Alterium Shift – Preview
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Drattzy Games
Publisher: Gravity Co
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5, Switch
Tested on: PC

Alterium Shift – Preview

Good: Impressive 2.5D style, Easy to get into
Bad: Combat is very shallow
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Drattzy Games is a new and upcoming indie studio, coming out strong with their first project being an expansive RPG. Alterium Shift shows its inspiration clearly, with an easy comparison being made to Chrono Trigger or other famous JRPGs. While the game is far from finished and currently in Early Access, we took a look to see if Alterium Shift could be a new fantasy staple. And the answer is that we’ve certainly got a good framework here that could become a classic with some work from the developers.

At the start of the game, you pick from one of three characters. Each one of them is a recruit in the town of Summiton, where they’re being trained in combat abilities and alterium essence to become part of the army. The army became necessary after the Dark Elves started spawning monsters and attacking humans. While the war was eventually won, not all threats were over. So these recruits go on various quests to protect the town. But obviously, things can never be that simple, and a new big bad villain looms on the horizon. This time the fate of the world falls into the hands of whichever recruit you choose to control. Every character has a distinct personality and background that changes the story slightly. On top of that, your choices do alter the story beats, making Alterium Shift an interesting RPG to replay.

The art style of Alterium Shift has an interesting blend of 2D and 3D elements. At first glance, the pixelated world and its inhabitants do not look unusual, though we commend the devs for their attention to detail. Every map and room is decked out with little knickknacks and the character designs are varied and unique. As you start to move around though, the true beauty of this 2.5D style shines through. Especially in the cutscenes, the way the game works with colors and perspective to create depth is really immersive and brings the experience to the next level.

This game has a nice soundtrack that might elicit a nostalgic reaction in the more experienced JRPG players. From the slow piano main theme to the more upbeat 2-bit music as you explore the world map, this game continues the tradition of RPGs with catchy tracks that can get stuck in your head. The game also has been decked out with a fair share of sound effects, especially during the battles. There is currently no voice acting in the game.

Alterium Shift is a classic RPG with turn-based combat and mini-games to spice things up. You pick your character at the start of the game and this determines not only your story, but also what weapons and powers you start with. Each character controls a different type of alterium essence, which is essentially elemental-based magic. This magic gives them various spells with different effects to use in battle, with more that can be unlocked through combat. Similarly, you can find better weapons and armor for them as you go along through the world of Alteria.

Combat is turn-based and there’s a nice touch where the turn order is always visible on the top of the screen, helping you plan your strategy. You control your main character and their party against groups of enemies. All the standard stuff is here: basic attacks with your weapon, potions to heal or buff up your allies, and a guard move that allows you to take less damage. Then there’s alterium essence. It basically works like mana in most RPGs, where every time you use your magic some alterium essence drains and you only have a limited amount. Putting your guard up also restores essence. The combat is extremely simple and that might be our main complaint. After a while, it becomes very easy to just spam the same attacks over and over for a while and win every battle. We would have liked to see more depth in the gameplay design, but that might be added in the full release.

Aside from the main storyline, the game has some fun stuff to enjoy on the side. This includes various small quests to do for the people around town and a fishing mini-game you can play. The game has a good sense of humor and fleshes out the world and the characters well, so you feel inclined to explore and not just rush through all the story stuff. On the other hand, this is an Early Access game and it shows. The game still suffers from significant bugs (one time we had to completely restart the game because of one) and there are only a few hours of content to explore, which is not a lot for an RPG. We’re hopeful that in the future, this will be expanded upon.


Alterium Shift is a good start for something great, but we’re not quite there yet. The nostalgic feel and very easy combat make this a great RPG for people to get into. However, we hope that the devs continue to expand on the formula to turn it into something even more impressive.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Alterium Shift - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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