Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire
Top Critic Average
Developer: Whale Hammer Games
Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire - Kickstarter Trailer
I'm so torn on Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire. It's easily one of the most mechanically sound entries into the genre I have played in quite some time, but it barely lets the players experiment with its mechanics. It feels like having some of the best tools on the market and no supplies to build anything with. That being said, many of these issues can be addressed and fixed with future episodes. Tahira's debut adventure, however, just left me wishing for more without really filling my belly.
Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire is a niche title. It is for the people who enjoy learning deep systems, aren't too hung up on narrative imperfections, and want to unleash some justice. This will clearly not appeal to everyone, and many will find the barrier of entry simply not worth for what waits beyond. As for the rest, here lies an interesting and compelling tactical RPG, if there ever was one.
For now, the game is just echoes; echoes of The Banner Saga, of India and the Middle-East, and of poorly-written Saturday morning cartoons. But the thing about echoes is that they are always less substantial than the original word: “good enough” comes back to us as “enough.”
Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire is a well-designed game, despite its brief length and limited scope. Its morose story is illuminated by characters who laugh in the face of death. Every battle is hard-won, and every victory feels like the result of a heroic feat, even if it leaves you with little to celebrate. All in all, the game is a fine little indie game of tactical decision-making, just don't go in expecting depth and length rivalling a Fire Emblem game.