I hope this team got an A+ in their Thesis Project class because Bladefall is onto something here. Uniquely designed from the ground up and running on Unity 3D, this little side-scroller action RPG puts players in the role of Princess Amelia, whose father has been overthrown during a festival that marks the end of the year. With a dark army attacking during the festival, you’re forced to flee in an airship that gets shot down just outside the town of Avalon. Despite the warnings of the local bladesmith, the princess pushes on to find and destroy those responsible, not necessarily for overthrowing the king, but for interrupting her festivities. Seems like the princess has her priorities out of whack, but who wants to try to correct her when she has that insane blade summoning ability? The game features an endearing hand-drawn art style, which even in its unique appearance seems to surface memories of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Establishing its own atmosphere, Bladefall is a short student project, yet also a complete package. From the impacting title screen, to the final boss battle, this action RPG leaves no loose ends, and is strung together nicely with a masterful soundtrack.
Choosing from four different weapons, the player may use mana to literally spawn either a blade, zanbatou, spear or warhammer in suspended animation. Upon aiming and clicking with the mouse, the melee weapon that was spawned now becomes a projectile, and is fired in the direction it is pointed. Bladefall literally turns players into an addicted, mouse clicking fiend, spawning those blades and taking out foes. The shift key may also be pressed to slow down time, which is tough to manage while trying to watch where you’re tossing those blades. The most effective use of this skill will be employed when fighting the final boss, who also spawns and tosses blades. I’m the kind of person who plays first and reads the directions later, so I strongly recommend you don’t make the same mistake I always do, because you might miss out on what Bladefall has to offer. At first, I couldn’t figure out how to equip a weapon, and I got out of the town and into the first wild area with enemies and thought I missed a weapon pickup somewhere. The controls take some getting used to, so take a moment to familiarize yourself with them before venturing out. The team plans to port the game to Mac and Linux in the future, and hopefully we’ll see the project evolve once that point is reached.
Download the student game here.
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