Children of Zodiarcs is the debut title from developer Cardboard Utopia, which has turned to Kickstarter to help fund its release. The game is a tactical RPG for PC, Mac, and PlayStation 4 and is inspired by classic Japanese titles such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Shining Force, and Tactics Ogre as well as collectable card games such as Magic: The Gathering.
The story in Children of Zodiarcs follows a group of thieves that attempt to steal a priceless relic. They find themselves pursued by both the authorities and other nefarious groups. Amongst their number is Nahmi, who was taken from her homeland and kept as a curiosity by a noble before escaping when she ten years old. Her small stature allows her to infiltrate certain areas with ease, and she is skilled with a Zodiarc blade. One of her partners is Brice, a young orphan who grew up on the streets. Brice is distrustful of everyone and uses her Zodiarc gauntlets — taken from a mage — to back up her tough reputation. The leader of the gang is Zirchoff, who hires urchins for his gang in return for providing food, shelter, and protection. Zirchoff himself is a feared fighter with plenty of charisma.
Children of Zodiarcs is primarily set in the Toran Empire and its capital city of Torus. The Empire dominates the world of Lumus after harnessing the power of the Zodiarc relics found in ruined ancient cities from the Age of Apex. The city has a large disparity between the rich and poor, evident in the differences between the Nobles' District, and the crime-riddled Shambles that literally lie in its shadows.
The game's turn-based tactical combat makes use of a deck of cards and set of dice for each character. Cards are played to perform attacks, use skills, or cast spells. Players can customise each character's deck and new cards are unlocked as the characters level up. When cards are used to attack, players roll a set of dice to help determine the outcome. The dice do not affect success or failure as a whole, but rather the degree of success. Dice rolls are physically simulated, and players are also able to customise each characters' dice.
Cardboard Utopia is looking for CA$50,000 in funding for the game by February 19, 2016 — a figure that has already been doubled at the time of writing. Those who pledge at least CA$20 will receive a digital PC or Mac copy of the game as part of their backer rewards. Children of Zodiarcs is initially planned for release in the second half of 2016.
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