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Game Info:

Tropia
Developed By: Street Gaming Inc
Published By: BajoGames
Released: April 17, 2019
Available On: Microsoft Windows
Genre: Retro Turn-Based RPG
ESRB Rating: None specified
Number of Players: Singleplayer
Price: $3.99

First, thank you to Street Gaming Inc for the review key.

Some people will never let go of nostalgia, and with the advent of retro-styled games, they don't have to. The game Tropia attempts to appeal to those who have fond memories of NES JRPGs, but how well they pulled it off is what we will be discussing.

The story is amusingly clichè. King's daughter kidnapped by a demon, wants you to rescue her, that's it. The story is quite basic, but considering this game is a throwback to the days where the plot of a game could fit on a business card, it works just fine.

The gameplay is classic top-down, NES RPG style. It's menu-driven and has turn-based combat, so if you fondly remember such games as Ultima III's NES port, it will feel very familiar. There is a party member switching mechanic involving switching a different character as the leader of the group. This allows for different actions, like opening certain doors or getting past certain obstacles, and it will be used very frequently.

Tropia
Highlights:

Strong Points: Nice throwback to NES-era RPGs
Weak Points: Repetitive gameplay; some graphical glitches
Moral Warnings: References to theft and demons

The RPG gameplay is not hard to get used to but has a stiff difficulty curve involving a lot of level grinding. The game does feature a few hidden areas but tends to be on rails, with your next objectives more or less impossible to miss. The secret bosses the developer advertises are not all that hard to find, but getting them to fight you involves a bit of backtracking after getting certain items. Finally, while it's not a hard game to learn, featuring excellent in-game tutorials, it can be very tedious and repetitive due to limited gameplay outside of fighting a lot and solving the occasional puzzle.

Graphics are deliberately in the hand-drawn 8-bit pixel style common to the NES and look simple yet colorful. Enemy, character, and set-piece design also follows the same motif and has the half anime-half western style most NES games that were ports of PC RPG titles tended towards. Sound is simple chiptunes, and while nothing overly impressive, it tends to be excellent if a tad repetitive.

Controls are keyboard-driven and work well, though the game tends to seize control of the mouse while running. One can Alt+Tab and get the mouse control back if you need to switch to another application. The game is generally stable, though there are some graphical glitches like some tiles being walkable that should be impassable and hidden doorways that tend to flicker between invisible and visible in certain areas.

Tropia
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 74%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 86%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 8/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

Morally, this game has very few issues.

Violence is of the RPG variety, yet is bloodless and devoid of gore. Language is very clean, much like the NES era games tended to be under Nintendo's family-friendly policies. Sexual content is absent, the magic is incredibly generic, and while demons are present, they are evil and must be put down, and there is no obvious occult imagery or influences.

The game does jokingly reference theft, mostly snarking about how RPG characters tend to be able to pick locks and take items from random people's homes without breaking actual laws. As for anything that would be a legal offense in-universe, you are generally unable to do anything that would get you in actual ethical, moral, or legal trouble.

As a game, it's short, can be beaten in under a week and is worth its small price tag if you are a serious nostalgia fan of classic NES style RPGs. Morally, it doesn't have too many issues and is perfectly fine for kids and adults alike.

About the Author

Daniel Cullen

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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