Liege announced

John Rhee of Coda Games writes in to announce a new indie RPG called Liege. He states: “The game aims to take the classic JRPG formula, and layer in a mature story, elegant, tactical gameplay and unique, hand-drawn visuals.”

Frankly, I think this description sells it a little short. From where I’m standing, Liege is a proper strategy RPG; after all, it features battles inspired by “FF TacticsFire Emblem, and chess.” Liege is the second game I’ve covered this week explicitly focused on spatial positioning, elegant design, and deterministic mechanics in its combat. (These are all Things That I Like.)

A bit more on the mechanics:

At the core of the gameplay is a system of unit classes and banners. Each class has special perks and characteristics, which are designed to interact in interesting ways; for example, you can arrange your pikemen into a phalanx with strong directional defense to defend rear archers, but certain Knight classes are well suited to break this formation. Banners add further depth by granting stat bonuses to favored classes.

Unused actions during your turn will determine your unit’s defensive ability during enemy turns. As a result, you will always need to balance evasion and defense, with well-timed, coordinated offense to survive.

Liege Combat
I’m not just excited about the mechanics, though; Liege springs from the fertile narrative soil of noble houses struggling for supremacy in the midst of a sudden monarchical power vacuum. (The aforementioned banners belong to each of the noble houses.)

The plot premise is decidedly Game of Thrones-y, in other words; here is the official summary:

One late autumn eve in the Kingdom of Liege, a King, his queen, and their royal heirs fall into a deep slumber from which they never wake.

…and so our story begins. Following their mysterious deaths, a power struggle in the royal court ensues, and as the conflict quickly escalates, the Kingdom plunges into a bloody civil war. As war erupts across the land, we track the converging paths of characters aligned across various factions, from the noble houses vying for the throne, to the orphaned Royal Army, to an underground movement of outlaws with plans to incite revolution amidst the chaos.

So basically, we’ve got some really promising combat mechanics and a narrative setup that may or may not be causing me to salivate all over my keyboard. And then there’s the art. Oh man. Just look at this:

Rhee has Liege up on Kickstarter right now–if this game looks good to you (and for the love of God, why wouldn’t it?), you should go throw some money its way. Rhee states that development on Liege will still continue if the Kickstarter fails, but that a failed campaign would mean a much smaller scope for the game (boo!) as well as a mobile-only initial release. So, you know: back it.

Coda Games are angling for a July 2014 release for Liege on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

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