New release: Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire

Word reaches me that Australian indie studio Whalehammer Games has at least released its strategy RPG fantasy strategy game Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire.

The game is “set on a world fallen into a medieval dark age after the collapse of a spacefaring civilization”:

You must guide Tahira, the 20-year-old princess of Avestan, on the most challenging night of her life as she fights to save her people from the genocidal Astral Empire.

You’ll fight large-scale tactical turn-based battles using guerrilla warfare tactics, including ambushing enemies, taking cover and knocking foes off cliffs. You’ll also develop relationships with those traveling with you and uncover secrets of a time when man traversed the stars with impunity.

The art style in Tahira is deliberately modeled on the style seen in The Banner Saga, with character actions animated using the same rotoscoping technique. The developers are up-front about this, though it’s obvious enough even from watching the trailer:

Here are some of the game’s features, per the developers:

  • Turn-based Guerrilla Warfare – Control up to 20 characters as you fight against the vast army of the Astral Empire in tactical turn-based battles. You must utilize the environment to even the odds by ambushing enemies, taking cover and knocking foes off cliffs and rooftops.
  • Never Fight the Same Battle Twice – Tahira has no filler fights. Each encounter has been specifically designed to advance the story. Battles take place in large environments and feature multiple phases, ranging from the three-stage defence of a town to a desperate struggle to rescue trapped civilians.
  • More Than Just Fighting – You don’t just advance from one battle to the next in Tahira, between skirmishes, you’ll find yourself exploring the environment, learning Tahira’s thoughts about the world and getting to know the people who are traveling with you.
  • A Rich Cast of Colourful Characters – Including Baruti, an Avestan General; Claw and Hammer, a mercenary power couple attempting to repay a 20-year-old debt to Avestan; and Iba, Tahira’s loyal horse.
  • Tactics for Beginners & Experts – With four difficulty settings, Tahira caters to gamers just interested in the story, seasoned turn-based tactics veterans looking for a brutal challenge and everyone in between.

The campaign in Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire lasts about 10 hours. The game is available for Windows, Mac and Linux; you snag it for $14.99 on Steam, GOG or the Humble Store. As for me, I was offered a copy to look at, so I’ll be checking it on video for you soon!

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