Hellenica announced

Word reaches me that there’s a new tactical RPG in development by Seattle indie dev studio The Dragonloft. Titled Hellenica, it takes place in a sort of steampunk variant of ancient Greece.

Here’s the narrative premise:

Explore a steam-powered ancient Greece as Artemis’ Arktos, her chosen bear warrior, on a mythological quest of technology and magic. In this turn-based tactics RPG, you’ll rewrite the history of an ancient Greece transformed by an industrial revolution. Customize your party’s skills and navigate a labyrinthine storyline where your choices affect the path you take, the battles you fight, and the allies you meet along the way.

From what I can gather, the basic plot changes based on your decisions. To wit: “Help Plato and Socrates maintain order in an Athens shaken by change, fight alongside the technologically augmented king of Sparta against rebels committed to tradition, or join Cyrus the Persian prince on a quest to liberate his people.”

As you can see in the teaser trailer below, the overall appearance of the game is blocky and isometric, with 2D sprites, in a style fairly reminiscent of Disgaea:

The developer writes: “Athens has gone through a serious transformation since the steam revolution, and most levels in the city will feature steam-powered elevators and conveyor belts throughout.” Thus, in a manner similar to some of the levels in Fire Emblem Fates, characters can automatically move around at the end of a round if they happen to standing on a moving platform or other such conveyance.

The planned features include:

  • Old-school tactics combat, enhanced – Familiar Tactics mechanics coupled with pushing, tossing, bouncing, and obstacles. A new battle system that encourages experimentation and careful planning with an interface simple enough for players new to the genre.
  • Customizable party abilities – Unlock party abilities and customize your load out before each battle. Abilities never grow obsolete, but instead provide new tactical options for every situation.
  • Labyrinthine branching story – Live multiple lives, making different choices and exploring different facets of the world. Will you seek guidance from the Oracle or form an alliance with a shadowy network of spies? Stow away on a pirate vessel or follow a mysterious foreigner? Investigate a rebellion in Sparta or seek the aid of the enigmatic enchantress, Circe?
  • Custom narrative experience – Thousands of custom dialog lines ensure that characters recognize and respond to the actions you’ve taken on each of the paths through Hellenica’s story.

According to the developers, Hellenica has been in development since 2013; it is currently slated for release on Windows, Mac and Linux in quarter 4 of 2016. However, it still hasn’t made it out of Steam Greenlight–if you wish to vote for it, you can do so here.

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