Tales Of Maj’Eyal is an Award Winning, free-to-play, open source turn-based Role Playing Game with addictive, seemingly limitless character customisation and re-playability that has a diverse and intricate world lore.I played the game for several hours (during which I confess I did a lot of dying) and literally had to convince myself to stop in order to get-to-work writing this article to inform others of its brilliance. I have never experienced anything quite like it!
Created by Nicolas Casalini ("DarkGod"), with graphics by Raymond Gaustadnes ("Shockbolt"), this is a fantasy adventure set in the fictional, immensely lore-filled world of Eyal; your character seeking adventure and fortune in the very capable hands of clever programming that produces randomised dungeons and monsters.
You start with four race options (Human, Elf, Halfling, Dwarf) and three Class options (Warrior, Rogue, Mage) with plenty of sub-classes each with their own plots and bonuses, and many more unlockable races and classes which become available to you the more that you play.
“Performing certain actions and completing certain quests will make locked campaigns, races and classes permanently available” - in-game information
Players also have multiple game modes and difficulties to choose from depending on the experience that they want. Adventure gives you a limited number of lives, Roguelike is a challenging mode for the more experienced player that gives you only one life, and available exclusively to game fund Donators there is also Exploration mode which has an infinite number of lives, therefore allowing the player a more relaxed gaming experience and as the title suggests, more chance to explore the world because there is no risk of a Game Over.
|The death screen.Will you use an item to spring back to life?|
Will you die and retry with the same character? Or shall you start anew?
The game itself has a very intuitive control system, allowing use of the keyboard, the mouse, or a combination of the two, and includes a very useful Auto Explore option which can be activated and deactivated at any time, programming the player’s character to wonder through the world without requiring any clicks or button pressing, and stopping only when there is an enemy nearby to allow for a tactical retreat or flanking (etc) of the NPC monster rather than being forced into unwanted confrontation.
I recommend playing the Tutorial to get-to-grips with the gameplay system, even if you are an experienced player of the genre. There is also a FAQ and a very detailed Wiki available with many hints, tips and guides contributed by the creators and the community.
Although it is technically a single player game, the community plays a large part in what makes it so much fun. You really feel like you are part of something because not only can you play the game, but you can also actually contribute to it, and to the experience of other players.
“Tales of Maj’Eyal is backed by constant development and an active, friendly community that have together invested over 340 years of total playtime” - official website statistics
There were, at the time of my writing this piece, more than two-hundred other players active on the server, all of which could interact with me and I with them (dependent on my settings) with chat and we can even see what Achievements we are earning and what Missions are being completed, all live. This really adds to the experience, but you can play offline and completely alone if you are not a fan of this.
Players can also contribute directly to the game’s development by posting any bugs found or suggestions that they may have on the message boards, and more creative players can create mods for themselves and others to play with use of the T-Engine software (http://te4.org/te4). There are currently nearly four-hundred mods contributed by members of the community on the main website (http://te4.org/addons/tome), and the game is fully Steam Workshop compatible as well.
As a reward to its loyal players, the developers also offer many exclusive perks for those that choose to Donate to the game’s development, and they even produce Quests that are given to every player who is registered and logged in at random times.
“Thanks to generous players, ToME has collected on average 1600€ of donations per month” - official website statistics
Players can contribute a donation only once, or regularly. For every euro donated a player receives 10 Voratun Coins which can be used for purchasing DLC and for every two euros donated a player receives one slot in the Online Items Vault.
EXCLUSIVES available to anyone that has donated also include a unique Class (Stone Warden), game mode (Exploration) and Custom Character Tiles allowing the player to create their own design for what their character will look like as they walk through the game world.
This is an Award Winning game (Roguelike Of The Year three years running in 2010, 2011 and 2012) with a dedicated fan base, and I can see why. This journalist is certainly going to be becoming a Donator and spending many, many more hours exploring this beautiful game world and watching this unique game develop over time.
You can download the one-hundred percent free version of the game through the website in all its forms, right through from the original Beta release to its newest version, with or without soundtrack for Windows, Linux and OSX, or you can purchase the game through Steam (£4.99*), Desura (£5.99*) and through indie games distributor Itch.io (“$6.99 USD or more”).
The website also features lots of really interesting statistics, a collection of Blog Posts and a Forum contributed to by its community and an option to download the game code and the software to alter it with.
I hope that you enjoy this beautiful, unique game as much as I do! You can view my Profile for the game and connect with me and I encourage you to post Comments about your personal experience and links to any characters and mods you create.
Article credit: Illisia Adams.
*At time of publication of this article.