Tyrant’s Blessing – Review
Follow Genre: Roguelike, Turn Based Tactics
Developer: Mercury Game Studio
Publisher: Freedom Games
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested On: PC

Tyrant’s Blessing – Review

Site Score
6.8
Good: Good ideas, decent execution
Bad: Needs more polish and content
User Score
5.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

A roguelike is a game where repetition is key, changing up between one playthrough and the next. Out of the slews of unique genre combinations that apply the roguelike formula to themselves, turn-based tactic games seldom do. Only a few examples like Into The Breach come to mind. Tyrant’s Blessing is a relatively recent game that has had a go at this combination. Here is how it fares.

Story

The game’s story takes place in the land of Tyberia, where the titular tyrant Ningaminel has taken over the cycle of life and death itself, making the deceased rise as his soldiers. Opposing him, the princess of Tyberia, Lyndal, has formed a rag-tag army in order to cleanse the land and reclaim the throne, restoring balance.

Overall the game’s story is shallow at best, featuring little more content than an initial text blurb and a few dialogues here and there. The only standout feature the game contains in this department are the conversations between characters that occur in-between missions. These flesh out the characters by providing them with personalities, motivations, and goals.

Graphics

Tyrant’s graphics consist of rather good pixel art for both characters and environments. Said environments are somewhat limited, due to them only being an arena for fights and little more. However, the game makes do with this and adds enough detail to each of these arenas that they feel like a realistic part of the world they’re in. Other than that, the game doesn’t have much going for it, with only a handful of enemy designs utilized throughout the whole game.

Sound

The game’s sound design is similarly decent but not exceptional, featuring a decent “epic” soundtrack and functional, if standard, SFX. Other than that, there isn’t much else worth mentioning as the game has a complete lack of voice acting or any other stand-out sound features in the game.

Gameplay

As previously stated Tyrant’s gameplay is akin to that of other turn-based tactics games such as Into The Breach. Similarly to said game, Tyrant’s core loop, its battles, see the player trying to solve positioning puzzles in order to have their units evade all of the enemy attacks while dealing with them in an effective way. Said attacks are telegraphed and take a turn to occur, before which players are able to move their own units and use their skills immediately, pushing, damaging, or killing the monsters.

Each unit has access to two skills and one item, of which they may use one per turn. Certain units’ skills are also limited to a certain amount of uses per combat, the same applying to items. The effects of these range widely depending on the type of character, broadly classified in the common archetypes of warriors, archers, mages, supports, and assassins. Alongside these active skills, each character has a unique passive which provides bonuses to their particular skillset, thus furthering the synergy between their powers.

Besides this, Tyrant’s Blessing also features a unique mechanic during combat, which causes units to generate “Shades” when moving away from an enemy. These Shades act as clones of the character which take up space and soak up damage from attacks. What this entails is that players will need to be mindful of the space a unit has left and the one they’re moving to. Should they not deal with the enemies targeting a Shade, the character will still take as much damage as they normally would have.

The only ways players can move their units without creating a Shade are by using movement abilities or pushing the enemies away. Luckily, all units possess a “dash” they may use to leap over obstacles within range, consuming most of their movement. Other than this, a handful of items and abilities capable of removing Shades exist but these are rather infrequent.

Additionally, enemies defeated do not actually die in battle. Instead, at the end of the enemy turn, any downed monsters will resurrect and drain a point from a bar on top of the screen. Only once this bar has been depleted will enemies actually stay dead. Curiously enough, this also applies to any neutral NPCs found along the way, who will become enemies should they be felled in combat.

Tyrant’s campaign is divided into a set of battles that players will slowly unlock by clearing the previous ones. Usually, the game will present several challenges to tackle in any preferred order, each with its own rewards. These rewards usually come in the form of trinkets used to upgrade characters or money to spend at the shop, making optimal pathing rather relevant for a smoother run.

Topping everything off, the game also features a handful of difficulty settings. Overall, the difficulty options are somewhat simplistic, making enemies stronger and not much else. However, the hardest mode does provide a set of togglable challenges for players to face, such as making enemies respawn with shields that block a hit or other handicaps.

Conclusion

Tyrant’s Blessing is an interesting and unique game with a decent amount of content. Fans of Into The Breach and similar titles will most likely find it to be something worth sinking their teeth into. That said, the game does have a caveat, being the length of its runs, which may span past an hour in some cases. Other than that, the game is generally pretty recommendable for fans of the turn-based tactics genre or those looking for a light roguelike experience.

Personal Opinion

“I personally enjoyed playing Tyrant’s Blessing quite a bit. However, I found myself a bit tired by the later part of my first run, which I tackled in Hard mode. Before a recent patch, Hard mode made enemies occasionally respawn with the previously mentioned shields. These shields prevent enemies from both taking damage and being displaced by the first hit they take. What this entailed is that battles against beefy enemies were made an utter slog by forcing me to spend half my units to kill one of them. Don’t get me wrong, it was a challenge I enjoyed, but after a while, it does become slightly tedious. Anyways, it shouldn’t be a problem for those who play the normal mode. All of this said, I feel like I should mention that I don’t think I’ll replay this game much. While runs are still short enough to feel like a roguelike, the fact that they don’t change that much and take a while dissuades me. This is not really a dig at the game, it was enjoyable enough and I’ll probably give it a few more spins over time, just not as many as a more dynamic roguelike.”

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Tyrant's Blessing - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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