Thermidor is a Japanese Tactical RPG created by the folks over at HyperDevBox.
Think of it as a mix between Final Fantasy Tactics and Valkyria Chronicles.
It takes place in the year 1789 during the French revolution where our hero, a chap called Leandre looks poised to be thrust into the middle of a plot surrounding a missing person of great interest.
The controls are intuitive to the point that despite my skipping the tutorial it took me a grand total of 60 seconds to get to grips with the buttons. Moving Leandre around the map is as easy as clicking him and selecting an appropriate action from the command menu. I feel like an option to freely move the camera with the mouse is missing but to be honest I’m nitpicking here.
Each character has a number of action points that can be spent moving, attacking or using items. This is where things get punishing, nearby enemies not needing to move can use all their AP on offensive moves and the damage can quickly pile up to be devastating. It seems like keeping your characters moving is the best way to avoid melting in a single turn.
There’s also an “action break” system which seemingly comes into play when an enemy approaches from a direction the character is facing allowing bonus damage.
The artwork is a place where Thermidor shines. From the animated and fully voiced cut sequences to a number of objects on display in each level, it’s very clear that this game has had a lot of love put into it. The use of detailed lighting and shadows makes everything pop off the screen, while the small details such as scurrying rats and rotisserie chickens and fireplaces draw you into the level.
As a Tactical Strategy this game will live or die by its AI during the turn-based battles, for the moment at least this is where I found the game it’s roughest. Enemies don’t always take logical actions and often fail to move at all before passing the turn back to the player, though for all I know this could be an attempt at making this demo a little easier for new players.
Overall I really enjoyed the admittedly rather short demo, what's there does seem to have a fair level of polish and AI aside the game seems pretty solid. The combat feels good and has a degree of depth and the difficulty seems about right for a first level.
Thermidor is currently attempting to raise the funds necessary to finish the game on Kickstarter. If you like what you’ve seen here today, or simply like backing games for the exclusive Kickstarter swag why not download the free demo and consider backing it?