Eschalon: Book I and II Review

Inside Mac Games has simultaneously published reviews for both Eschalon titles, as different reviewers give their takes on the two turn-based indie RPGs. Their take on Eschalon: Book I is quite positive at 8.25.
Although it could be argued that EB1 follows the traditional seek-and-slay-the-evil-villain formula seen in so many RPGs over the years, Basilisk Games has crafted the tale in a way which doesn't make the final moments of the adventure immediately obvious from the beginning. In fact, players will have options to complete the game in decidedly unheroic fashion, leading to one of the game's alternate endings. While the storyline presented in EB1 may not offer many surprises for the most jaded of RPG veterans it is well written and engaging, with at least a few unexpected plot twists.

Side quests in the game are mostly standard RPG fare, with a good mix of item fetching, combat, and exploration. A few quests stand out from the crowd, however, as in the example of one which put a clever spin on the familiar item delivery mission. During the quest players must carry an extremely heavy object to a distant location without making use of quick travel options. Success requires them to traverse several areas while managing both weight restrictions and hostile encounters.
They're slightly less full of praise for Eschalon: Book II, which gets a 7.5.
On the plus side, the game plays completely differently depending on how you design your character. In a lot of these games, it really doesn't matter whether you're a rogue or a warrior. Both are spotted immediately, and it really just changes which attacks you use. This isn't the case with EB2. As a magician, you get large penalties for wearing heavy armor, so you end up being an eggshell with massively overpowered spells and, as a rogue, you can sneak everywhere and backstab with impunity. One thing that's a little broken, though, is what happens when you combine spellcasting with any other class. It becomes way too easy to win when you can backstab twice in a single round or shoot arrows accurately in pure darkness.