Telepath RPG: Servants of God Preview

19 Jan 2012

The Indie Mine has conjured up some firsthand impressions of Telepath RPG: Servant of God, Sinister Design's Adobe AIR-powered role-playing game currently slated for a February 14th release. Here's something to whet your appetite:
Servants of God has some interesting and unique qualities that set it apart. Rather than a modern military environment (like Nintendo’s Advance Wars) or a western medieval world, the game is set in a fictional middle eastern universe that bravely evokes images of ancient Ottoman and Moorish culture. The detailed dialogue exchanges also imply that there are consequences to the different choices, as it’s possible to be polite or rude to your allies or to the various people you meet. These are the sort of details that indicate a lot of love and effort went into creating the game world, and making a player care about more than just moving soldiers around on a map.

A couple of design choices are a little worrying. Both battles and exploration show all the characters from a literal overhead viewpoint, in that you’re looking straight at the top of everyone’s head. That sometimes makes it hard to distinguish among your troops during a fight, and the lack of detail is only accentuated by the elaborate character portraits you see outside of battle. There also doesn’t seem to be any way to resize the game window or run in full screen, which might be a limitation of the Adobe Air environment used for development. It’s evident from the meaty icons, large fonts and the lack of drop-down menus that the user interface was intended to be ported to touchscreen devices at some point in the future. That means a player has to click the mouse a little more than you might in any other game intended solely for PC. There’s also a small problem with the pathfinding during battle, in that your troop movement limitations are calculated literally rather than relatively. In other words, moving back and forth twice between two spaces on the grid counts as five units of movement rather than just one, which forces you to reset and try to move your character again. That’s different from the way every other SRPG calculates movement.