Children of Zodiarcs announced

You may recall the 3D tactical RPG Children of Zodiarcs from some of our Back to Back coverage in early 2016. In development by 9-person Montreal team Cardboard Utopia, Children of Zodiarcs went on to rack up about $195,000 in funding, and has been in development since that time (and, indeed, before it).

The premise:

Nahmi and her companions go on a mission to steal a priceless relic of a decadent noble, but what awaits them is more than anyone bargained for …

Relentlessly pursued by city guards heavily armed with deadly Zodiarc weapons, they are forced to make a desperate escape through gilded palace chambers, sun-drenched slums and dank underground catacombs.

As they city guards, battle rival bandit gangs, and even a clan of subterranean cannibals, it becomes clear that they have only each other to depend on. To emerge victorious, they will need to trust one another and use everything at their disposal, making choices that no one should have to make.

Can a motley crew of outsiders survive this vicious world without sacrificing their own humanity?

Children of Zodiarcs employs a deck system for character actions, with personalized decks you build for each character, as well as what appear to be loads of virtual dice thrown visibly on the screen to determine the effectiveness of each action a character takes. You can see how this looks in this teaser trailer:

Children of Zodiarcs is planned for Windows and Mac release through Steam, as well as release on Playstation 4. Release is scheduled for sometime in 2017.

A quick note about the indie-ness of this game: a PR guy from Kartridge, Craig Stephens, got in touch with me to let me know that the Square Enix Collective is now publishing Children of Zodiarcs. This is no doubt good news for the team–but of course, this also immediately put me into detective mode, as I am sworn to only post about games that are indie! According to Stephens, “SEC avoid any interference [in development] and instead offer support where needed.” This is what I needed to hear to feel assured that this publisher arrangement does not violate the cosmic laws of indie-ness. As more and more indie games get signed to “indie publishers,” I’ll be building up a sort of “white list” of such companies that have an official hands-off policy. For now, Square Enix Collective is on that list.

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