turn-based RPG. The looming threat of the Shade adds urgency to the Vazzard’s quest for salvation, crafting a narrative rich in suspense and emotion.
The immersive exploration across 7 chapters introduces a dynamic decision-making process, offering players a Choose Your Own Adventure feel with diverse outcomes. The ingenious integration of roguelite elements adds depth and strategy to each playthrough.
The hex-based map, combined with a dice roll mechanic, creates a combat system that rewards both planning and adaptability, ensuring thrilling and strategic battles. Aetheris leveling system enhances replayability, allowing players to experiment with different traits and skills. The meticulous art design, featuring breathtaking graphics, further elevates the immersive storytelling.
In Aetheris, every choice and every move shapes an enthralling universe, making it a must-play for those seeking an unforgettable and tactical gaming experience.