The Occult Chronicles

2016-02-24 09_35_51-The Occult Chronicles

The Occult Chronicles

MSRP: $19.99

Platform: Windows

Release: 8/20/13

The Occult Chronicles has proved to me yet again that no matter how much I pay attention to gaming news & releases, there’s always something amazing that will slip under my radar. Unfortunately, since this game was released, the developer has decided to move away from creating PC games to work on board games instead.  Which is great for people who prefer board games I suppose.

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The Occult Chronicles plays like a cross between Arkham Horror and Elder Sign, two quirky, Lovecraftian board games from the same developer.  Playing on the default “Reaper” difficulty means permadeath – lose all your health or sanity, and your game is over and your save file deleted.

The demo is fairly full-featured, giving you access to even the random mission mode.  You are limited only in number of turns; the demo caps you at 75.  There are many different character creation choices, so unlimited replays, even with the turn limit, gives you adequate chances to experience the nuances of the game and decide for yourself if it’s worth the full retail price.

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Spots on the map containing question marks are areas of interest – they will result in some manner of encounter.  Successfully completing an encounter will earn you chances to improve your character, while failing will cause you to risk sanity, health, courage and even your life. Encounters are resolved via a card game (using Tarot-inspired cards, instead of typical playing card suits).  You earn points towards success by taking tricks and playing face cards.  This whole mechanic is confusing and poorly explained within the game, but well-explained in the downloadable PDF manual.

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The Occult Chronicles was Greenlit on Steam in April 2015, however, given that the developer has moved on from PC games, it is unlikely to ever be available there.  Currently, it can only be purchased from the developer’s website, and continued support for all of Cryptic Comet’s games has been promised. Even still, it’s likely to be a future purchase for me at full price, and that’s really the best endorsement I can give.

That said, I still plan to look into Elder Sign: Omens, which is available both on PC and mobile devices, as I expect the game play will be similar, to see which I prefer.



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