Friday, September 25, 2015

The Friday FREE GAME Feature! Ep35: Stories of Bethem

Classic Zelda-style adventure for the PC or Android!

Stories of Bethem captures the look (and most of the feel) of the classic Legend of Zelda titles. Instead of a magic sword, you harness the powers of elemental magic to break objects and slay enemies.

The game begins with a rather lengthy backstory and control explanation. The intro can be skipped and dialog can be sped through via button presses, which is great when replaying the game. You begin with no weapons or attacks of any kind, but a witch quickly gives you your first spell - a wind blast. She then sets you out on a quest to find a number of magical objects.

Puzzles are heavily featured throughout the game, many of which involve pushing rocks to open paths or cover holes. In addition to damaging enemies, your wind spell allows you to break barrels and bushes to reveal treasures and hidden paths... but using the spell drains magic points. You can find items to regain MP or wait for it to slowly recover, but early on you can go through MP pretty fast as you use it for attacks as well as exploration/puzzle solving. This slows down play somewhat until you can begin recovering health and magic at save locations.

Some of the puzzles seem fairly tricky - I had a hard time figuring out a few of them and for the sake of the episode explored other rooms once I got stuck. I didn't get too far during the video due to the puzzles, but that means they at least pose some challenge which is good. I'd like to see what other types of spells and items become available later in the game, so there's a fair chance I'll continue playing for a bit.

There's nothing impressive early on in Stories of Bethem, but I'd like to take some more time with it. The story, gameplay, art style and controls all seem okay from my first experience.

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