Remnants of Isolation shows that even just a small tweak in the formula, like assigning spells to equip slots, can make a world of difference.
Celesta and Melchior, two characters born with the curse of magic, help each other escape from prison in this turn-based RPG. Along the way they defend themselves using spell combinations, a mechanic which forces you to get the most out of each action in battle.
What’s Interesting About Remnants of Isolation?
Equipping spells doesn’t feel like that much of a change, does it? But it works quite well with this game in particular – you control two characters, and together they can create spell combinations. Change their equipped spell card, and their range of options changes. Just as the characters’ success in the story depends on their teamwork, the player needs to make sure they have synergy in battle. A very limited MP pool (which recovers slowly over time, and when you guard) means that all battles require planning to get the most out of your resources. Add to that a limited number of encounters, and you find yourself spending more time thinking about your characters and changing equipment than fighting things.
I’m not sure 3-hour RPGs are everyone’s cup of tea, but I found this game to be quite rewarding. Whenever I found a new spell I had another look at my set-up to see how I could best incorporate it into my strategy. The battles weren’t exactly puzzles, but I liked puzzling through them, finding new combos I liked and learning little tricks to get the most out of my MP. The characters also made me smile, despite one of them being a silent protagonist – they’re not the average RPG pair, and some of their interactions were quite sweet.
Remnants of Isolation is on Steam, give it a try and leave a review!