Siralim

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Siralim on Steam (demo available here)

MSRP: $9.99 / $4.99 mobile

Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, WinPhone

Release: 4/24/15


Since I stopped playing World of Warcraft about a year ago, just about the only time I want to resub is when I get the itch to play the pet battle mini-game. Since I’ve never owned a handheld game system, and my console experience is limited to the XBox 360 my husband talked me into that mostly was used to watch Netflix, I never got on the Pokemon train, but I found pet battles in World of Warcraft to be a lot of fun, mostly while I was trying to trap more creatures for my army.

When I saw Siralim on Steam, I knew this was a game I had to try. The entire thing is about collecting resources and summoning creatures to fight other creatures so that you can collect more resources and summon new creatures. Yes, I understand there’s an element of hamster-wheel futility about it all, but it’s precisely the type of grinding I really enjoy.

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I decided to play as a nature mage, mostly because the starting creature (Springtime Aspect) looked a whole lot like a gorilla covered in grass and flowers, and the idea of wandering around endless dungeons with a flower-gorilla for company really appealed. There’s very little difference between elemental affinities for the player character, you get access to some different perks and a little bonus when casting certain spells, but it’s not such a different play experience that you’re going to feel the need to collect all the pets on five different characters.

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The combat interface is pretty simplistic – you have the action queue on the right so you know which orders the creatures will be taking their turns in.  You have a few options for each of your creatures on their turn – attack is what you’ll use most often, but you can also defend, provoke (making that creature more likely to be attacked but at the cost of some defense), cast a spell from your spellbook, flee, or extract.

Extract is pretty key here – this allows you to rip the core from a creature you’re fighting, and though I envision it as something like ripping the still-beating heart out of your enemy, extraction doesn’t actually kill a creature. However, the more injured the creature is, the greater chance you have for a successful extraction.  In order to summon a particular creature, you need to possess three cores of that creature type, as well as some other miscellaneous resources that you find in the world.

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You start off with two creatures that match your affinity, but as you obtain cores and level up, you can summon creatures from any affinity, and it’s a good idea to keep a variety due to the rock-paper-scissors system of creature defense. Each creature has a unique ability as well, and can be equipped with a single artifact which will augment that creature’s stats and may add another special ability.  Artifacts may be found in treasure chests, assembled from fragments in each realm, or crafted by a blacksmith, once you’ve opened up access to one.

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When you enter a realm, you’re given a duty, which is basically a quest for that map. It’s highly recommended that you complete all the duties you possibly can because not only are they a huge XP boost for you and your creatures, but you get an extra royalty point every time you complete a duty.  And you will want all the royalty points you can get, as they will be used to give you small advantages which will grow to big advantages over time. However, if you need to leave the game during a realm, all progress in that realm will reset – you can take the portal back from your war room into a realm of equal level, but any progress on duties will be lost.

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Siralim manages to deftly walk the line between being a brainless grind and collect game, and having enough depth to keep you interested long term.  There is no level cap for either you or your creatures; as long as you play, you will continue to get experience & level up. It’s on sale for 75% on Steam through Monday morning, and I’ve already bought a copy for a dear friend, and am considering installing the mobile version on my husband’s tablet.

Since a sequel has been announced, I don’t know how much more continued support Siralim will receive, but it’s pretty solid all around, and absolutely worth the purchase price even if there are no further content updates.

2 thoughts on “Siralim

  1. […] I haven’t even come close to exhausting Siralim, and I recently tracked down Pokemon Uranium, I still couldn’t stop myself from picking up […]

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  2. […] the basics of Siralim 2, I’ll refer you to the post I did about it’s predecessor, Siralim, because this isn’t one of those sequels that totally turns a franchise on its ear.   […]

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